Analyst: Vita will sell well and cost Sony $65 per unit

Sony's PlayStation Vita will sell in the neighborhood of 2.5 million units before March 2012, says Kazuharu Miura, analyst for Japan's SMBC Nikko Securities. However, this respectable projection – not as high as, say, the DS' 5.3 million launch year, but not bad for a machine that won't even hit Western territories until early next year – is tempered by Miura's estimation that Sony will lose around 5,000 Yen ($US65) per unit sold. A less optimistic prediction still comes from Heavy Iron Studios' Matthew Seymour, who openly calls the system a “car wreck.”

Miura says the Vita can expect to sell closer to 8.5 million units in financial year 2012, its first full year at retail – saying that if his projection of 28 million units of software are shifted for that year as well, Sony's losses on the machine will be halved. He says these figures are highly contingent on Sony's ability to provide players with compelling software, which Ace Security's Hideki Yasuda warns will be harder than on previous machines. Yasuda says the Vita's higher graphical demands and unproven user base make developing for the system a higher-stakes gamble in the early days.

Seymour – who, along with Lyle Hall, heads the ex-THQ subsidiary Heavy Iron – is more blunt: “With all due respects to Sony and Vita, it's a car wreck.” You probably hadn't heard of Heavy Iron, whose games include UFC Trainer and Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, until the studio came out against the great hope of handheld gaming, but Hall and Seymour don't want to come across like they're dissing Sony just for the sake of it. Hall says the company would love to see the platform succeed – “The technology is sweet... but I just don't know there's a market out there anymore for the hardware” – but question the relevance of releasing game-only platforms in a decade increasingly dominated by the possibilities of mobile technology.

“If people aren't willing to pay $249 for a Nintendo 3DS, why would they pay $299 for Vita?” asks Hall. “People don't want to carry more than one thing in their pocket: that’s why Android and iPhone have done so well.” The comparison makes the 3DS' first holiday season – at the controversially reduced price – one to watch as a possible bellwether for Vita's performance, with Yasuda having recently voiced “major pressure” for Sony to match Nintendo's price cut with its own revised figures.

Aug 15, 2011




  • ultimatepunchrod - August 16, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    i hope it does as well as 8.5 million units. i kind of hate the "i dont want to carry around 2 things" argument when these are the same people who think the ipad is the future and thats a whole lot bigger than the vita or a 3DS. i dont think we can chalk the 3DS's launch stumble to that argument. i mean look at the article ON GAMESRADAR and you'll see a few good reasons why the 3DS has had some rocky beginnings. anyway i hope the 3DS and Vita succeed because we are never going to see something as cool as pokemon or something that has as much depth as dragon quest on smart phones. there will be clones of these or even ports of early FF games on them but there will never be a push for as much innovation as on early gaming handheld platforms.
  • InfinityPrimo - August 16, 2011 6:40 p.m.

    @ThatGuyFromTV - Obviously youare confused about the meaning of "invention" and "innovation". Quite simply, "Invention"-creating something new, "Innovation"-Trying something new. If you take these meanings and put them in the context of gaming companies then Nintendo is not the most "inventive" gaming company, but certainly the most "innovative" (probably). Also I think you're misusing the meanin of the phrase "nowhere close to". There is only 3 MAJOR console makers, so even if Nintendo was second or third they would be close (in context). So if Nintendo is not the most innovative, (Motion controls, analog, dual screen, 3D, MARIO GALAXY) then who is? Hey I have all systems buddy and til this day I still think, however crappy it is now, the Wii was actually the most innovative system to come out, cause it tried something new. (AND it caught on)
  • Anderstmnt - August 16, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    I personally think the Hardware will revolutionize the Handheld systems, they said the Hardware is almost near PS3 quality, then if that's the case we will finally be able to get as good a game as we do on consoles, imagine if we could get a almost identical port of a FPS game on a handheld & be able to play it online anywhere! imagine if we could get interconnection between the console version & the handheld version online! the controls & technology will be amazing, I WILL BUY THE VITA!
  • ThatGuyFromTV - August 16, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    @SparkleDevon Ninty is nowhere close to being the most innovative game company out there, but they take every innovation they do and polish it to a mirror sheen. Even their flops have more polish to them than many of the other companies' games.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - August 16, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    Well, they said the PS3 was losing Sony money at first, and the PS3's been doing alright since then, so the same thing could happen here... but then again, handhelds are pretty much solely Nintendo's territory and the PSP more or less proved that... but the 3DS has been a flop so far... I'm not going to make a prediction on this one, it could literally go either way.
  • TheKey - August 16, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    Doesn't your wallet count as something in your pocket? Anyway, what will sell the system is it's games, if units were sold simply on hardware, the 3DS wouldn't have had to drop the price this early.
  • UsernameLoser - August 16, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    3DS I mean.
  • UsernameLoser - August 16, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    I know how they can fix this: SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LET IT HAPPEN. It's just a handheld, the world won't end if it doesn't make it better than Vita.
  • Yeager1122 - August 16, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    I would buy a vita if the games for it are good and not just the console ps3 games i want some orginal games on it.
  • Robx - August 16, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    I really dont seem to get why so many people hates the psp, in my opinion it was great, but you had to know which games to buy... I've spent a lot of hours into that system, I can easily say some of those games offered far more content and gameplay hours than some of the console games we see nowadays...
  • SparkleDevon - August 16, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    @Nikku7 Exactly. That's why I love Nintendo, too. Because they're the most innovative and creative big gaming company. Also, I'm getting both, because they both seem like brilliant devices. I cannot wait play games like LittleBigPlanet and Uncharted, but I also can't wait to get Mario Kart 7, New Super Mario 3D Land, and a bunch more games.
  • flautist8807 - August 16, 2011 6:22 a.m.

    I carry more than one thing in my pocket. I usually have my phone and my zune. Sometimes I have a ds on top of that.
  • Not Snake - August 16, 2011 5:07 a.m.

    I hope the Vita works out. I loved my PSP, and I still do. If the Vita is at a decent price (don't ask what that means, I don't know. Let's see the games first) and (again) the games are good, I could see me getting one.
  • Nikku7 - August 16, 2011 4:38 a.m.

    I like Sony, and especially love some of their exclusives like uncharted and the Ico series, but I also have always loved Nintendo. I don't want the vita or the 3ds to fail. I really wish they could both survive on the market. It just always makes me sick to see people hating on Nintendo all the time. They aren't a perfect company, but neither is Sony and Sony has all forms of entertainment to sell besides video games. Nintendo was always great for being the underdog, and their innovation and creativity has always been their main focus, which is why I love their games. I just really hate that people want to down them all the time when they try to do something new or come out with another game that's from the same old franchise without considering what the experience of it actually is. Everyone knows they made some missteps and yet every time something related comes up we have to be reminded of them. I'm just trying to say I'm just fine being a fan of both companies. You don't have to hate me because of that.
  • Gex4212 - August 16, 2011 4:29 a.m.

    @Baron164 You sir are what they call a casual player. One's who throw money at games that are fun for 5-10 minutes. If thats what you want then stick to the iphone and Android phones. I dont mind the long games because I travel a lot so these long games help me during the long train and plane rides. Phone games are terrible with the few good games. Most of the games are cheap but they are mostly terrible. The few that are good are just repetitive garbage that makes you play the same thing over and over
  • Baron164 - August 16, 2011 4:02 a.m.

    The main reason I'm not interested in the Vita is that most of the games they are showing are bigger games like Uncharted or Metal Gear. I'd rather play those games on my PS3 while sitting on my coach. When I'm out and about and actually playing a mobile game I'm happy to play some Angry Birds for 5 or 10 minutes or surf the net from my smartphone. I also refuse to pay for more than one wireless dataplan so that 3G Vita can jump off a cliff. I have a DS Lite that just collects dust and hasn't been used in a couple years now. I've thought about grabbing a PSP but it just doesn't have enough draw for me. And with 3DS games getting to be $40 and I'm expecting Vita games to be $40 or $50 I'm not going to drop the same amount of coin on portable games that I will on a console game. Maybe something with the Vita will change my mind when it comes out but from what I see Sony is taking the Vita in a direction which is the exact opposite of what I personally want from a mobile gaming platform. Yes phone games suck without real buttons but they only cast between $.99 and $5 on average, not $40.
  • Moondoggie1157 - August 16, 2011 3:54 a.m.

    Gayfor's right, BackwaterRifle... PS3 fanboys hate X360 fanboys, but EVERYONE hates Nintendo fanboys. You are the cyclists on the road of gaming consoles. I find it kind of mean to call the Vita "annoying", you two haven't even met. And if the Vita is successful (and I think it will be reasonably successful) Nintendo won't benefit, maybe if we are all lucky they will realize novelty isn't the essence of video games. Also, Wailord reeks of failure, even when Shiny. PORYGON-Z BITCH! BAM! Sony has my money as long as they bring on the great games for Vita, great launch titles? I'll be there, like a fat kid on cake.
  • mockraven - August 16, 2011 3:54 a.m.

    @ParagonT -- I had to LOL at your comment since it's essentially the exact opposite of mine. I still stand by what I say in my first comment, however, since I was forced to sit through a few business and marketing classes for my job and I picked up on a few things. Two guys who are part of the same dev team that made movie-tie-in games and a workout "trainer" for kinect (the only non-movie based game Heavy Iron published) really doesn't have much weight in what they say when all games developed by that group are essentially 5's and with good reason. Whether Vita has a chance to soar in the industry really depends on the marketing and getting a good launch line-up, as well as the hardware living up to advertised expectations. If Sony can avoid a dry spell of games during the system's early days, they'll do well. This is opinion, of course, but it's also an opinion based on what's already happened and general business sense.
  • GayforGilbert - August 16, 2011 3:42 a.m.

    @BackwaterRifle: You sound like a complete and utter Nintendo fanboy, and that is assuredly NOT a good thing.
  • BackwaterRifle - August 16, 2011 3:31 a.m.

    I bought my 3DS at the Price Drop, and right now I'm only using it for pokemon, but it's potential excites me, and I'm happy with my purchase. This PS Vita is kind of annoying, but if Vita is successful that can only Propel Nintendo to greater heights, as they will for the most part, always remain Kings of Handheld gaming.

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