PlayStation Vita was far from the success story Sony envisioned when they launched it as a 3DS rival. Though more powerful than Nintendo's handheld, Vita lacked the system-selling hit games it needed to thrive, and it wasn't long before Sony began pulling back on first-party support altogether.
Vita found a niche audience and moderate success in Japan, and it proved to be a popular destination for RPGs. Unfortunately, it never managed to gain much traction globally, and it was overshadowed in its home country by Nintendo 3DS. Now, just over seven years after its debut, Sony is preparing to pull the plug.
Although an exact date has not yet been given, Sony has confirmed that they'll be ending production soon. When Sony gave a similar notice about PlayStation 3, its discontinuation came about two months later, so we could be looking at a similar timeline. Additionally, Vita games (and PlayStation 3 games) will no longer be included in the lineup of free downloads for PlayStation Plus subscribers.