Sony: Without A "Pleasant Surprise," Vita Won't Beat PSP
The PlayStation Vita isn't off to the fastest starts.
Sony isn't blind to the problem, though, and they don't believe the new handheld will outsell its predecessor. The PSP managed to sell somewhere between 75 and 80 million units and...well, the Vita has a long way to go. We don't have official sales numbers, but analyst Michael Pachter said the new handheld moved only 4.2 million units in 2013. By the way, that's how many PS4s were sold in only six weeks.
PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara told Eurogamer (as cited by PlayStation LifeStyle) that they don't expect the Vita to beat out the PSP:
"Well, we don’t think the Vita’s going to sell as well as PSP, unless we get a very pleasant surprise, so the current assessment will be it has a strong existence and a strong reason for being, but the market it occupies is no longer as big as it was. It entered a wider and more complicated world, and we all know what has happened to portable gaming. It’s got bigger, but it’s permeated many devices. It’s still a superior device, and it offers a better screen experience, so it plays a role for the committed gamer. But also it’s also a very exciting accessory to PlayStation 4, so it has a very different role to other devices. But it may not be as huge as PSP, which sold 75, 80 million units across a number of years."
This doesn't mean Sony won't keep supporting the Vita, though. Gara said the company still believes "it has a role" and while that role "might not be enormous," it can still be a decent business. It's also important to remember that the PSP's best years came later; that unit had plenty of difficulty in the early goings, too.
Gara added something important concerning the Vita's quality-
"It may not be everybody who’s got one, but show me someone who has one and is disappointed. I’ve yet to meet that person."
Well, that's probably true. I've yet to meet a Vita owner who doesn't like the unit itself, although just about every single one of them hoped for more software. As for that, Gara said there are "more announcements in the pipeline." There better be.
1/31/2014 11:09:44 AM Ben Dutka