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PS Vita sales falter even during Japan's Golden Week
PS Vita sales falter even during Japan's Golden Week
May 9, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

May 9, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

While almost all handhelds and consoles received a sales boost during Japan's Golden Week, the holiday season wasn't enough to raise hardware sales for Sony's struggling PS Vita.

Video game software and hardware sales typically pick up during Golden Week, as evidenced by Nintendo 3DS systems pushing 91,868 during the holiday period, compared to 74,282 in the previous week.

That wasn't the case for PS Vita, though, as its numbers actually dropped from 12,299 to 10,583 last week. With few software hits lately (no PS Vita games cracked Japan's top 20 software sales charts at retail) the portable has had trouble breaking out of a three-month-long slump.

PS Vita has few blockbusters slated for the immediate future, though the release of Konami's Metal Gear Solid HD Edition and a new Crystal White model will likely spur sales -- neither will ship in Japan until the end of June.

The seven-year-old PSP's sales also dropped slightly last week to 20,033 systems, but that's still nearly double PS Vita's numbers. And Wii even outsold the new Sony handheld for the first time in a while, moving 15,789 units

Wii had the help of last week's best-selling game, Mario Party 9, which nearly matched its debut week's numbers with 144,585 copies sold. Evergreen titles like Wii Sports Resort, Wii Party, and Mario Kart Wii were also popular Golden Week purchases.

Capcom's Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City for PlayStation 3, which was the top-selling game two weeks ago and the second best-selling last week, suffered a big 79 percent drop in week-over-week sales to 52,428 copies. But it still has one of the best debuts for a Resident Evil spin-off.

3DS games like Fire Emblem: Awakening, Super Mario Land 3D, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Monster Hunter 3G, and others all enjoyed a surge in sales during Golden Week, helping 3DS hardware outsell all other consoles combined.

Full software and hardware sales charts for the April 30 to May 6 period in Japan, provided by Media Create and translated on the NeoGAF forums, are available here.

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k s
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This does not bode well for the vita nor the playstation brand.

Justin Benoit
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It doesn't bode well but I wonder if Sony is willing to admit fault on this.

We're nearly 5 months in and so far they've done nothing but test the patience and loyalty of the fans.

Now that being said, we don't really know how it's doing over in America/Canada. I can only offer personal observation (from Canada):

Between 3 different towns of varying populations (from about 10,000 to 500,000), I have met exactly 0 people who own a Vita, and at least 50 people with a 3DS.

Joe Zachery
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The problem is they never will admit fault. When the PS3 was stumbling for 5 years. They kept saying we have a 10 year plan for it. They just swept the disaster that was the PSPGo under the rug. Playstation Move has been anything but successful, and now the Vita. Which at launch said they have plans for it to be a 10 year handheld. Sony was able to use that when the controlled the market aka PS1 and PS2 era. This is the handheld market which was only going to be a battle of existence. So it's try to survive, or get out the way. If anything Japan was going to be a safe haven of traditional handhelds. If you can't succeed there how are you going to succeed in the west. Where besides having to deal with the handheld leader Nintendo. You have to worry about all those phones, and tablets. If Sony wasn't the name that company would have closed down years ago. The ave no idea how to run their company.

Robert Boyd
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As far as Japan goes, Persona 4: The Golden is more likely to result in a boost in Vita sales than MGS HD. However, in both cases, we're talking about enhanced ports so I doubt either game will give a huge boost in system sales.

Andrew Chen
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Did MGS 3DS do particularly well? Just glancing at VGchartz (not the best source I know) the game seems to have garnered mediocre worldwide sales.

Casimiro Barreto
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As I told before, Vita has an umbearable total cost of ownership. Sony shoot their feet when they:

a) Created a mandatory very expensive special purpose memory card.
b) Asked users to rebuy their pre-owned PSP games (that was harsh).
c) Divulged that in the future most titles will be availabe only through download.

IMHO, they must launch a "slim" version that accepts traditional memory stick duo and that can be sold (with at the very least 16GBytes memory) at US$200.00

k s
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While those are good ideas sony has a history of not listening to good advice.

Andrew Chen
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That last bit does not seem feasible...add internal memory AND cut the price?
The main problem, as Miyamoto commented, is that the notion of value is not there with such flimsy software offerings.
Sony still has this upcoming E3 to show some incredible software support and I assume they are planning to focus on Vita since the PS Orbis is still more than a year out.
That aside, they do indeed have that price cut bullet but who knows if Sony has as quick a trigger finger as Nintendo?

Mike Griffin
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Unfortunate. The device itself is slick.
A new, lower cost 16GB SKU with a 3 full game (download) voucher might be timely.

Fiore Iantosca
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Seriously, who is working at Sony marketing. What current and potential customers are they listening to?

MANY people knew the Vita wouldn't do well, because of the many reasons listed above.

Nooh Ha
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Many of the complaints about PS Vita were levelled at PSP too - overpriced, inadequate software support, proprietary and expensive media, hardware and OS bugs, few exclusive games, oversized form factor, poor battery life etc. Many of these have never been corrected over PSP's life and yet Sony have sold over 70m PSPs globally to date and are still selling c. 300k units per month despite the platform's relatively ancient age.

Sony largely ignored the complaints then and it is tempting to suggest that are ignoring them now as PSP was considered a success...