PlayStation Vita is being royally trounced in Japan by the 3DS. We may well have known this for some time, but the latest figures from Media Create are particularly noteworthy because they come at a special time of year, known as 'Golden Week' in Japan. This is a week packed with consecutive national holidays and is traditionally very strong for gaming sales. Sure enough, this year all but two of the major platforms saw sales increases compared to the previous week. 3DS was one of them. You can guess which one was not. Yep, PS Vita. The other one? PSP.
Are we surprised? Of course not. Vita needs new, quality games and it needs them fast. Sure, we've recently seen the release of both Mortal Kombat and Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, but while they're both good, they're not system shifters like Super Mario 3D Land or Mario Kart 7.
Here's the full Japanese hardware sales chart (as reported by Andriasang) for April 30 through May 6. The previous week's sales are in brackets.
1. 3DS: 91,868 (74,282)
2. PS3: 23,478 (21,114)
3. PSP: 20,033 (22,457)
4. Wii: 15,789 (9,200)
5. PSV: 10,583 (12,299)
6. PS2: 1,611 (1,395)
7. X360: 1,420 (1,327)
8. DSi LL: 1,097 (895)
9. DSi: 814 (717)
All of the above tops off a week Sony would probably rather forget, as it released its annual financial report with the news that its PlayStation division alone had lost £1.8 billion over the past year. Some of that was due to the tsunami in Japan last year and flooding too, but there's still no denying that's a hefty figure whichever way you look at it.
Worse still, the financial report didn't even give exact Vita sales figures - possibly because the now-ancient PSP is outselling the new Sony handheld by approximately two to one in Japan, shifting 20,033 units compared to Vita's 10,583 (again, according to Media Create). If that's also happening in the rest of the world, we'd keep it quiet too.
All of this could be turned around, in Japan at least, with a Vita version of Monster Hunter (yes, it probably really is that simple), or a price cut. Or both. But something has to change and it has to change fast. There could be plenty of exciting titles revealed at E3, which is mere weeks away, so hopefully we'll look back on these dodgy early days with a chuckle in the not-too-distant future, just like we are with 3DS.
But right now, 3DS is a huge success in Japan. Vita is not. 3DS has 11 games in Japan's Top 20 all-formats software chart, yet there isn't a single Vita game in there. Even PSP has a game called 'Conception! Please give birth to my child' at number 9. Maybe releasing 'Conception: Please give life to my Vita' is the best way forward...