Sony has warned that it is stripping three applications from its PlayStation Vita platform - YouTube, Near and Maps - in an upcoming software update for the platform.
Launched as the successor to the PlayStation Portable and known internally as the Next-Generation Portable (NGP), the PS Vita offered some impressive specifications for the time: a quad-core ARM processor, 512MB of memory and an additional 128MB of VRAM gave it considerable graphical clout, while its touch-sensitive display and optional integrated 3G mobile broadband connectivity positioned it as an on-the-go gaming powerhouse. Sales, however, have been slow, even following Sony's adding of remote streaming capabilities to its PlayStation 4 console - allowing owners of both devices to play PS4 games on the PS Vita display when out and about.
Now, Sony has warned that the next update for the device will remove three of the existing applications. The first to go is Google's YouTube app, which disappeared from the PlayStation Store late last night and which will be removed from existing handsets from the 20th of April as part of a system update. Those who rely on the software to get their video-streaming fix are advised to use YouTube's mobile site in the PS Vita web browser instead.
Sony is also to remove two first-party applications in an update due to drop in March: Maps and Near. Both location-based and tying in to the console's built-in GPS receiver, the Maps application will be uninstalled as part of the update and will no longer be available for use on the console. Near, Sony's attempt at creating an augmented reality location-based game similar to Google's Ingress, will remain installed but lose 'some features
,' Sony has stated, although precisely which features are for the chop the company has not yet clarified.
Responses to Sony's announcement on Twitter
have been universally negative, with users complaining that the company has 'absolutely no interest in keeping the Vita alive
' and that 'so much potential [has been washed] down the drain
' by the company.