PlayStation Vita Sales Fall Below 20k in Fourth Week

The Vita had company this week, though, as holiday sales cool off.

The holiday boom is now behind us. With it goes the monstrous sales and stock movement that become so commonplace for videogames. Unfortunately, the PlayStation Vita — despite a successful opening week — has seen its sales decline week after week since launch in Japan, even during the holidays. The trend has still not abated.

Andriasang, citing a report from Media Create, revealed that the PS Vita dropped to 18,361 units in sales. This is the fourth straight week that sales have dipped, down from 42,648 units the previous week. Andriasang also pointed out how the sales decline has looked over the past four weeks:

Vita’s sales progression since launch looks like this:

324,859 -> 72,479 -> 42,648 -> 18,361

It’s a worrying trend for the Vita, but at least it wasn’t alone this time. Almost every piece of hardware on the sales list suffered a (give or take a little) 50% drop from the previous week. Even the 3DS, whose record-setting weeks we’ve discussed before, saw its sales fall a pretty large amount; 100,668 units, down from 197,952. The full list is as follows:

Here’s the full hardware chart for 1/9 to 1/15, with last week’s sales in parentheses.

  • 1. 3DS: 100,668 (197,952)
  • 2. PS3: 30,332 (67,199)
  • 3. PSP: 22,538 (62,746)
  • 4. PSV: 18,361 (42,648)
  • 5. Wii: 14,179 (33,208)
  • 6. DSi LL: 1,515 (3,356)
  • 7. X360: 1,519 (2,453)
  • 8. DSi: 1,206 (2,418)
  • 9. PS2: 766 (1,659)

Sales trackers may have noticed that Media Create appears to have stopped tracking DS Lite. The system was reported last week with just 28 unit sales.

This is common in Japan for software launches. This one was for Monster Hunter the 3rd.

Even with the prices of many other systems falling, it’s still disconcerting to see Vita sales slide even further. It’s hard to point outright at the Vita being a failure though as it is only out in Japan and really doesn’t have a Japanese killer app in terms of software. Japan differs from the US in that, more often than not, software moves hardware. We’re very used to the reverse here, but across the Pacific it’s common to see spikes in hardware sales corresponding to game releases like Monster Hunter or Pokemon. And unfortunately, even with the solid launch lineup that it has, the Vita doesn’t have a game with large Japanese appeal.

We’re slightly over a month away from the PS Vita launching on North American shores, and then the real test for Vita begins. Can it attract gamers and get them to open their wallets, when many a talking head loves to say smartphones have surpassed the dedicated handheld? We shall see. I would imagine by E3 in June we’ll have a real picture of how the Vita is faring. I would not be surprised if a $50 price drop was in the Vita’s near future though, to put it underneath the price point of the PS3.

[source: Andriasang]

[Monster Hunter line image source: Famitsu]

Robert Hill-Williams
Robert Hill-Williams
Robert Hill-Williams

MASH Veteran

The only things Rob has been doing longer than gaming are breathing, sleeping, eating, and reading. RPGs were what made him view games as an experience instead of a distraction, but these days he likes and plays every genre gaming has to offer. Outside of his usual reviews and articles on MTB, you can find Rob on the weekly Mashcast and frequenting Twitter.

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