The first full week at retail for Sony’s brand new handheld, the PS Vita, may not be looking too good. The fully featured device, according to sales statistics from Japanese news site 4Gamer.net, the system placed fifth amongst all gaming hardware currently on the market during the last week.

Here are the sales results:

  • Nintendo 3DS: 482,200
  • PSP: 101,121
  • Wii: 91,176
  • PlayStation 3: 75,943
  • PS Vita: 72,479
  • DSi LL (XL in the States): 8,470
  • DSi: 5,894
  • Xbox 360: 4,245
  • DS Lite: 32

Given the PSP’s success in Japan, one would have assumed the PS Vita would have practically been a guaranteed homerun for Sony in their home nation. Instead, perhaps due to pricing or an unappealing software catalogue, the unit is stumbling.

The Nintendo 3DS, on the other hand, continues to perform exceptionally well. Now that the system has quality games to attract consumers, as well as a nice price point, maybe potential buyers see it as the better option.

From where I’m standing, aside from the point of pricing that I just raised, there’s really only one other viable reason for Japanese customers to hesitate when buying the PS Vita: Monster Hunter Tri G. The Nintendo 3DS has landed the exclusive, and that’s contributed to stellar sales for the portable. Sony‘s handhelds are typically home for the franchise. Japanese gamers may see the title’s absence from the launch lineup and elect to wait.

With that in mind, perhaps the PS Vita has a much stronger chance at retail on an international level when it launches on February 22nd, 2012. For gamers around the world, Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a reason to buy the device. For huge nerds like me, Touch My Katamari is another reason (no, really, it’s a system-seller for me). Given that type of perception, Sony still has a chance to dominate when it reaches foreign shores.

For now? Who knows what Sony’s going to need to do.

[via 4Gamer, NeoGAF]