Associated Press informed that on Tuesday an announcement was made by Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) regarding discontinuation of its gaming device PlayStation Portable; bringing an era to an end. PSP was launched around ten years back and has gone through a number of iterations since then.

Shipments to North America already on hold

This device has lost its importance after the company started laying more emphasis on the new device PlayStation Vita. Sony has made many changes in the new device PlayStation Vita. The handheld device comes with round edges making it more comfortable for long duration gaming sessions.

The Associated Press further informed that in January itself all PSP shipments to North America were put on hold by Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) , and the company has further plans of ending the shipments this month to Japan as well with Europe being the next target in the next few months.

Portable gaming devices struggling against smartphones

All through its lifetime, PSP kept on competing with Nintendo’s DS and its sales were on a decline from past few years. The company had sold 76 million units of PSP device in 2012 as informed by the Associated Press. The Japanese owners of PSP are offered with downloads and discounts on Vita, but for overseas owners the company has not yet decided any such offers. In December 2004, the PSP was offered for sale for the first time.

Smartphones and tablets are growing on popularity at fast pace and hard core gaming devices are struggling to maintain their position against these distant substitutes. A loss of $1.3 billion was reported by Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) in the last fiscal year and this year to the Japanese firm is expecting a loss only.

PlayStation Vita too has not been doing very good in terms of units sold. Nintendo’s 3DS has been a stiff competitor of Sony’s PlayStation, but even Nintendo has been struggling to make its gaming consoles sales reasonably good. However, in mainstream gaming, PlayStation 4 has acquired the top-spot in U.S. gaming consoles market by beating Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One in terms of sales.