Playstation Vita – PS sales for Sony’s new Vita handheld device are slowing down and it’s devastating to the company with 320k sold during its first week in Japan, down to a shocking 72k units for its second week.
It’s interesting to note that 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 the company to implement an unusually early and steep price cut. This cut combined with the launches of big franchises like Monster Hunter, Super Mario Land and Mario Kart turned the fortunes of the 3DS around in Japan.
The 3DS has now sold more than 4 Million units in Japan and in the past week it crushed Sony’s more advanced Vita by 484K vs. 72K in unit sales.
Sony will likely be forced to cut the price of its new Playstation portable. The upcoming US launch could be a true debacle for several reasons. The company has decided to price Vita at $250, higher than the Amazon Kindle Fire.
The hottest games like the latest Uncharted are priced at $50, while many other major titles are $40. The pricing seems delusional in light of the Japanese response to the Vita. The older PSP handheld console has been a bigger hit in Japan than it has been in the US market.
The tablet and iPhone market penetration rates in America are higher than in Japan — consumers may well be more reluctant to splurge on expensive, proprietary handheld consoles. The launch of the Kindle Fire at $200 has changed the US consumer electronics pricing environment and something the market has never seen. However, it does prove that consumers are willing to spend more if the company can offer more incentives, such as free software applications and games.
Sony has made mistakes already for its new Playstation handheld by pricing it high and releasing the Vita during the slow retail month of February 2012 in North America.