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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