Forbes: Sony In “Big Trouble” With PS Vita

Tero Kuittinen, Contributor over at Forbes, says Sony is in “big trouble” with the PlayStation Vita.

“The second week brought devastation,” says Kuittinen, citing recent Vita sales tracking that showed the machine shifted just 72,000 units.

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“When Nintendo launched its latest handheld, the sales of the 3DS declined from 370 K to 210K over the first two weeks. That drop-off led to a steep further sales erosion, which forced Nintendo to implement an unusually early and steep price cut.”

The price cut helped Nintendo considerably, alongside some key titles like Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 and Monster Hunter.  Kuittinen says sales of the 3DS “crushed” Vita.

He then says that Sony will likely “be forced to cut the price of PS Vita” very soon, and suggests the US launched could be a “true debacle”.  Reasons?  A high price ($250) – higher than the rather uncomparable Amazon Kindle Fire.

Game prices are also “delusional” and the article says that tablet and iPhone market penetration is much higher in America than Japan.

“PS Vita could mark the end of the era of portable game consoles,” he argues.  I’d argue it’s still far too early to say either way, but Sony do need to ensure they aren’t ignoring what has made the surge in mobile gaming so popular of late.

The Vita launches here on February 22nd, you can read what I think of it here.

Source: Forbes.

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46 Comments

  1. I wonder if he thinks that Apple are arrogant for how high they price the iPhone?

    • Probably not considering what the PS Vita sold in its opening week is what Apple call a weekday.

      Hopefully Sony realise pricing up portable software (i think the hardware price point is fine) at full price is not what the market demands and should differentiate what games appear on their platforms instead of doing what they did with the PSP and just give it PS2 ports.

    • is this the same Forbes that predicted the PS2 was going to flop? I’m surprised they have any credability left….

      http://www.forbes.com/2001/01/25/0125disaster.html

      I would go so far as saying any website trusting Forbes to be inpartial or knowledgeable is putting THEIR credability on the line too. it seems Forbes us a pro American mouthpiece and little else.

  2. But its priced too high in comparison to a bag of skittles.

  3. I think the big question is whether or not Sony will “revise” the pricing of the device, cards(again) and games before its Western release or risk a 3DS fiasco where they only have to drop the price a couple of months later and then reward early adopters.

    For what you’re getting the price is not “too high”. However, for the market they’re entering and up against the competition they have, yes, it’s too high and this could be an unmitigated disaster for Sony unless they out their thinking hats on now.

    The market has changed. Mobile gaming tastes have changed. I can ramble on about how (3)DS and PSP gaming is “better” than its smartphone counterpart but it makes no difference. I fully suspect there are some big meetings happening over the holidays over in Japan about what to do next.

    Unfortunately, I fear Sony will likely “do a Sony” and launch here and in the US anyway with the current pricing models. And the Vita will stumble in these regions too.

    • I still don’t understand paying for mobile games. They are no better or varied than the free to play flash games i was playing less than 10 years ago. There are two groups that can really sell the vita; cod players and trophy whores, not much mobile phone game market.

      There are plenty of people that buy cod and fifa every year and not much else. Now you can actually play a decent fifa and cod game on a handheld. Theres also a group that will play terminator salvation and Hannah Montana to get platinums. That’s were the vita can cash in.

      • I agree, but we’re in the minority. If they got COD and Fifa it might sell, but people will still want the home consoles versions because they’ll be better still. They can hardly sell a platform on the fact it’s easy to get platinums on can they? That would be hilarious marketing.

    • I really hate that, $250 or £250

      250.00 USD = 19,278.75 JPY
      250.00 GBP = 29,927.37 JPY
      250.00 GBP = 388.088 USD
      250.00 USD = 161.046 GBP

      It just goes to show that more money is made per unit in the UK.

      This is why it’s wrong (for me anyway)

      • that’s tripe. us price doesn’t include taxes. uk vat is 20%. there is also additional duty levied on goods manufacturered outside the EU. that’s another 8‰

        its 250US = 210 GBP

        its also more costly to sell in Europe with so many laws and languages to deal with, Sony will factor this into the cost too. not just Sony of course, everyone else too.

  4. Aren’t 3DS sales currently boosted by Monster Hunter?

    • Yes, but this is related to launch period
      3DS sold 370,000 in its 1st couple of days & the Vita sold 320,00 so there’s not much in it, but in the 3DS 1st full week sales only dropped off to 210,000 whereas the Vita dropped off to a 1/3rd of that just 72k (in the same week the 3DS assisted by Monster Hunter did 800,000)

      Think it needs looking at after a year and analysing this snapshot is pointless myself, a huge piece by Forbes based on ‘what ifs’ but this is exactly the ‘mistakes’ the PS3 made; was later out the blocks than its rival, was more expensive & garnered negative headlines after launch which possibly dulled sales for a year or so, or more probably until the pricedrop.

      The mobile gaming market is unrecognisable to the one the PSP launched in, the competitor isn’t just 1 other console manufacturer, instead it’s actually the whole change in attitude by the entire target demographic.
      For me Sony need to get on the PlayStation Suite ASAP, but I’m sure I got tweeted that dev kits were impossible to get hold of, so quite how they expect an eco-system to flourish is beyond me.

      • Rather than the 72,000 hardware sales they should have focused on the fact there were no Vita games in the top 20. If there are no games the Japanese want then they won’t buy the console.

        There wasn’t much to buy at the EU PSP launch but that didn’t stop it being the biggest console launch in UK history in 2005. The launch lineup for the Vita is far better than the PSP one.

      • Forbes are incompetent idiots that predicted the PS2 was going to be stillborn.

        Sixthaxis have injured their credability by reporting this “news”.

  5. this conversation needs to be had in 5 years time. Sony are the only console makers Whos products have the longest cycle life

    • are you called fattyUK because you’re a UK national?

  6. Ive said it before and I will say it again. Febuary will be when people can start saying “PSVita is doooooomed!1!!111!!!”. Its still very early days. Sales could have been better in Japan, but what if Vita is a massive hit in the EU & America?

    • it amazes me that people dont take into consideration the holidays. they launched during the holidays, even in japan its the holidays. first week is always going to be a good week. but week 2 right after everyone just got there new toys, 3ds’s etc etc etc would always be slow. i think wait for week 3 and 4 and the world wide numbers to start flowing.
      on the games them selves. i agree with many thoughts that full priced gaming is on its way out. even minis priced at £1.99 – £2.99 seem steep compared to its mobile conterparts. but you cant play a stunning version of uncharted on your i-phone, you cant play a sexy version of bioshock on you android. so i think vita will have a place. but may struggle at £39.99 for a game.
      little deiviants on play.com for £17.99 maybe worth a grab.

  7. Day one for me…

  8. @ tonycawley, yes Whys that anyways

  9. TBH it’s a vicious cycle, but given the increased survivability of the PSP you should be able to expect the same from the Vita. Fair enough PSP has had PSP 1000, PSP 3000, PSP Go BUT then only ever needed to advertise the PSP Go as a “newer” handheld. The DS only kept it’s sales in my mind because of the “re-deployment” of the DS over the years in the forms of DS, DSi, DSi XL. At the end of the day

  10. I presume the sales of the DS are over all models and not just one. So have a range of prices makes it easierfor the customer to choose.

    • No, 3DS… DS has got nothing to do with them AFAIK

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