The president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America (SIEA) has downplayed the chances of seeing a PS Vita 2 release in the near future.
Speaking during an interview with Time, Shawn Layden, who replaced Jack Tretton in the role back in 2014, noted that PS Vita wasn’t able to reach mass market appeal in key markets such as North America and Western Europe. As such, the chances of seeing a successor to the handheld platform are looking increasingly slim.
"To be honest, the Vita just didn’t reach critical mass in the US or Western Europe," said Layden. “I don’t know if it was that it was more technology people had to carry around, or more things to charge, or whether their phone or tablet were taking care of that. But once the content slowed in that pipeline, it became hard to keep the Vita as a going concern."
Elsewhere, the executive applauded Nintendo’s efforts with the Switch, and suggested PlayStation and Nintendo gamers make up the bulk of the two-console family among consumers nowadays.
"It’s definitely what that [Nintendo] fanbase has been waiting for," he said. "When you look at our numbers, I think it shows that a lot of gamers are a two-console family. And quite often those two consoles are PlayStation and Nintendo sitting side-by-side."
Layden’s comments probably won’t come as a surprise. Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida previously touched base on a potential PS Vita 2 back in September 2015, suggesting the market place was not healthy for a new handheld. That hasn’t stopped rumors from bubbling up ahead of E3 next week, which claim that Sony is prepping a new handheld to combat the Switch. We wouldn’t hold our breath, though.
The PS Vita launched in December 2011 in Japan and arrived in the U.S. and Europe the following spring. Despite seeing a strong lineup of exclusive software during its first 18 months, support quickly dried up for the system, although in recent times it has found success as a companion device to the PS4.