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Sony: Can't Predict Anything From Vita Launch In Japan

How will the PlayStation Vita fare in North America and Europe? Well, don't look at the Japanese launch for the answer.

The reason is simply because the markets are so very different. Sony Europe boss Jim Ryan told MCV that it's "dangerous" to make predictions about a hardware launch in other regions when only using Japan as a measuring stick.

"One of the things we have learnt over a long period of time, is that whether it is PS1, PS2, PSP or PS3, it is dangerous to the point of impossible to take any experience from the Japanese market and try and extrapolate it, and propose upon what will happen in Europe or North America.

Not withstanding the fact that it is just way too early to make any conclusions. The markets are now just so different, I actually think they are diverging to a greater extent than they were different in the past – if that’s even possible."

So he says he has no idea what's going to happen when the Vita releases in Europe, but he admits that it may not be the best region for Sony's new portable. Because although the PSP sold 75 million units worldwide (a definite success in the eyes of many), it only managed to sell a mere 4 million units in the UK. As for the Vita, Sony just announced that it had crossed the 500,000 sold mark in Japan, but sales have slipped significantly since the launch in mid-December.

Here's hoping the gamers respond when it releases here - and in Europe - on February 22. Hey, did anyone notice Europe gets more launch titles? 33 as compared to our 25. Just a note.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita sales, psp, psp2

1/12/2012 10:02:37 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (16 posts)

Underdog15
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 10:16:34 AM
Reply

I don't feel like many people know about the VITA over here yet. We know, because we visit gaming websites. But I bet most casual gaming families I know haven't heard of it yet.

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 10:22:29 AM
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I think out of the gate, sales will be somewhat slow in NA. Not because it isn't an awesome machine, or lack of quality titles though. I think its kind of an awkward time to launch a new system. People are still kind of "regrouping", if you will, from their holiday spending. Yes there will be tax rebates available soon, but that doesn't equate to more spending.

It kind of falls somewhere between smartphones/tablet gaming and console gaming (because of its price). Hopefully it gains traction and momentum, though. I'm taking a wait and see approach mostly because I don't have $300+ to invest into a new gaming device right now.

Last edited by jimmyhandsome on 1/12/2012 10:23:06 AM

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bebestorm
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 10:39:18 AM
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I think sales will be ok in the u.s. and europe. Pro playstations fans will certainly get it day one. Japans response to vita has been interesting. I still believe vita is a horrible name they should of stuck with psp.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 11:13:13 AM

Deep down it's a really a PSP2.

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 10:49:25 AM
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I'm personally waiting because my PSP still has a couple games it hasn't played yet. I have Tactics Ogre on my shelf, which I will likely start as soon as I finish FFVI. And really, as long as PS1 classics keep coming out, my PSP will be plenty occupied.

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bebestorm
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 10:59:45 AM

Im waiting too. Ill get a vita when the jrpgs start releasing

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Highlander
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 11:30:21 AM

Vita will play those PS1 classics too, as well as all downloadable PSP games...

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FatherSun
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 1:02:28 PM

I have a library of games and movies on UMDs. I wish Sony would announce an option to get them all on the VITA versus on an individual ba$i$?. Hmmm.. That sounds like a nice PS-Plus incentive. I'm going to suggest it on the Blog.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 11:24:14 AM
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Unfortunately for me due to a new unforeseen financial burden placed upon me, I just had to cancel my paid pre-order & get my money back just to deal with this new bill.

But hopefully I got enough time in working my old job before I got laid off, to get some tax return money back, & at least big enough to get the Vita, plus a memory card & a few games.

If not, Saint's gonna be a real sad Panda for a while......

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Highlander
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 11:34:36 AM
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I think we're all reading too much into the Japan launch. The article makes mention of selling 75 million PSPs worldwide and only 4 million in the UK. Well, the UK is a fifth of the size of the US market. It's a similar fraction of the EU gaming market. So, I'm not entirely sure that 4 million in the Uk alone is all that bad.

Regarding the launch titles, unless I misread it, the Vita *is* region free for games, so if there is a launch game that is listed in EU but doesn't have a NA release date, you could always import...

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Temjin001
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 12:28:05 PM
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Yeah, I sometimes wonder if Japan's disaster issue last year had a negative economic impact on the games market. I think it may be hard to correlate their reception with other larger and more geographically diverse locales.

I do see some pretty negative publicity. I read earlier today an article that made a statement directly attacking Vita's price. The same article also speculated on the iPad3 and how the iPad's will eclipse console user bases soon. The irony is that the iPad is $500 with competitor models being offered for well less. So really, I think price is entirely subjagated by preceived public value. I suppose journalists just don't recognize all of Vita's capabilities as worthwhile or meaningful, condemning it to lower it's price.

Craziness.. and where are the games a part in all of this? Are games being pushed to the side as cheap shovelware while techno-gadgets take center stage of how people are spending their free time? Are people wanting to do Facebook more and play simple games and browse the net more than playing dedicated core gamer's games? It seems that way. It's sort of saddening for the hardcore gamers. It's like the sun has been setting for a generation of gamer as a new one is getting ushered in.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/12/2012 12:28:36 PM

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FatherSun
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 12:53:55 PM

I am sure the economic issues have affected the Japanese gaming market and also other parts of the world but people are still making purchases. Just not so many VITAs. Ultimately it is about the games. that is what is driving 3DS sales right now. That and of course the price drop.

The negative press isn't helping matters at all. Particularly in the US where television and internet drives much of the consumer mindset. Sony MUST respond with a strong marketing push. Microsoft level strong.

I-Devices/I-Tunes are now iconic so going up against them may be folly so Sony must focus on the VITA powerful gaming capabilities. they also need to make it absolutely clear to the world that the VITA can do most if not all of what an I-Device can do.

Last edited by FatherSun on 1/12/2012 12:55:17 PM

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Highlander
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 2:57:45 PM

Temjin, the same tech journalists having geekasms over the iPads and iPhones despite their steep prices are the ones condemning Vita. The trouble that Vita has is that it is a gaming device and there is still an incredibly stupid prejudice that says that a gaming device should be an inexpensive toy, not a fairly priced piece of technology.

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FatherSun
Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 12:43:42 PM
Reply

Sony strategically announced the Vita after the 3DS. A brilliant move. Nintendo has responded with key game releases specifically launched when the Vita released. Well played Ninty. Japan loves them some Mario and these games have definitely affected the Vita.

All I know is that the Japan Vita "Beta" test has worked out for me. I was going to import but waiting will allow Sony to work out all the launch kinks before it is in my hands.

Sony needed those Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest games for the Vita launch to soar. If and when those titles hit the Vita then we will see some numbers. Give it time.

In the US, marketing is KEY. SONY must let people know that the VITA exists and showcase everything it capable of. Combined with a TRUE console level gaming experience and I have no doubt the Vita can shine.

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Robochic
Friday, January 13, 2012 @ 2:16:05 PM
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I may have to wait i'm kinda in the same situation as biker financially. but I will get one.

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dkmrules
Saturday, September 08, 2012 @ 8:52:59 PM
Reply

Bahahahaha my idiot cousin just bought a new 360, even when I advised him to wait.

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