Is the PlayStation Vita handheld doomed already?
Over the last few months, we've watched the number of PlayStation Vita units sold in Japan diminish dramatically. It seemingly started out with a bang, selling 324,859 units in the first week. But then in the second week, the number of sold units took a steep nosedive with a meager 72,479 units. The numbers continued to fall, seeing 42,648 units in the third week and only 8,361 units in the fourth week. But at the same time, Sony said it remained hopeful due to the success of the Nintendo 3DS.
As if those numbers weren't bad enough, the news that the original PSP handheld is still outselling Sony's new portable is the cherry on top. What's more, Japan's Nikkei newspaper reports that Japanese developers are abandoning their Vita projects and choosing to develop for the Nintendo 3DS instead. The news reportedly stems from an anonymous source in the Japanese gaming industry.
"Major Japanese companies are canceling all projects intended for the Vita and are changing development to the 3DS," the source specifically said.
Naturally Sony retaliated, saying that the company sees "extremist quotes" like this one all the time. "I mean, obviously, there is no way anyone could stand in front of a camera and say that all developers are changing focus from one platform to another, no matter what it is," said Scott Rohde, Sony's senior vice president of Worldwide Studios.
He goes on to say that the comment was largely exaggerated, that he knew of numerous third party developers that are currently hammering out titles for the new handheld, and will keep on developing titles for the platform for the foreseeable future. He doesn't even think the comment is pointing to a possible trend.
"You can, whatever -- rewind two years ago," he said. "Every developer you knew was selling -- going towards -- I was going to say 'selling their soul', it almost came out -- to go build games for Zynga and the Facebook platform. And there's another time when you see everyone is going to do smaller iPad games, or iOS games in general. Then it was PS3, it was 360, it's Vita, it's 3DS. It's always, constantly changing. It's not something that concerns me whatsoever."
The PlayStation Vita launches here in the States next week, and already the software reviews are somewhat "meh." Uncharted reigns as the current king with scores ranging from 7.0 to 9.5. Wipeout 2048 also seems to be doing well, as does Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Hotshots Golf. Reality Fighters, Little Deviants, and ModNation Racers: Road Trip are receiving less favorable reviews thus far.