PS Vita sales drop ahead of global release, lower price needed?

By Gary Johnson - Dec 29, 2011

Earlier this month Japanese gamers saw the launch of the new PS Vita with early sales of the device showing promising signs. At the time we told you that the figures were below that of what was seen by the Nintendo 3DS when it was first released. Now since then PS Vita sales drop ahead of the global release, so is a lower price needed for the device?

During the busy Christmas week Sony only sold 72,479 PS Vita’s, and according to Gamasutra this is almost a 78% drop in sales. These lower sales figures can’t be put down to a lack of stock either as sales so far have reportedly reached 397,338, which is still below Sony’s initial shipment of 500,000 units.

As it will be once it launches around the world the device is available in two models, with the Wi-Fi only model costing Japanese consumers ¥24,980($320). While the more expensive version with 3G capability is priced at ¥29,980($385) with a monthly fee on top of that. It is obvious that any new product will have early sales from fans, but the high price could be putting off other people from purchasing a PS Vita.

Surprisingly the PS sales figures for that week of 72,479 were beaten not only by the 3DS, but also by the PSP as well. Sales of the soon to be replaced Nintendo Wii as well as the PlayStation 3 were also higher than the Vita.

When the 3DS was first released it enjoyed sales of 374,764 during its first week, and only saw a drop of lower than 45 percent in the second week despite costing around the same as the entry level PS Vita. Since the 3DS was given a price cut back in August it has outsold all other consoles ever since, and sold 482,200 units last week alone.

This now equates to over four million 3DS units being sold since release, and has been helped by the launch of some big titles in recent weeks. Meanwhile Japanese gamers made the PSP the second biggest selling console last week.

Earlier today we told you about some of the launch titles that the PS Vita will have in the US and UK as well as some prices, but it remains to be seen if the device will sell the amount of units that Sony are hoping for. Do you think the PS Vita is priced too high?

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  • i dont think the price is too high bcz the device just deserves that much and i would have wished to have many more special features on the device.

  • JR

    The price is good considering the Vita is a powerhouse but the fact is it is still too steep, especially when the competition is lower priced and a PS3 with a built in Bluray player costs less! I’m considering just waiting for the inevitable Vita slim & lite, but there’s no way i’d buy it at the current price. 

  • I don’t think the Vita needs a price cut. The Vita’s launch lineup in Japan was impressive, but that kind of lineup is more appealing to the western audiences than the Japanese. What the Vita really needs (in Japan) is a killer JRPG. I don’t find the sales drop to be alarming since Sony’s products are known to have a lot of longevity.

  • Damon Thomas

    Yes, I think the Vita is too expensive, considering the asking price for the system doesn’t include a memory card which is required to play most games (including Uncharted). Remember too that the 3DS scored two new Mario games over the Christmas period, and perhaps even bigger, a Monster Hunter title. In Japan, games don’t come much bigger than an entry in the Monster Hunter franchise, so really, with the big price cut, it isn’t surprising that the 3DS is outselling everything else. If Sony can’t convince Capcom to publish a Monster Hunter game on the Vita, it’s troubles will almost certainly continue. Another big Japanese franchise, Dragon Quest, had its most recent release on the Nintendo DS, and has confirmed the next on Wii and Wii U I believe.  With all the pros going for the 3DS at the moment, I think Nintendo really responded perfectly to the criticism it faced for much of 2011. Good luck Sony, you’ll need it.

    • Robb_0909

      As a consumer, I always want the price to be lower but the vita is a beast of a machine so I actually think the price is very good for what you get. The memory cards on the other hand are crazy and the system should at least come the the 4GB card. I have this preordered and I want it to do well but these numbers are very low for second week of sales and the week before Christmas.