Impossible to predict Vita's success from Japanese launch, says Sony. We make a prediction anyway

Don't look too closely at the Japanese launch of PS Vita to second-guess how the handheld's launch will pan-out when its released next month in the US and UK. That's the message from PlayStation's European President and CEO, Jim Ryan.

"One of the things we have learnt over a long period of time, is that whether it is PSOne, PS2, PSP or PS3, it is dangerous to the point of impossible to take any experience from the Japanese market and try and extrapolate it, and propose upon what will happen in Europe or North America," Ryan told industry paper MCV.

Above: Do not pay attention to this

The comments follow many doom-and-gloom, but completely accurate, headlines in the gaming media that - since incredibly perky launch weekend sales - have painted a pretty gloomy picture of PS Vita's Japanese adventure so far. Like, for example, that when interest around the handheld should be at its most active, it's been outsold by 3DS and PSP.

So, in the run up to Vita's launch here on 22 February, the Sony boss is keen to shift attention away from what's happening in Japan:

"It is impossible to draw any meaningful conclusions of the Japanese launch in the context of what will happen in Europe. We are more focused on our stakeholder reaction, whether that is specialist press or the reaction from retail. The key task of allocating the supply that we have to the considerable demand, and just ensuring everything is in place for February 22nd."

But while Mr Ryan has asked if we would kindly not pay attention to Vita's launch performance in Japan as an indication of its release in Europe, I'm absolutely predicting right now that the UK launch will follow a similar pattern. The first few days will see 'robust' sales (not on the scale of Japan, but still in the region of 100k+), which will be followed by an almighty drop-off in the proceeding weeks. Although the drop-off would have to be calamitously drastic for Vita to be outsold by PSP.

That's my prediction. Anyone else want to have a go? It's just like guessing really. So tell us what your guess is for PS Vita's launch fortunes in the comments.

Oh, and don't forget to vote in our 'Are you going to get a PS Vita' poll. We want to know.


  • D0CCON - January 13, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    I can draw a relation: Japan buys Sony's stuff way more than any other country (in particular, look at PSP sales there compared to here). That says the Vita will do worse in Europe.
  • radiodeaf - January 13, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    why is the numbers so important on launch date? these are silly. how it sells during it's hopefully long life is really the info I want... what games make this the must have item ...even if they are later down the line.
  • ultimatepunchrod - January 13, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    People who shouldn't be surprised that a new handheld with a handful of games was outsold by less expensive systems with more games. I'm pretty sure the PS2 has outsold the PS3 at some point. Just saying. If the 3DS can make it, so can the PSV. Don't underestimate fanboys (myself included; I can't wait for this thing!)
  • ObliqueZombie - January 13, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    Meh, if I get a portable gaming device (not including Razer's Fiona... that thing is sick!), I'll have no excuse to read more. I value reading books like "Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan" than I do playing bit-sized games with hardly a story and no significant gameplay. I know the Vita is supposed to "revolutionize" portable games, but still, I'll save the AAA titles for at home. But hey, that's just me. It still looks cool, and I hope it doesn't bomb.
  • wedgie - January 13, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    ha. I am currently reading that book too (after replaying the previous two KOTOR games last month). About 50 pages left. Now if only my computer could play the Old Republic...
  • bigwill1221 - January 13, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    People will get vita when monster hunter comes out for it lol.
  • jasoncarter - January 13, 2012 7:41 a.m.

    It costs too much, enough said. Factor in the memory and its even more insane.
  • mothbanquet - January 13, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    Exactly this.
  • ultimatepunchrod - January 13, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    Memory is overpriced, but the unit itself is reasonable. Considering it does more than a first gen ipad (which cost upwards of $500), I'd say this is well worth the price. I wish memory was cheaper, but they're probably taking a hit on this thing so they charge stupidly expensive prices for memory to buffer that loss. The prices on everything will eventually drop.
  • Y2Ken - January 13, 2012 5:21 a.m.

    Loving the sly BioShock reference Mr. Cundy. ;D Still do really want one, think I probably will pick one up sooner or later. Probably not day one, but could be in the first couple of months.
  • rxb - January 13, 2012 5:08 a.m.

    Its not a great prediction but I think over here in the UK hardcore gamers have learnt if you hold out long enough you can get a decent price drop. Although it mostly applies to software the 3DS example shows how times are changing. 2nd prediction is Justin will buy one at lunch no matter what. Not really after a Vita but I think the eventual Metal Gear game on it could be epic.
  • Mezolitik - January 13, 2012 5:06 a.m.

    It was out-sold by the PSP?! It's too expensive, for what it is. The PS Vita is about £140 more expensive than the 3DS, in the UK. It's also £40 more expensive than the iPhone 4, another popular 'handheld'. You wouldn't get much change out of £300 for a 3G Vita.
  • wedgie - January 13, 2012 5:37 a.m.

    I am assuming that has something to do with the games currently available for the PSP and 3DS, like monster hunter, more than anything else. However, I also don't know but that's my guess. I would expect slow and steady, like most playstation products, throughout the rest of the world.
  • Joco84 - January 13, 2012 4:28 a.m.

    I predict it won't reach the same heights of Nintendo's 3DS and DS offerings I'm afraid. As much as I hope it takes off, I can't see that there's a market for it.

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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