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PS Vita sales plummet to new weekly low in Japan

PS Vita sales plummet to new weekly low in Japan

April 11, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Sony's PS Vita continues to struggle to pick up traction in Japan, where hardware sales for the handheld fell to a new low last week -- almost all consoles suffered significant sales drops, too.

PS Vita's system sales slid to 8,931 last week, slipping into the four-digit range for the first time. It was stuck around the 10,000 mark for a month before a small boost lifted PS Vita sales to 12,105 last week, but the portable wasn't able to keep that upward momentum for long.

The handheld doesn't appear to be performing well in the U.S. either, where Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter predicts Vita sales to be around around 125,000 units in March, its second month on sale. Pachter described those numbers as "meaningfully below our expectations."

Nintendo 3DS hardware sales in Japan also dropped, coming down from 121,921 to 72,115. The portable had enjoyed particularly healthy sales after the release of special bundles for Super Mario 3D Land, Monster Hunter 3G, and Kingdom Hearts 3D in recent weeks.

PSP sales, though still higher than PS Vita's, sank from 18,356 to 14,804. In fact, all consoles reported fewer sales last week with the exception of Xbox 360, which grew from 1,317 to 3,764 as Kinect Star Wars shipped -- that game sold 6,010 copies.

Handheld games dominated Japan's software sales chart last week, and Namco Bandai's 2nd Super Robot Wars Z: Saisei-hen for PSP was at the top after debuting with 265,439 copies sold (a 40,000 drop from the initial sales of the last Super Robot Wars PSP game).

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, the second biggest seller, moved 42,231 units, an 80 percent drop-off from the previous week's 255,810. That's a significantly higher second-week drop-off than other recent portable games from Square Enix's Disney-themed series, which typically fall of by 60-67 percent.

PS Vita failed to put up a single game on Japan's top 20 software sales chart (tracks only retail sales, not digital copies sold on PSN), and with hardly any major releases slated for the coming weeks, it's unlikely the portable's sales will bounce back in the near future.

Full software and hardware sales charts for the April 2 to 8 period in Japan, provided by Media Create and translated by NeoGAF, are available here.

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