Sony’s Kaz Harai Admits Vita Sales on “Low End” of Expectations

Published 2 years ago by

Vita Sales Low End Expectations

The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now but Sony Chief Executive Kaz Hirai is finally starting to admit that the PlayStation Vita isn’t selling as well as expected. Hirai, however, isn’t ready to write off Sony’s new handheld yet, and says that the long-term numbers will determine whether the Vita can be filed in the “failure” category.

For many Vita owners the initial honeymoon glow of owning the hottest new piece of tech has worn off, and now the lack of continuous, worthwhile content is beginning to turn that initial excitement into regret. Granted, the introduction of PlayStation Plus to the Vita has brought with it several high profile games (ostensibly for free), but even then those titles make up the majority of Sony’s worthwhile Vita library.

Nonetheless, Hirai seems to be undeterred by the slowing sales of the Vita, as he revealed during this week’s CES. Yes, as Hirai acknowledges, numbers are “on the low end of what was expected” but it’s “long term that’s important.”

So although the Vita might be struggling to justify new purchases with lackluster offerings like Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and Black Ops: Declassified, Sony is still holding out hope that they can weather the storm. How they plan to do that without some new and exciting content is anybody’s guess, but that could still happen.

On the other hand, Sony will have a tough time balancing their unveiling of the PS4 — or whatever their next-gen console is called — with some new titles for the Vita. That is, if they plan to reveal their next-gen console during E3 2013.

Last year’s event for example featured a few of those aforementioned Vita offerings, but ultimately favored the last gasps of the PS3 — games like God of War: Ascension and The Last of Us — rather than focusing on what could redeem the Vita. Bringing Call of Duty to the Vita is certainly a smart, albeit expected, move, but executing that game well was also an important part of the equation. And unfortunately execution did not meet expectation.

We do hope Sony has plans to boost the Vita’s appeal much in the same way Nintendo redeemed the 3DS, but we’re not holding our breath.

Do you think that the Vita will eventually be able to become a must-have handheld? What could turn Sony’s fortunes around?

Source: Wall Street Journal

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TAGS: PlayStation, Sony, Vita

  • Red

    Software is the problem. Not enough games. More please!

    • Varteras

      Exactly. Every time I think about buying one I realize that there aren’t really that many games for it. A lot of the good ones are really little more than portable versions of games I’ve already played. If Sony wants to increase Vita sales they’re going to have to not just simply build a better looking library of titles but make it bigger as well.

      • Red

        Exactly. They are trying to pull a Nintendo on this and use the PSP and PS1 games download libraries to push sales. If all I want is PSP and PS1 games, I’ll buy a cheap used PSP and cheap PSP memory. I paid for the Vita/AC3 Lib bundle and I’veo nly got three games so far; AC3:Lib (duh), Uncharted Golden Abyss (free with Plus), and Final Fantasy 4 complete. Only two Vita games.

        The Vita can handle PS2 graphics. Start pushing 3rd parties to release some of those games on Vita. A “GTA3 Collection” for Vita would push sales.

        Oh, and the memory. 32GB of Sandisk Ultra class 10 micro sd memory runs $30 on amazon. Sony is asking $108 after tax for Vita memory. NOT competative pricing. Keep that pricing up, and evenutally someone is going to find a way to pop open a Vita and switch the Vita memory adapter for a standard micro sd adapter. If you don’t think it’ll happen, think back to the micro sd to memory stick pro adapter they made for the PSP. People will find ways to avoid price gouging.

        • Jak Frost

          no one wants to make games for it because its not selling it a vicious circle sadly I have one and I love the thing

  • Conquering God

    Y’know, they could easily fix this problem by releasing, I dunno…: Final Fantasy X HD, Ciel No Surge, and Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus for starters. That right there would get at least a few more people on board with the Vita.

  • Erik

    I’m gonna go with lower the price

  • Samus

    I think it will pick up steam. It’s the best handheld on the market right now, and there people are always looking to see what SONY is doing with VITA. I just got one, and I was really happy with Gravity Rush. I’m excited about the new games that are going to be released, and I also am planning of downloading PSP and ps1 games :)

    • Varteras

      Best handheld based on functionality but unfortunately Sony seems content to sit on their hands and let the library for it get stagnant. It’s too pricey for most people to be nothing more than a portable nostalgia machine. Sony has had how long now to give us a big library of VITA games and instead we get, “it has a touch screen, two camera, motion-sensitivity, and a touch-pad…. but we’re just gonna focus on old PSP games that can’t really use any of this”.

  • RomeosTrueDude

    First off. It’s stupid expensive. The only difference between the PSP and this is the fact that you can use the touch screen and it has better graphics. But, just because you can make a game look pretty does not mean it will play pretty…or long. Second, the Vita does not have an agenda. It’s a waste.

    I love Sony and Nintendo and Microsoft. All have their bad points. But the nintendo 3DS has officially been sold more than the playstation 3 in Japan. One is due due to it’s agenda. It stays on it! And there have been TONS OF AMAZING GREAT GAMES TO FOAM AT THE MOUTH FROM-not to mention that there are STILL TONS MORE GAMES COMING! Just look at the line up so far:

    Resident Evil: Revelations. Seriously one of the best RE games! It goes back to it’s roots! It’s slow and amazingly gorgeous on the 3DS! (So much better than that AWFUL Resident Evil 6…or even 5).

    Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. The game that leads into KH 3. It is seriously one of the best Kingdom Hearts games. Almost every scene is voice acted! Hardly any text dialouge and the worlds are creative and fun! It’s a true proper KH game. (Birth By Sleep is still better-and that was on the psp).

    Legend of Zelda 3DS.

    Paper Mario Sticker Star

    New Super Mario 2.

    Super Mario Land 3D.

    Mario Kart 7.

    Then Pokemon X and Y which seems like it will be one of the BEST Pokemons out there.

    But as I said. The makers of these games REALLY DO use this device to the best of their ability! These are not knock offs! It’s actually great to use the 3D. It’s great to have so many fun things on the go or at home. It has that “console” feel. Despite being in the bathtub to risk the probability in getting electrocuted or on a bus or even in the kitchen. Seriously. What has the Vita done to “push” Sony? What marvelous feats has it proven to maintain it’s status? Nothing really. The Vita still seems like a PSP. It had no agenda. No “image” to follow with. No creativity. Just…nothing. You can truly tell that they games are not on their “A” game.

    The nintendo 3DS carries great music from it’s video games, hours of replayability from older classics to modern sequels (or originals). It feels like it has a purpose. These games do NOT feel “handheld” quality whatsoever. It feels like you are playing an actual game that has not been cast off to the side, like the Vita has.

    But I still think that the Wii U is in the same boat however with the Vita. Nothing to really difference itself from the Wii. Even with graphics that are still inferior to xbox or playstation despite the boost.

    • Rickkk

      wii u had just been release… i wouldn’t juudge its capabilities just yet…

  • Dark Justice X

    Well what do you expect? WHERE’s Legend of Dragoon 2? How about getting Square to put Final Fantasy Type-0 on it? Where are the JRPG’s? Shouldn’t those have been ready at LAUNCH? THAT’S why you NEVER ger a console until the GOOD GAMES come out.