Sales of the Sony PS Vita handheld in Japan started well. First week numbers were healthy. But since then, the figures have made depressing reading. However, the “next-gen” handheld has reached a new low.
According to NeoGAF, the Vita sold just 8,931 in the week of April 2-8. Not only is that less than 15 per cent of the 3DS’s sales for the same period (which was itself having a bad week), it’s also less than PSP sales. The 3DS shifted 72,115, and the PSP 14,804 during the week.
There is one glimmer of hope on the horizon for the Vita’s chances in Japan, though. Although not officially confirmed, Monster Hunter for Vita has been rumoured, and could significantly increase sales of the handheld. Why? The Japanese market is crazy for the series, and the 3DS version of the game caused a sales spike for Nintendo’s current handheld in late 2011.
Closer to home, sales have similarly failed to impress. Following its launch, the Vita only sold a quarter the number of devices that the original PSP managed back in 2005, according to Pocket Gamer. In February, Strategy Analytics forecast that the handheld would sell 12.4 million units total in 2012.
It’s altogether not a great time for Sony at present. It just announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs, and has forecast an annual loss of £4 billion. Sony CEO Kaz Hirai said that the job cuts are part of a company restructuring intended to make Sony profitable once more. Perhaps the question surrounding the PS4 game console is not when we’ll get it, but if we’ll see it at all.