It’s no secret that the Vita isn’t flying off store shelves, especially when compared to the PSP. Though the system might not be selling as well as it could, it did hit a significant milestone this week, crossing one million units sold in Japan!
The news comes after the Vita’s 42nd week on the market (the system released on December 17th, 2011, in Japan). Though we’re happy the system is selling, the situation looks a bit dire compared to the PSP, which only took 14 weeks to reach the same number. Of course, the emergence of smartphones – not to mention the Vita’s high price point - needs to be factored in, though even then the Vita could clearly be doing better
Throughout 2012, the Vita has seen significant sales bumps – specifically around the release of Persona 4: Golden and Hatsune Miku Diva F in Japan. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to compare the Vita’s trajectory in Japan with that of North America, as NPD no longer publishes monthly figures, leaving sales data in the hands of hardware manufacturers. Sony’s last announced figures put the Vita at over 2 million units worldwide, a number that the company finds acceptable.
Even with the system continuing to sell, there is still an air of pessimism surrounding the Vita’s future. Sony’s Fergal Gara thinks that it’s too early to judge the Vita, telling MCV that skeptics should reserve judgments until after Christmas.
“But the great news is that we have got the content in place. We have got the cash to invest in terms of marketing and retail to really ignite it this Christmas. To start judging a console before it has had its first Christmas is preposterous, really. And we are giving it everything we have got.”
Really, it’s no surprise that the Vita is selling so slowly, at least in North America. The Summer season had an absolute drought of software, though the months prior did feature some high-profile releases. Thankfully, this October is home to a plethora of Vita titles, from retail games like Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation to downloadable games like Dokuro (pictured above). November sees the launch of Black Ops: Declassified, which we’re sure Sony is hoping will drive sales in the West. That said, we still believe that Sony should work at bringing more Japanese games stateside to help address the lack of new software.
As for the Vita’s future, we’re inclined to agree that it’s too early to judge. Both the PS3 and the 3DS had a rough start, eliciting cries of doom from gamers. However, those claims turned out to be premature, as the PS3 is now catching up to the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, while an aggressive price cut ultimately allowed the 3DS to thrive. There’s still time to turn the Vita’s situation around, so long as Sony leaves Marcus out of the system’s holiday ad campaign.
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