Sony’s Q2 report suggests 10m PSP/vita combined sales by March.
Sony have published their Q2 financial report, and I guess as Vita fans the bit we are most interested in is the Vita sales. As of June 30th 2012 we had been told that worldwide we had seen 2.2 million units shifted since the launch and these latest figures are a little trickier to decipher as Sony have again seen fit to lumber the Vita and PSP sales together.
They have seen 1.6 million shifted in three months, versus 1.7 shifted in the same period last year, although that was just PSPs on their own. Sony have also reduced their sales projections for the Vita, stating that they now expect to reach 10m combined units by the end of the financial year in March.
But this is now the second time they have reduced the figures, after originally stating they expected 16m in May and 12m in August. Stripping through the figures is difficult, by VGCharts suggests worldwide Vita sales at this point of 3.04m sold.
Given that we are amidst a global recession, my question is simple. Why is this a bad thing? It is of course disappointing to find a platform struggling to make its mark, but it isn’t even a year old yet. It was only around this point in the life of the 3DS that it started taking off, having percievably “flopped” with sales of around 3.6m after a poor start and the global estimate for it is now 22m as it approaches its second birthday.
The 3DS is also struggling to measure up the the incomparable success of the original DS, which is on the brink of becoming the best selling system of all time. By the same point in that life cycle, the DS was around 50m units. Considering that the PSP has around half the total sales of the DS, and the Vita has around half the 3DS sales at the same point in its life, it would appear that reports of a demise may be a little premature.
When the DS and PSP were out, there were no mass market tablets, smart phones were not as widely available or as affordable as they are now, and people had more disposable income to lavish on whatever they fancied. With all of the competition that handheld gaming now has, it is still an achievement that that Vita has hit the sales figure it has, and we have Christmas around the corner. I have seen marketing taking a big improvement here in the UK, and hopefully this momentum will see them continue beyond christmas, as people still do not know enough about the Vita.
There are still elements of strategy that need to be worked on, and although we are told that many unannounced titles are in development, it might be helpful for some names to be dropped in to give something to those looking beyond 2012 releases to give buyers cause for optimism in early 2013. Sony also probably aren’t helping with the continued support for the PSP. Outside of big release weeks, the PSP is currently outselling the Vita in Japan, and has done for many weeks this year. Perhaps a decision needs to be made here.
We are right in the middle of a games release explosion, and titles such as Need for Speed: Most Wanted showcase exactly what can be done and that the Vita can handle multi-platform releases, and we have quite a few more games to look forward to between now and the end of the year to go with the great selection already available.
I stated before on PS Vita Forum that with the current momentum in sales that the Vita will probably be around 6-8 million sales by the end of the financial year, which will require at least double the number sold in 8 months in just 6. But if this happens, the Vita will be at about 8-12% of the lifetime PSP sales in around 10% of the time.
Which in the current climate is surely not a bad thing. And neither is a little optimism.