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Despite difficulties, PlayStation Vita is nearly meeting Sony expectations
Despite difficulties, PlayStation Vita is nearly meeting Sony expectations
August 30, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

August 30, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

Judging from its low sales numbers and lagging third party support, it's easy to assume that Sony's PlayStation Vita is in trouble. The platform has yet to show signs of taking off, but Sony president Kaz Hirai says that despite its difficulties, the handheld is still more or less meeting company expectations.

"Worldwide, the Vita is pretty much along where we would expect it to be, maybe trending behind in certain territories," the executive told Reuters. He did not clarify exactly where Vita sales were falling behind.

Hirai likened the Vita's situation to the early days of the PlayStation 3, noting that while the console got off to a slow start, it eventually grew into a viable and financially successful platform.

"Back in 2006-2007 people were saying PlayStation 3 is not happening, it's dead, but today it's a great platform, contributes bottom line to us. You need to look back 5, 10 years for these platforms to tell whether they are successful," Hirai said.

Since its launch in Japan late last year, the PlayStation Vita has sold roughly 1 million units worldwide, with 400,000 of those sales coming from the company's most recent fiscal quarter.

For comparison, by roughly this same point in the Nintendo 3DS' lifespan, the handheld had sold more than 6 million units worldwide.

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Keith Thomson
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Hmm. I wonder how it compares to the PSP at the equivalent time in its life cycle, and when did the PSP get its first price drop from $250?

Robert Carter
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Honestly its a very powerful platform that I enjoy playing on. I love playing Rayman, and as a Metal Gear fan I like having MGS 2 & 3 available anywhere I go.

The reason I am having such a hard time advocating it is because of the potential they are failing to realize. Where are my PS1 and PS2 classics? Those should be available for download by now right? Where are my Playstation Plus benefits? If im paying monthly for cool stuff (and to be fair, they do deliver on the PS3), wouldnt you offer things for the Vita as well?

Mobile has a good chance to pick up some slack in terms of games, but really I would prefer the polished games of Xbox Arcade to the anything-goes Mobile. Higher standards would be nice so the marketplace isnt super crowded with low-quality clones.

The console is doing well to have sold a million units. No one in their right mind would have expected them to meet pace with Nintendo in the handheld market. I just cant help but feel like Sony is keeping itself from doing better though...

Paul Perry
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PS One classics were made available this week (8/28/2012). Although Sony Japan had over 100 titles on the PSN store, unfortunately Sony USA had 9 the first day, and then two days later added 26 more, possibly as a result of the out-rage by users.

The hardware is great, there are good games for it. The major problem seems to be mismanagement on the side of Sony on getting this out, and how they have handled upgrades. Also, most people feel pretty ripped off from Sony insisting on using proprietary memory cards which are extremely overpriced.

Duvelle Jones
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@Paul Perry

You know, I am questioning this sudden expectation to have the entire library available at day one. I get a reasonable number of game ( about maybe 30-50) at launch, but it would seem that there is this prevailing thought to have everything at once.

It make you wonder about the gaming consumer, if that is the case.

Joe Zachery
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It's amazing how the media allows them to get away with this. The environment in which the Vita is in today compared to the PS3 then are not even close. People need to ask them some real and honest questions. What are you going to do to improve Vita sales. Why didn't you go into panic mode like Nintendo and do a much needed price. If you can't compete against Nintendo, and the IOS market now. How do you feel you will be able to do so later. At this current rate I say the Vita will be done by next years E3.

Freek Hoekstra
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I think the vita itself is a great handheld the only problem is that phones have really attacked this amrket hard. if the vita would be able to call I would've probably bought it, but I am not interested in carrying a phone and a Vita (and possibly pay a second 3G subscription)

however I love the controls, (finally a second stick) and the rear touchpad is a nice addition.
the visuals look great and as I don;t like 3D anyway I much prefer it over the 3DS.

even some interesting titles have been released, the vita however won;t be able to lean on it's graphical prowess as phones will catch up in a matter of months, it are the controls and types of games that must drive this platform (as with the 3DS) and i think they will both have a hard time staying very succesfull longterm.

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Jeremy Reaban
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Well, honestly, I think Sony probably isn't losing money on the Vita, since it's basically just standard mobile hardware, and they haven't exactly invested a lot of money developing games for it (indeed, shutting down companies as soon as they've shipped Vita games).

So I think they can just let it sit, unlike the PS3 where they invested a lot of money in the Cell, as well as selling them at a loss so as to increase Blu-Ray market share.

Jeremy Reaban
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He might say that, but Sony made predictions for PSP+Vita sales (something like 16 million this year). So unless they expected the PSP to do gangbusters (12 million this year), I think he's not being honest that they only expected to sell 2.2 million (and probably 3-4 million by the end).

Craig Page
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They really just need some good games for the Vita. I tried for a good 12 hours or so to get into Gravity Rush but had to stop, it's just not fun and should probably be rated M for mediocre.

Playing the old PSP God of War games on it is great though.

Kenan Alpay
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I personally loved Gravity Rush, even though it's kind of one-note game. It has really interesting, original mechanics, a great art style, and the atmosphere and music is pretty charming. I'm surprised you didn't finish it within those 12 hours though, it's not a very long game.