The PS Vita is a solid piece of hardware, their is no doubting that. It has impressive specs, a gorgeous display, and even a half-decent lineup of games, despite only being around for a little time.
Yeah, there are a few places where we think Sony goofed up (the non-sliding form factor, the presence of proprietary expandable memory, the pricing), but still, all in all, it was a good device.
But there are a few questions which are going through everybodies mind, ever since its release.
Is PS Vita a Success? Is it beating the Nintendo 3ds in terms of sales? Is the PS Vita Worth Buying?
Getting answers to these questions has become even tougher, due to the fact that Sony is quite tight-lipped when it comes to revealing sales figures.
The last official report by Sony regarding sales was that as of February 28, 2012, Sony has sold 1.2 Million PS Vita Units. It has been 7 months since then, and there have been no major reveals about sales. Is Sony trying to hide something?
The above mentioned sales figures were touted to be pretty high by Sony, when they were released back in February. Similar figures by Nintendo were seen as a failure. But a lot of things have changed since then. Lets analyse more closely.
It has been around 7 months since the release of the PS Vita, and over a year for the Nintendo 3ds, and we are hearing about the success of the Nintendo 3ds all the time. The same cannot be said regarding the PS Vita.
Despite the initial sales of the PS Vita, there has been quite a slowdown in how many units Sony is managing to sell. Despite Sony itself refraining from telling how many PS Vita’s they are shipping, retailers are readily willing to tell that PS Vita is garnering much less public attention as compared to the Nintendo 3ds, and in some parts even less then the PSP.
The above notion may be projecting the image that the PS Vita is a dud, but we would like to emphasise, that the truth is not that clear.
The games which were featured in the PS Vita’s launch window were some of the best games to be listed in any console or handhelds launch window. But after the initial powerful launch lineup, new games were not added at the pace which they should have been added. This led to a decreased interest in the PS Vita over time.
Also, although we were hearing of many high profile names of games which would be released for the PS Vita, the games were not released at a pace at which they should have been released. Sony needed to strategically release games at a calculated interval so as to keep the launch momentum of the PS Vita going.
The Nintendo 3ds kept pushing the handheld, with many major updates, well-placed release of games (Super Mario 3d Land, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus etc.) A large price cut also brought the sales of the Nintendo 3ds up. This brings the PS Vita to its next hurdle. Its price.
The PS Vita is priced at $249 for the Wifi version, and this is comparable to the prices of the other major consoles present in the market, namely the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Yeah, we know that these are completely different beasts, but it does hit the human conscious that the PS Vita is priced at the same price point, at which you can purchase a full home console. The PS Vita needs a major price drop and needs to come in the range of the Nintendo 3ds, if it want to ship some more units. Sony is already taking losses on each unit sold, and it looks like these losses are not enough, if Sony wants to move more units into the consumer household.
This brings us back to the original question. Is PS Vita a success or a failure?
Well frankly, it is too early to make a declaration. Yeah, the PS Vita may not be the runaway success that it could have been, but it is far from an out and out failure. If Sony does some efforts to release some more quality games, and gives the consumer the much-wanted price cut, the sales graph of the PS Vita can dramatically increase.
It is not that there is not a market for portable console-styled gaming, its the fact that with the advent of tablet and smartphone gaming, at a much lower price (software-wise), people are beginning to want more reason to invest their money in a dedicated device.
As a ray of hope for the PS Vita, The PlayStation Vita saw a 157 per cent increase in sales week on week in Japan due to the release of Persona 4: The Golden. This showed, for the first time, that sales of the PS Vita surpassed that of the Nintendo 3ds. This goes to show that if quality games are released, then people are willing to shell out the money and purchase a electronic device, despite is price point (this is Apple’s trump card, as we all know)
The PS Vita is in its infancy now, and it will be wrong to make a judgement at this point, but at the end of the day, we are gamers, and we recommend that you pick up the PS Vita, and catch up on some of the good games it has to offer.