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Sony's PS Vita Already Doomed? Devs Bailing Out?

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.

  • de5_Roy
    nice!
    this thing needs to be priced around $120-150 at launch.
    smartphones cost more, but they also do more. psv is aiming for a niche market without even knowing. sony shouldn't expect high sales numbers from it.
    Reply
  • t_wilson
    "He goes on to say that the comment was largely exaggerated"

    You're not denying it, so there must be some truth behind it. Where there is smoke...
    Reply
  • mauller07
    It would sell far better if the 3G version was also a fully functional phone, at its price it might aswell be a phone/portable console.
    Reply
  • stingstang
    Hold on hold on... There's something wrong here.
    "Sony said it remained hopeful due to the success of the Nintendo 3DS"
    AH! There it is...
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    I think the Vita will do fine when it comes to games, obviously Nintendo is going to be with the vast majority of games like it did when it was the DS vs PSP but the Vita is going to end up with notable exclusive games and a decent library to back it rather than a onslaught of games with good games but they mostly come from obvious franchises to expect while most of the rest will be nothing memorable.

    I advise just waiting about a year. Wait till the next holiday season when a bunch of new games will be coming out and there will already be a list of games that are known for their quality. This will also providing it's expensive accessories like the memory cards for less and likely get a bundle deal with the console itself.
    Reply
  • digitalzom-b
    They need to stop wasting time on these stupid hand-helds, especially Sony since they don't seem to sell well ever. With the path tablets and phones are taking, this type of device is hardly demanded. The marketing is off too, the name is just weird and isn't catchy.

    Wish they'd focus on the NG so PC games stop suffering.
    Reply
  • Netherscourge
    Vita should have been a smartphone/handheld on steroids.

    Sony missed the boat... AGAIN.
    Reply
  • waxdart
    mauller07It would sell far better if the 3G version was also a fully functional phone, at its price it might aswell be a phone/portable console.Totally. In the UK ( I guess in the US too) people are willing to sign up for two year contacts for a phone that also play games - Why not a console that also does calls. I play games more than I make calls and I can get bluetooth head sets so its not awkward to use as a phone. I'll not carry both and I need a phone.
    Reply
  • Vladislaus
    de5_roynice!this thing needs to be priced around $120-150 at launch. smartphones cost more, but they also do more. psv is aiming for a niche market without even knowing. sony shouldn't expect high sales numbers from it.Why should it be cheaper than a iPod Touch? Also the only thing that the PS Vita doesn't do that smartphones do is calling and texting. Does this account for the price difference? No.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    PS3 had a very slow start as well.
    Reply