The PlayStation Vita was always going to have its work cut out for it, if it was to make any real impact on a market that has shifted dramatically since the PSP days. A capable machine hamstrung by a high entry point, expensive accessories and an online store (not to mention the retail high street) where publishers continue to push the boundaries of what people are expected to pay for a mobile game.
That, and a lack of killer AAA software has lead to – especially in Japan – a certain amount of apathy towards it.
The latest figures from Media Create, a Japanese agency that tracks retail sales, point to less than 6,000 units shifted in the last week. That’s – as far as I know – the lowest it’s ever been. 5,806 to be exact, and in comparison, the 3DS, itself a machine that found getting started something much tougher than Nintendo might have hoped, moved 61,500 machines. More than ten times the amount that Sony did with the Vita.
And, with an tinge of irony, even the PSP is outselling the Vita, having sold 14,500 units in the same time period.
Two Vita games were in the top 20 software charts – The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki Evolution at #15, and a disappointing release for Capcom with Street Fighter X Tekken at #20, having sold just 5,400 copies in it’s first week.
Of course, new colours are hitting Japan soon, so perhaps people are just holding off for that, but a lack of top tier games on the horizon doesn’t bode well for a machine just about to hit its twelve month mark in December. If ever the Vita needed a booster it’s now, and as Monster Hunter continues to avoid the platform Sony desperately need a big name game announcement to ignite some interest before it’s too late.