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After All This Marketing, There Better Be Enough Vitas Available

While everyone wonders how well the PlayStation Vita will sell, I'm actually reminded of the last major PlayStation platform launch...are you?

Yes, the PlayStation 3 got off to a rocky start; only Resistance: Fall of Man seemed like a true next-gen title, the $600 price point was extremely prohibitive, Blu-Ray hadn't yet taken down HD-DVD, and the PlayStation Network was still in its infancy. And oh yes, there were no systems.

I distinctly remember it. Game stores nationwide were only getting a few; most GameStops and EBs I contacted were only getting about a dozen, which is downright ludicrous for a new hardware launch. Then, things got worse a few days before the anticipated release, when we learned those stores would only be getting half of the original tiny shipment. As expected, nasty stories of attacks and robberies dominated headlines late in 2006. The PS3 was nonexistent.

Now, Sony is dumping $50 million into marketing for the Vita, and they've got the biggest launch lineup for any Sony platform in history. Things should be set. But can you imagine if there weren't enough Vitas to go around? What if Sony suddenly faced a shortage issue? I mean, many are already skeptical but when it's not staring you in the face on the shelf, you're certainly less likely to buy the thing. Yes? Personally, I'm hoping this isn't a concern at all and anyone who wants a Vita can get one immediately. After reading our hands-on impressions, you might be tempted...

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita launch, vita sales, sony

2/15/2012 9:06:47 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (15 posts)

Geobaldi
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 9:49:36 PM
Reply

I've hardly seen any marketing for the Vita. But then again, I stopped watching tv years ago lol. All my tv program watching is done via DVD sets.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 9:54:24 PM

Me too, I haven't see a regular TV broadcast in at least 7 years since I had dumped my outrageous Comcast account.

Now I either buy used DVD & Bluray movies, or watch Netflex streaming(as a lot of the shows & seasons wind up on NF anyway).

Last edited by BikerSaint on 2/15/2012 9:55:29 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 5:42:55 AM

I use a PVR for all my TV watching so I always cue past the commercial breaks. :)

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 9:49:49 PM
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I remember all that (shudders), but this time all I know is that there had better be a G3 Vita bundle with my name on it, & in put in my hands at launch time.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 10:21:04 PM
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I wonder if they won't try to create a shortage for demand's sake.

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thj_1980
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 10:37:47 PM
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Nowadays, things are always in stock unless its a fire sale. I think times have since the days of 2000-2006 where things were more limited.

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Quincho
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 11:17:20 PM
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I remember looking like in a thousandth stores until my third day of search I found it on a Circuit City(RIP), it was 2 weeks after launch day... that was a very cool day :)

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Geobaldi
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 3:58:12 AM

Circuit City is still alive today, though it's internet sales only and owned by different people.

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___________
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 2:11:07 AM
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i was lucky with the ps3, my boss son worked for playstation at the time so he secured a launch unit for me.

im a bit worried about the vita though.
when i was at the EB expo last october i asked the PR guy why they did not have the vita on show floor like every US event did that year.
he said simply we dont have enough units, then he pulled the vita out and said see this?
this is the ONLY vita in the southern hemisphere!
then went to the TM event last week, asked the same question and got a similar answer basically they dont have many units ready yet.
explains why US and UK, even freaking Ireland have demo stations setup for the unit!
but we dont.

the fact that allot of accessories like the 32GB memory card not releasing outside the states is not exactly filling me with confidence either!
come on $ony, each game is minimum 2GBs so 16GBs is not enough!
they should of scrapped the 4GB card and made 8,16,32 and 64.

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SmokeyPSD
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 4:54:23 AM
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There was an actual issue with the bluray laser part at one point. Not enough components to supply demand. I don't know if there will be anything that specialized in the manufacture of the vita.

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Highlander
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 10:03:45 AM

That and the yields on the CellBE were terrible. Originally the PS3 should have had all 8 SPUs, but thanks to the yield issues they compromised on having only 7 active which increased the yield on the CPU production line considerably.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 8:10:45 AM
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A couple of thoughts.

The Vita did not come anywhere close to selling out in Japan so I have a tough time seeing it run into supply and demand issues here. If the Vita were going to sell out anywhere it would have been Japan where the handheld market is considerable and thriving. Plus, smartphone/tablet penetration is not nearly as big in Japan as it is in the West. There is no indication Sony is having any kind of trouble meeting demand. None.

As for all this marketing....I have yet to see anything other than the Taco Bell spots and that started awhile ago. I have seen that FFvs13-2 add with the 360 logo slapped at the end of it at least a half dozen times, however. Just an observation.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 2/16/2012 8:17:05 AM

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Highlander
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 10:02:31 AM
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I doubt that we will see the same kind of issue. The biggest problem with the PS3 was the BluRay drive. The production capacity for the blue laser's needed was really limited, and it was nigh on impossible to ramp up PS3 production to the kinds of number that would satisfy the initial demand. Not to mention that IBM was still binning the CellBEs based on the number of SPUs that were functional and giving Sony all the ones with 7 or 8 to maintain yields.

Besides which Sony were selling the units at a loss of more than $300 per unit sold. If they'd had double the number of units available and sold every one, that would have been double the loss. Think about it, if you sell 3.3 million units at that rate, that's a $1billion dollar hole in your pocket. In some ways, doesn't it benefit you to limit supply so that you limit the damage the loss leader does without extinguishing demand or the market for the device. That's a fine balance to achieve, and Sony did achieve it, but even so, what a cost it was.

The Vita is not nearly so damaging to Sony in terms of the cost of the initial units, and they don't have the same production issues that the PS3 had. Even though it's an extremely advanced device - how many other quad core, quad GPU devices with an OLED screen are there on the market? Even though it's so advances, the manufacturing is in much better shape thatn the production of the PS3 was at launch.

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coverton341
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 2:32:43 PM
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Well, I for one will be holding off picking one up for a bit. I definitely will be getting one of these, just not until I can play PS1 games on it. I know it's coming because everyone in yesterday's article was hot on it to let me know that it was going to happen, but since the unit won't play the PS1 titles at launch, I will exercise restraint.

At least that frees up one unit for someone else who wants it on launch day. See, I'm doing my part to help the community.

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Jotun
Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 7:31:09 PM
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Ubisoft, seriously shut up. Deus Ex: HR, Dishonored, Borderlands 2, Beyond once it comes out, All-Stars Battle Royale, The Last of Us, etc etc etc don't represent both recent and innovative titles? Journey, The Walking Dead or any number of other amazing downloadables that stand shoulders above their AAA counterparts, what about those?

This is just more crap spewing from their mouths. I particularly agree with nothing they've said over the past 2 years about the next generation. How about they get a more creative staff and higher better designers and stop blaming their problems on the long generation.

You can bet your butt that if consumers have to buy a new console every 3-4 years tons of us would drop off with gaming. I can't afford it now as it is and had to scale down from all 3 systems to 2. I don't think I'll even be able to afford two next gen, not to mention time constraints. I'd be beyond POed if they didn't all last as long as this or the PS2 generation.

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