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.
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