PS Vita sales fall sharply in Japan after second week

PlayStation Vita

Sales of the new Sony PS Vita have dropped sharply in its second week on sale in Japan, according to analyst company Media Create.

Its figures suggest the new hand-held console initially did very well, selling more than 325,000 units during its first week.

By week number two though those numbers had dropped to 72,000.

But Sony said it was "pleased with the success of the Japanese launch in which all pre-orders immediately sold out".

A spokesperson added: "That enthusiasm has continued since... and we are confident we will build on the momentum as we approach the European launch on February 22nd."

It's not the first time a new handheld console has suffered a sharp dip in sales in recent months.

Nintendo's 3DS was launched in the UK in March 2011.

But poor sales badly affected Nintendo's profits and the company made a £200 million loss in the April-June quarter of 2011.

That led to bosses dropping the price of the 3DS by 40%.

Speaking several months ago though Sony Corp. executive vice-President Kazuo Hirai denied any plans were in place for a similar price cut for the PS Vita.

"We packed so much into the device and made it very affordable," he said.

Smartphone gaming

"There is no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game business decided that they were going to lower their price."

Clearly Sony executives are confident UK gamers will be willing to pay the £229 price tag for the Wi-Fi-only PS Vita and £279 for the 3G-enabled version.

Games meanwhile will range in price from £24.99 to £44.99.

All of this comes amid growing competition in the handheld games market from smartphones and tablets PCs.

Popular apps such as Angry Birds have sold tens of million of copies and introduced video gaming to a previously untouched audience.

But a Sony spokesperson said the PS Vita offers gamers something completely different.

"Vita is a dedicated gaming device, offering a PS3 quality experience on the move.

"No other smartphone or tablet can offer this, or franchises like Uncharted, Killzone & LittleBigPlanet to name a few".

The PlayStation brand also has a huge track record of success.

The PS Vita's seven-year-old predecessor the PSP has sold more than 73 million units.

The PS3 console has sold more than 55 million.

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