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Vita sales ‘on the low end of expectations’ - Sony CEO

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has admitted that PS Vita sales are “on the low end of what we expected”.

Speaking to reporters at CES in Las Vegas this week, Hirai claimed that it can take 5-10 years before he can truly judge if a product has been successful or not.

“Long term is what is important,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

He pointed out that similar questions were asked about PS3 adoption early in its lifecycle, and that he now judges the home console to have been successful.

You don’t have to be an analyst to see that Vita is in a tough spot. Having launched in Japan in December 2011 and in North America and Europe in February 2012, worldwide Vita sales stood at 1.8 million units at the end of Sony's financial year which concluded March 31, 2012.

In the first quarter of the current business year ending March 31, 2013 Vita sold a further 400,000 units globally, less than half as many as the ageing PSP managed in the same three month period.

Since then, Sony has grouped together Vita and PSP sales in its quarterly financial results in what’s perceived in some circles to be a strategic move designed to circumvent public disclosure.

In November 2012 the company forecast a combined total of 10 million Vita and PSP sales during the current financial year, a figure downwardly revised from 16 million units just six months earlier.

Hirai has also reacted to this week’s announcement of Nvidia's Android-powered portable console, which is currently titled Project Shield.

"I wasn't as surprised as you might think," the former Sony Computer Entertainment president said, as reported by International Data Group. "If you look back through the pages of history, there have been other attempts [to enter the handheld gaming market].

"It's difficult to break into. I've managed this industry, so I know."

Pressed on whether it was a good time to attempt to enter the sector, Hirai added: "It's too early to tell."

Topics

PlayStation

10 comments

  • duelmonkey - January 9, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    I don't understand it when people cite a poor selection of games as a reason to not get a Vita. Gravity Rush, LittleBigPlanet, Zero Escape, Gravity Rush, are all great, not to mention Persona 4, sequels to Lumines and Super Stardust, an HD Metal Gear collection, a portable Uncharted and Rayman Origins... what do you people want, exactly?
  • MCBadong - January 9, 2013 3:49 a.m.

    I am an owner of a PS Vita too, and I must say, the Vita is like a flashlight in the hands of some 17th century people (or whatever century didn't have electricity yet). It has so much potential and use, but until the people who hold it know how to put it to proper use, it's not gonna be preferred over any lantern or candle (read:smartphones and tablets) that's already available.
  • TheDudeFromNowhere - January 9, 2013 1:52 a.m.

    Sony has to pour in some strong games in order for Vita to sell at a profitable rate. It has so much potential. A "Legend of Dragoon 2" or a new Patapon game, or a new Monster Hunter... for me, any of those would warrant a purchase.
  • awesomesauce - January 8, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    I think the problem is consumers are too afraid to buy a vita after being disappointed with the PSP and then almost tricked with the PSPgo.
  • ertywerty - January 8, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    I was thinking about getting a Vita then I ad the reviews for some of their games. and knowing Sony they'lle have a new portable system in a couple years anyways
  • Cyberninja - January 8, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    Sony has til October to turn Vita around after that it is dead, with no changes
  • ertywerty - January 8, 2013 9:01 p.m.

    Knowing Sony they will have alot of focus on big name games for Vita at E3 getting everybody hyped up about it then release a mediocre game ( black ops declassified, AC liberation) then when sales decrase again by December they will have some bundles with those mediocre games knowing people ill buy it, and still no bundled memory card which are overpriced
  • BookWormGamer - January 8, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    I love my new Vita that I got for Christmas, however I think it would greatly benefit if the price of the memory cards was decreased.
  • slimjim441 - January 8, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    I won't deny that the Vita is cool, but after being so utterly disappointed with my purchase of a PSP, I decided to hold off on the Vita. Seeing how things are going, I'm guessing we'll be seeing a price cut real soon. Then, I'll take another look at the Vita.
  • Robx - January 8, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    I really hope they step it up, I've been with my Vita for two months now and I still have a hard time facing that it is doing so poorly, being such a fine piece with loads of potential... I'm hoping they make a nice comeback with a great set of games.

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