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 think the price of the Vita is rather good if you take into account it’s spec in comparison to the latest smart phones.
    But I also think the software could be a bit cheaper.

  2. Sony have the same problem in Japan that they had with the ps3. They have released it when the older console is still selling really well. The psp has huge sales in Japan but its been dead in Europe and the US for a while. The launch list of games also caters more for the US and Europe than it does Japan.

    The price is in the same area as an ipod touch but not all the games are aimed at that market. People talk about 69p games but the big money makers are the free ones like smurf ville. I have friends at work who spend more than £10 a month on smurf berries. After a couple of months you’ll have spent more than most vita games cost but they never spent £20 or more on a game before iphone were around and they still won’t now.

    The vita and mobile games market have some cross over but are on the whole not the same market.

  3. They said the same thing about the PS3 after a week when it came out LOL;) & the PS3 is still going(& its BRILLIANT & better than the other 2 consoles out there, yes i said it because its what ‘i’ think)

  4. Well I agree here, Sony pricing a handheld at that price is a joke. I was really interested until I saw that, not anymore when I can get other portable devices that are just as good/fun to use on the go.

    Sony need to wake up a little.

    • 32GB ipod touch = £250
      16GB card + Vita = £270

      Its no more of a joke than the ipod pricing.

      • To the casual gaming guy/girl though (Plays when commuting, on the loo or just little amounts of time here and there.), the ipod touch has twice the memory for £20 less and the games are so much cheaper.

      • who says you need a 32gb version either? Games are cheaper than Sony too, more choice and more user friendly. I love Sony stuff, but their recent pricing is baffling to me.

      • the games are nothing close to what Vita will have.

  5. Apart from the 3DS I’m not sure what other cheaper options you’ll find. I’ve tried to find the most like to like comparisons (same storage space, as close to the same screen size and same input as possible).

    16GB iPhone 4S = £500
    16GB Galaxy Note = £600
    16GB iPad = £400
    16GB Sony Tablet S = £350
    16GB HTC Flyer 7inch Tablet = £325
    16GB card + Vita = £270
    16GB card + 3DS + 2nd circle pad = £170

    • Jimmy speaks the truth, and it’s why I’m prioritising Vita over a new phone.

  6. It’s all relative though isn’t it. In terms of power and graphics etc the Vita dominates 3DS and most smartphones. 3DS was massively overpriced for the power of the device which is little more than a DS with a £D screen and better visuals. But when in comparison to a Vita it’s like comparing a PS1 (3DS) to a PS3 (Vita) in terms of power but unfortunately the masses only see the £$ price. The core gamers will buy it day 1 (myself included) because we know in comparison it’s decent value.

    However I reall think Sony should include at least a 4gb memory card with the US/Euro release or a few people will be pissed when they buy Uncharted and a Vita and realise they need a Memory card.
    That I think is a major problem.

    Also game prices are on the whole to high. Uncharted especially is almost same as ps3 retail price but without the MP aspect.

    Oh and although 3DS did see a surge in sales after a price cut it wasn’t until the BIG Mario games and Monster Hunter arrived that 3DS sales went mental.

    Hopefully because Uncharted and the other Vita launch titles are more western flavoured it will do better in US/Europe. We’ll see in Feb :)

  7. I wouldn’t protest against a small price drop for the Vita before the EU launch, but the sales so far have been rather sad. It may well have something to do with memory-card prices. Sony should have included 8GB of internal memory in the Vita. Harddrives are part of what makes the PS3 so good, so you would think Sony would take that feature to the PSV, they even produce mobiles with internal memory, so they could just use the same memory they use in the phones and save som production cost. And yes, I know it’s a different Sony branch, but there must be some communication between them.

    • and while they’re at it (which they’re not), why not copy the mobile browser from the mobile devices over to the Vita? It can’t be too hard, can it?

  8. Game prices are also “delusional”

    he’s not wrong there! looks like i’m holding out for a price cut

  9. People’s opinions change with the wind. When the price was announced, everyone was saying what a bargain the Vita was. Now everyone’s saying it’s over-priced. Make your mind up!

    Personally, I think it’s a bargain and my pre-order has been in place for months. Games could perhaps be a little cheaper, but then they will be trying some flexible pricing schemes, so not everything is going to cost £40.

    I’ve got an Android phone which cost more than the Vita, and yes the games are cheap… but there are also very few actually worth playing, and even fewer which hold my attention for more than a few minutes. I have 5 games on my phone which I consider worth my time; even so, I play them rarely.

    I’d rather pay £40 for a game I’m going to play for weeks or months, than pay 69p daily for games I’m going to be bored of inside ten minutes.

  10. Well I think this guy is definitely delusional to be comparing this to some cheap tablet. I think that it is very likely that the PS Vita and 3DS will both have more niche audiences then before, but it’s not exactly a bad thing. Look what happened to the Wii when Nintendo decided to instead of advertise it in a dignified way and encourage more interest in creative games, pushed arguable cheaper games with many forgettable “celebrities”. I don’t want the 3DS and PS Vita to have mountains of shovel-ware made by incompetent developers and publishers, and that route isn’t profitable enough to justify such a marketing and production decision.

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