The Trials and Tribulations of the Vita
The release of the PS Vita has almost been the exact opposite of the story going on with the PS3 and PSy - or Orbit as it's now being called. The PSP (PlayStation Portable) is still going strong and there weren't many - if any - fans calling for a new Sony handheld.
Nevertheless, Sony went ahead with development and release of the PS Vita.
A Rocky Start
Of course, Japan got first crack at the Vita late last year and the numbers were not good. From what it looked like in those early days, nobody wanted the VIta. Sales dropped 78% in the second week of release and continued to drop in subsequent weeks. In fact, the PSP outsold the Vita in many of those early weeks. Other handhelds, like Nintendo's 3DS, outsold the Vita as well.
Was this a sign of things to come?
Of course, many naysayers immediately set about lambasting Sony, saying that this was sign that the company was out of touch and that the Vita's supposed "failure" was the death knell of the company. Others, perhaps more smartly said that we should just wait and see how things were going to go once the Vita hit the West in February 2012.
Vita Makes Landfall in the West
If you live in the West, you knew about the release of the Vita if you watched television at all. The marketing campaign for the Vita was effective and ever-present during peak hours on channels that met that precious demographic.
The Vita hitting the vital (no pun intended) American and European markets gave it the sales boost it needed. The last numbers that were put out by Sony state that 1.2 million Vita units have been sold worldwide and that over 2 million Vita games have been sold, including downloadable games.
These statistics are over a month old as of this writing, so expect the number to be a bit higher soon. Of course, Sony isn't always so forthcoming with such statistics when they aren't in their favor, so we'll see how that goes.
What About You? Got Vita
Many PSP owners flat out refuse to buy a Vita on usually one of two grounds: 1) the price is still way too high for their budgets, or 2) they can't hack the Vita (yet) like they do their PSPs, so they're waiting until someone figures out how to do so.
The price point is something that naturally comes down over time. People always complain about things being too expensive - no matter how high or low the price point is - but in time the price of the VIta will fall considerably. Expect a price drop this holiday season to boost sales.
The hacking thing is one thing I'll admit I don't get. I don't jailbreak things and I don't fuss with my consoles or handhelds. The hacking community, however, is one that is large enough that it got Sony's attention. So much so, in fact, that Sony put things in the Vita to counteract the things that the hacker community was doing with their PSPs. It's just an endless cycle of one-upsmanship that will continue forever until eternity, but worth noting.
What about you? Do you have a Vita? Why or why not?
It Will Be Fine...Probably
The Internet being what it is, it's no surprise that people are being alarmists when it comes to talking about the Vita - or all things Sony and video game related for that matter. People like to play Chicken Little and claim that the sky is falling at the drop of a hat, but rest assured that Sony has a handle on this thing.
When you take into account the current functionality that the Vita has with the PS3 and the announced support for the PlayStation 4, such as being able to play PlayStation 4 games directly from the Vita, things are starting to look up for the system.
Once the PlayStation 4 launches in Fall 2013, it will more than likely continue to drive sales of the Vita up in the United States due to this inter-connectivity.
Article by - Brett Huffman
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