As Sony gets further away from the PS Vita’s street launch in Japan and closer to its worldwide launch in late February of this year, the company must surely be watching the new handheld’s sales performance in their home nation.
While the PS Vita certainly isn’t bombing, this week’s stats indicate that the company’s newest handheld is once again behind three other system’s each with roughly half a decade’s worth of time at retail below their belts. Japanese consumers aren’t moving in on the PS Vita in droves, and Sony’s almost definitely taking heed to that fact.
Here are the full hardware rankings from 1/2/12 through 1/8/12, with last week’s sales figures in parentheses, courtesy of 4Gamer.net:
Nintendo 3DS – 240,819 (197,952)
PlayStation 3 – 74,459 (67,199)
PSP – 71,033 (62,746)
Wii – 49,525 (33,208)
PS Vita – 42,915 (42,648)
DSi LL – 3,971 (3,356)
DSi – 3,565 (2,418)
Xbox 360 – 2,738 (2,453)
PlayStation 2 – 1,323 (1,659)
The DS Lite, in case you didn’t already notice, was not included in this week’s report. Last week, Nintendo’s last generation handheld sold just 28 units in Japan.
Next to the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 2, the PS Vita saw the least change in sales between the week of 1/2-1/8 and the week previous. While it’s great that Sony’s new handheld didn’t slump even further, it’s worth noting that every other system on the list, except for the PlayStation 2, sold better than before. The PS Vita’s non-growth is a unique point in this chart of figures.
My theory concerning the system’s odd sales performance stems from the fact that the launch lineup isn’t particularly geared towards Japanese gamers. There’s no quint-essential, Japanese RPG title in the software catalogue yet. What’s keeping the Nintendo 3DS so high in the sales charts? The presence of a Monster Hunter game, of course. Monster Hunter has typically been found on the PlayStation Portable line. Not having Capcom’s massively successful Japanese RPG available in any form on their new handheld is clearly hurting Sony.
Once they release a must-have title like that for their portable, you can bet the PS Vita’s sales will skyrocket in Japan. Until then? Who knows…