Sony has somewhat quietly revealed that The PlayStation TV (PSTV), a more limited console version of the PlayStation Vita, is being discontinued in Japan. Sony’s official Japanese listing for the console and its various bundles says that their shipments have reached completion.
The device was originally released in Japan in November 2013 and then came to the United States in October of 2014 but didn’t make much of an impact, with a number of retailers dropping the console’s listed price of $99.99 to as low as $39.99 shortly after release. The PSTV was compatible with a number of games in the PlayStation Vita library (but not all of them) and did not come with a Netflix streaming app though the Vita had it.
Back in June of 2015, Sony president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida talked a bit about why the device wasn’t performing well:
It didn’t capture the consumers’ imagination….It’s a hard concept to explain. You could say it’s a mini-console, it’s a video streaming device. If we say it’s a mini-console, like other mini-consoles, people expect a better device like PS4 or Xbox One. It’s short in that delivery. When you say it’s a video streaming device, there are other devices with higher def video. It has some unique things like remote play of PS4 games. It can do many things, but it’s not easy to say this one thing is extremely good. I think that’s the reason we were not able to convince people at the original price.
It’s worth noting as well that the Vita was practically a no-show at last year’s E3.
We’re reaching out to Sony to inquire about the state of the PlayStation TV in America and will update accordingly if we get a response.
Personally, as someone who got a good bit of mileage out of his PSTV, I think this is a huge bummer but not entirely unexpected. Lacking common streaming apps like Netflix as well as a large amount of the Vita’s library made any notion of success for the mini-console a pipe dream.