Does The Press Have A Negative Impact On Vita Sales?
I'm not talking about the editorials that criticize Sony's new portable; I'm simply referring to the news headlines that indicate the slipping PlayStation Vita sales in Japan.
We've had them. All sources have had them. It's news; the Vita started with a bang and then tailed off. But it occurs to me that when someone logs on to search for information concerning the handheld, they're going to stumble across a hundred different headlines that are - by default - negative. Their not op-eds; they're just negative due to the numbers.
And even those numbers can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. Some will say the majority of interested gamers bought the Vita on launch day, and those who plan to wait will do just that- wait. Therefore, the dwindling sales numbers after the initial launch in Japan seem normal. But put aside the content of all the articles for a moment. Don't the headlines by themselves have some effect on the consumer? As much as people claim to be independent shoppers, as often as people will say they "don't follow the crowds," it's often astonishing to see how many paying customers will purchase a product just because a lot of other people did.
So if others are evidently avoiding said product, there's a part of us that says we should avoid it, too. It's not really anyone's fault, as news sources have to do their job and report the news, for better or worse. But maybe it's inevitable; maybe these headlines are having a definite negative impact on sales, in that those who might be on the fence do the research, only to find a product that may or may not be doing well. Even ambiguity doesn't do it for the consumer. They need to see something pretty damn popular. Of course, the Vita bashing articles aren't helping, either, but this isn't about them. That's a whole other subject.
In short, the worse the Vita sells, the more headlines there will be that may influence a consumer's decision, not based on the product's merits, but its popularity. ...or is that too cynical? Nah, just realistic.
1/8/2012 9:57:16 PM Ben Dutka