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.