Sony to stop production of PlayStation Portable; pushes the new Vita

There is some real bad news for all gamers out there; Sony Corp. is pulling the plug on its hand-held PlayStation Portable video game machine after 10 years.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company wants to completely focus on pushing the successor machine, PlayStation Vita.

Tokyo-based Sony on Tuesday stated that PSP shipments ended in January for North America, and will end in Japan this month and later this year in Europe.

Discounts on Vita and downloads are offered to Japanese PSP owners, but are still undecided for those overseas.

More than 76 million PSP machines were sold, as of two years ago, the last time a tally was taken. The PSP went on sale in December 2004.

With Sony reporting a $1.3 billion loss for the last fiscal year and expecting to stay in the red this year too, the move has some logic behind it. Machines devoted to games are struggling against the popularity of smartphones and other devices.

Some analysts also feel that Vita may not really set the sales on fire as a significant number hasn’t been sold since its launch. Sony’s handheld game machine also faced stiff competition from Japanese rival Nintendo Co.’s 3DS. But even Nintendo has also struggled to keep momentum going for its game machines.

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