Sony PlayStation Germany’s boss, Uwe Bassendowski, has revealed that 2.2 million PlayStation Vitas have been sold worldwide (up until 31st June). Speaking to German gaming site Playfront he said the company made a mistake by not marketing the handheld console to younger gamers. The marketing error will be addressed and efforts refocused according to Mr Bassendowski.
Sony has been slow to publish figures for the sales of PS Vita machines. The last sales figure we got was 1.8 million sold, up until the end of Sony’s financial year on 31st March. So it seems the PS Vita sold 400,000 units during the whole of April, May and June.
PSP is currently twice as popular
Other data from Sony shows the PSP currently outsells the PS Vita globally by more than 2 to 1. For the three months of April, May and June there were 1 million PSPs sold compared to 400,000 PS Vitas. Talking to CVG about the ‘casual’ gaming market, PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan said “We still have a significant PSP business in many markets, which is something that tends to be forgotten. But I think a certain amount of that market has found its way onto smartphones and tablets.” Sony hope PlayStation mobile game will appeal to smartphone and tablet gamers looking for quality titles.
But no price drop on the cards
Sony Worldwide Studios boss, Shuhei Yoshida, has stated that the PlayStation Vita will not be dropping in price this year. He hoped new games bundles would help make the console seem like better value. “At a certain point in the future we would like to address the pricing issue for some of the people who are waiting. But this year we are trying to add value by creating different types of bundles.” said Mr Yoshida. He ended his Eurogamer interview by saying “The best way to realise the potential of the PS Vita platform is to provide the content. That's absolutely number one.” Recently revealed games for the Vita include Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation, Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified and Killzone: Mercenary. Also within the next month many PS One titles will be coming to the PS Vita “That includes lots of great RPGs that people were asking for on PS Vita” Mr Yoshida said.
PS Vita to work as a PS3 controller; Nintendo Wii U style
In an interesting development last week Sony said that new software would be released (28th August) for the Vita allowing it to be used as a PS3 controller. Sony calls this “cross control”. In Europe/USA some games will be sold as “cross buy” where if you buy the game on either the PS3 or Vita you get the complimentary title for free.
Overall the sales of PS Vita must be disappointingly low for Sony. Looking at figures for other handheld consoles past and present, as well as sales of Sony’s own PSP handheld, the Vita system looks in need of a boost. Figures on gaming news website MCV illustrate the paucity of the PS Vita 2.2 million sales figure; “At the same stage in its lifecycle, PSP had sold 5.05m units and the 3DS 6.68m. DS had shifted 6.65m units and the Game Boy Advance 9.58m.” We shall have to wait and see what the raft of new titles and marketing effort brings over the Christmas period. Also we will see if Sony can resist price cutting the handheld until 2013.