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Sony aims to rouse PS Vita's Japanese sales with Crystal White hardware
Sony aims to rouse PS Vita's Japanese sales with Crystal White hardware
May 8, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Looking to energize PS Vita's dwindling hardware sales in Japan, Sony has announced a new Crystal White edition of the portable that will release there next month.

PS Vita has struggled to push meaningful numbers in Japan, selling a fraction of the amount Nintendo 3DS is moving each week, and even trailing behind the seven-year-old PSP. In recent weeks, the handheld has hit record lows with its hardware sales.

Platform holders often seek to boost weak hardware sales by introducing a new color model -- Nintendo released a "Misty Pink" 3DS last year to attract more female consumers in Japan last October, and weekly sales shot up by 35 percent. PS Vita has so far only been available in black.

Many, however, blame the PS Vita's sluggish hardware sales on a drought of compelling software, not on a lack of color options -- few of the portable's games have appeared in the country's top software sales charts (at retail) in the months after its launch.

PS Vita isn't expected to receive any big-selling titles until mid-to-late June with Atlus' Persona 4: The Golden and Konami's Metal Gear Solid HD Edition. The Crystal White model will ship around the same time in Japan on June 28.

Sony hasn't revealed PS Vita sales for the U.S., where it launched in February, but at least one analyst has said it's likely selling "meaningfully below our expectations." The company hasn't announced plans to bring the Crystal White model to the West yet.

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William Johnson
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They just need a damn price drop.

Eric Geer
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And games...

Alan Rimkeit
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What they said end of story.

Shea Rutsatz
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Casimiro Barreto
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Consoles are meant to play games. No compeling games, no sales. Never mind color or other bs.

Vita suffers from a bad combination of TOC (total cost of ownership) plus lack of compelling games. New good games are necessary but also the total cost of ownership must be taken into acccount.

What TOC mean? Easy: now, you purchase a console and you cannot use it because you must purchase a dedicated memory card. Then you have the cost of the console plus the cost of the memory card. Then you must purchase the game and cost amounts to console plus memory card plus game. But wait, you have old PSP games. No joy, you'll have to repurchase these games and probably a new memory card to store them (unless you spent a sl of money to have a 16GB memory card...). And most titles will be downloadable only (at least it was said so) and you can forecast that besides games you'll have to purchase more memory cards. As memory cards are dedicated, until some Chinese manufacturer figures out how to flood the market of counterfeits, and as Sony is in need of cash, memory card prices won't go down soon.

Long talk made short: vita is seen as a really expensive way of playing games in a world in recession (and even stagnation). Sony will have to cut prices (or even launch a "Vita Slim" that accepts PSP memory sticks), enhance games portfolio and have a better police for people who already own PSP games.

Ujn Hunter
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Sony is probably just trying to sell their remaining PSP Vita stock by dyeing the cases another color, because otherwise this just makes them look clueless. Games sell systems not different colors.