Maybe We Shouldn't Be Too Concerned About The Vita's Future
Sometimes, it takes a bit longer to make an obvious connection. My only excuse is that I've been a little overworked lately.
During my hands-on impressions of the PlayStation Vita, I concluded that we're looking at a unit that focuses almost exclusively on the software. It has plenty of great features that undoubtedly contribute to the overall portable experience but succinctly and simply- this is a device designed specifically for gamers.
Now, we learn that the new handheld has topped 1.2 million units sold worldwide. Basically, this means it has sold 600,000 in the US, Europe, and Australia in four days, as a little under 600k have been sold in Japan since the Vita launched on December 17, 2011. That's not bad. In fact, it's above Sony's internal expectations, and critics and new owners alike seem satisfied with the new hardware. But of course, there's one big question that begs to be answered.
After the Vita launched in Japan, sales dropped. Of course, the excited gamers, the first adopters, so-to-speak, sprang to stores within the first week and as a result, subsequent weeks showed a big drop-off. The same is sure to happen in other regions. It's just the nature of the business and really, this applies to most any new product; the avid, anticipatory consumers will have the product within the first few days, while the rest - those undecided - will wait. And they'll certainly wait longer than a week or two. So how will the Vita continue to sell well?
Well...duh. The games! That's the aforementioned disconnect to which I alluded; if the Vita is all about software, and gamers have already responded, the way to keep sales satisfactory is to keep pumping out the games. And oh yes, that's what the Vita does; that's where it excels. So perhaps this is the easiest solution to what initially appeared to be a highly complex issue; a gaming device prompts gamers everywhere to respond, and down the road, more games come and more gamers respond.
2/28/2012 9:04:06 PM Ben Dutka