Despite the portable’s strong design and graphical prowess, it appears that the PlayStation Vita is staggering quite a bit in the early goings of its campaign at Japanese retail. Last week’s sales results coupled with recent news of unofficial price cuts performed by Japanese retailers suggests that something a bit fishy is going on in the land of the PS Vita.
Hardware sales results for the week of 12/26/11 through 1/1/12 in Japan have been released courtesy of 4Gamer.net.
Essentially, every piece of hardware saw a dip in sales for the sales week of 12/26/12 through 1/1/12. Of course, consider the time of year that period involves and you’ll see why. With the Christmas holiday over, reasons to purchase brand new gaming hardware disappear on a large scale.
At the risk of talking nothing but doom and gloom, when will it become time for Sony to think about ways to correct the PS Vita’s path? To say the system is failing right now would be wrong. Is it performing as well as Sony and their faithful had hoped? Definitely not. But the device is moving at an alright clip. However, it seems the writing is on the wall for this thing’s future … Sony needs to address the slumping sales before the dip gets too low.
Initial ideas from readers and casual analysts may focus on the notion of a price cut for the hardware. While I’m certainly not ruling that consideration out, I don’t see Sony looking to take massive losses on each device sold. Plus, the company has already stated that they’re happy with their system’s price point. Shuhei Yoshida, Senior VP of Product Development for Sony, spoke with Eurogamer about the price the of the PS Vita specifically back in August:
“We are totally happy with the price we put out. Personally, I was expecting Nintendo might move their price, but I wasn’t expecting them to move at this time. We didn’t price Vita relative to 3DS or those other devices. We plan the value we want to put in to the Vita and the price people would perceive the value would be. Nothing changed since the announcement. We are totally happy.”
I’d think Sony would sooner bundle their hardware with games and memory before they perform massive price cuts.
The key to winning Japan, finally, is software. If Sony lands one massive title, like a brand new Monster Hunter, the PS Vita will absolutely sell. Until then, the device’s future remains in question.