Things aren't going so well for Sony's latest handheld gaming system. But the question is if that's specifically related to the Vita or just a bad industry trend as a whole.
March was not a good month for the gaming industry. Sales of video games were down by around 25%, and even the hottest game on tap, Mass Effect 3, didn't manage to reach one million units on the most popular console.
And hardware sales were down across the board. There are many negative statistics to point to in the industry over the last several weeks, but the Vita one is perhaps the most disappointing.
So in the most recent week, only 8,931 Playstation Vita systems were sold in Japan. That's the smallest number since Sony launched the device in the region late last year.
In the US, it's expected that Vita sales will hit somewhere around 125,000 units. That is also exceedingly far below expectations.
Even more saddening is that in Japan's list of the 20 top-selling video game titles, there is not a single Vita game.
The problem with Sony right now is that it needs to prove that a dedicated handheld game system is still relevant in a world dominated by iPhones and tablets.
So far it isn't doing such a great job at that. The device launched with a fair amount of strong titles, but it hasn't kept that momentum going. It's facing the same problem Nintendo did when it launched the 3DS, but the 3DS is now selling quite well. Maybe the Vita will follow suit.
Mark Raby Based in New York City, Mark follows the consumer electronics industry like a hawk. A published book author, he has a particular affinity for 3D technology and video games, and as such will surely be in the market for a new pair of glasses soon. Mark can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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