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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.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, psp, vita sales, sony

1/31/2014 11:09:44 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (16 posts)

Underdog15
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 11:42:59 AM
Reply

That's my beef too. My friend has it, and I've tried it. It really is a fantastic device. But I still have no reason to own one. Love my PSP... but even that took Crisis Core for me to commit.

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 1:42:55 PM

Yeah, I have two PSPs and what kept me going were the RPGs.

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telly
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 11:43:03 AM
Reply

It's a niche product at this point, no question. I do indeed like my handheld quite a bit, and while of course I'd rather their be more AAA exclusives, I think I figured out why the current level of releases doesn't bother me -- I just don't play handhelds enough to care. I have a 3DS, and that thing is positively LOADED with amazing, exclusive games and I play maybe one out of every ten released. Not because I'm not interested, but because there aren't nearly enough gaming hours in the day.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 12:10:39 PM
Reply

Not much big third party support is the trouble. Without big install base there's no reason to make a game for it. Nice machine but it will have to live as a peripheral. I'm happy with mine because I know the Japanese games will keep coming.

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kraygen
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 12:49:42 PM
Reply

Yeah I have a severe love/hate relationship with my vita. It is a fantastic device, but my psp would let me play my friends digital psp games, my vita won't.

One huge problem is that most games available on vita are available on ps3, I don't want to buy the same game twice and very few are cross buy. Almost no ps3 games are remote playable which is horrible.

The vita is another example of promises made and not delivered. It needs more cross buy, more remote play, and more exclusives.

A decent wireless plan with the ability to use netflix would be a huge improvement as well.

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telly
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 1:28:58 PM

I hate, hate, HATE that any game needs to be purchased twice. It's just nuts -- if I buy on one platform, it should play on both systems. Every time, no questions asked.

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Shauneepeak
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 1:28:37 PM
Reply

I really feel they just need to let themselves themselves take a loss and release a $500 PS4+Vita bundle in say 5 months or so.
I am not sure if Japan is just doing the whole no price adjustment for different regions thing and the £500 for the bundle in the UK is still going to be 500 in US dollars as well as Euros. Because right now $820 for a PS4 Vita bundle is not a very good deal.

A well priced bundle will make Sony take a small hit but it would be getting the Vita into the hands of a lot of people and they would really just need to advertise it as two game systems for the price of one(pointing at the X1) and plenty of people would probably buy it.

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Danny007
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 2:05:15 PM
Reply

Daxter 2.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 4:00:03 PM
Reply

If it is any consolation for them, the 3DS is also behind the DS (the original handheld that went toe-to-toe with the PSP).

These are different times. Mobile phones and tablets have taken away a good chunk of the casuals that used to buy handhelds for their gaming needs. At present, they just play on their iPhones or iPads or android devices.

So its highly unlikely that either the 3DS or Vita will ever sell as good as the DS or PSP did back in the days.

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 5:32:58 PM

The DS is the best selling gaming machine of all time so I'd expect the 3DS to be behind it, especially given the amount of time it's been on the market.

The 3DS is already over half way to matching the PSP in total units sold so I fail to see why you wouldn't expect it to beat it.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 9:12:46 PM

I meant to say that the 3DS and Vita aren't likely to beat the DS and PSP RESPECTIVELY.

That is, the 3DS is unlikely to sell better than the DS & the Vita is unlikely to beat the PSP in sales.

That's what I meant to say.

What a difference a word makes.

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LimitedVertigo
Saturday, February 01, 2014 @ 1:09:37 AM

That now makes a lot of sense. Sorry for the confusion :)

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, January 31, 2014 @ 5:03:18 PM
Reply

No complaints from me. Play both the vita and ps4 constantly. Love the indies and the few exclusives that it has.

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___________
Saturday, February 01, 2014 @ 2:18:32 AM
Reply

really?
and what made you think that?
seriously the vita was NEVER going to sell as well as the PSP had!

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greg238
Saturday, February 01, 2014 @ 10:38:07 PM
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I have nothing against the vita it js handle held gaming is js boring but it does look pretty sweet

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Breadlover
Sunday, February 02, 2014 @ 4:21:38 AM
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"Reehleeeeease THE KRRAAAAAKEN!!"

.. that's what I imagine Sony saying with a suprise release of Monster Hunter 4 on the Vita.
I can see it now.. Vita sales spike tenfold, Capcom's original projection of 2.8 million copies on the 3DS gets smashed leaving them thinking why the heck they even thought of abandoning Sony platforms, making every damn hunter in the world happy.


But... ain't gonna happen, I guess.

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