Sony’s Vita Has Been A Dismal Commercial Failure – But Why?

The PlayStation Vita may be a great portable gaming device, but when it comes to sales the handheld wonder has been a tragic flop. Mark Butler explores the reasons behind the disappointing commercial performance of Sony’s impressive platform.

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Mad_Mack2188d ago

On trying to get non-Sony players involved, they have utterly failed. They are billing the attractiveness of the Vita on spin off exclusive games from the PS3 franchises like Uncharted and Killzone, but as someone who has never owned a Sony console, these just do not interest me. I am sure they are good, but for me they just dont make a compelling case for me to buy a Vita over a DS.

shodan742188d ago

I definitely think that's been part of the problem. Very few Xbox360 players and PC gamers that I now ended up getting a Vita. The initial third party line-up wasn't really strong enough to entice them - and the kind of Sony exclusives on offer, while good games, were spinoffs from series they actually weren't that interested in.

Yi-Long2188d ago

... and maybe most gamers will already have consoles at home, with different but superior versions of Uncharted and Killzone for them.

I think a handheld should have a good combination of games specifically designed for the device, as well as 'ports'. Perhaps right now that's still kind of missing!?

Also, I'm guessing many gamers now have phones that can play games, so why spend 20-30 bucks on a PSV game when they can buy simular games for iOS or Android for a couple of dollars!?

Septic2188d ago

Surely calling it a dismal failure is a bit much?

I still remain optimistic for the handheld; it feels like early days but if Sony don't get their backsides in gear, we will have a repeat of the PSP.

Its a shame though, because there is so much potential for the VITA to be great.

RubyToTheMax2188d ago

@Septic - There's nothing shameful about the PSVita. The only shame goes to people who don't own one.

CommonSenseGamer2188d ago (Edited 2188d ago )


Really? Shame on people for not buying a Vita? Why a shame?

How about shame on Sony for the high price?
How about shame on Sony for not bundling a memory card sooner (not that a 4gb card is acceptable anyway)

Do you really think Sony will care about those who purchased a Vita if they drop the platform next year?

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Ju2188d ago

I am convinced Assasins Creed Liberation will be one of the top selling Vita games. We'll see how your theory will hold up then. If anything, in my opinion, it's simply the lack of those block buster games which is the reason this thing isn't selling. KZ Mercenaries is another hopeful.

telekineticmantis2188d ago

I was planning on getting either a WiiU, or Vita for Christmas, but after researching the games, I realize, since I have all the current gen consoles, there's really no reason to get either one.

The WiiU seems slightly more tempting, because of Nintendoland, but my friends never come to my house anyway.
The Vita has a bunch of spin offs PSN, and Japanese games, not only now, but in the near future. Not only that, but they haven't really created a game that takes advantage of the features particularly that rear touchscreen which no other console has, and would seperate it from everything else. I could think of a game that take's advantage of it, but obviously Sony can't.

I've looked at the current games and upcoming games and I'll most likely stick with my current consoles, with a slight slight chance of going for the WiiU.

Frankfurt2188d ago ShowReplies(1)
gaffyh2188d ago

Wow, you've NEVER owned a Sony console??? I feel sorry for you

Anon19742188d ago

I love how in Feb when analysts said the Vita would sell 12 million in FY2012 and generate 2 billion, this was generally viewed as a good thing but those numbers were conditional on the Vita receiving a price cut. No one had an issue with these numbers. After a slow year for everyone, Sony lowers their forecast for the PSP and Vita to 12 million, estimating 10 million Vita's sold by the end of their fiscal year with no price cut in sight and despite being happy with those figures it's viewed by these bloggers as a "commercial" failure. Really? You've seen the software numbers? You've seen the revenue generated by the Vita?

So even thought the Vita sales are considered adequate by analysts and Sony, even though it's generally considered a great value at $250 - they're really a failure and the Vita's doomed according to bloggers. And of course, if enough bloggers say the Vita is doomed, it's bound to be true, right? Just like the PSP.

Here's a fun exercise. The PSP has sold somewhat similarly to the GameBoy Advance. The PSP sits around 71-72 million after being on the market for 7 years, the GBA hit about 80 million in 8 years. Do a google search for "Why the PSP failed" and "Why the GameBoy Advance failed." Or try "Slow PSP sales" and "Slow Gameboy Advance sales"

Huh. Would you look at that. PSP is apparently an abject failure, but not a single article complaining about the failure of the GameBoy Advance. Considering how closely they were matched in sales, you'd think one person would have seen the GBA as selling poorly. I'm certainly not going to claim there's a media bias against Sony, or that Nintendo or Microsoft don't get their share of bad press, but you've got to admit, this is starting to resemble the boy who cried wolf, except instead of "wolf" it's bloggers and games sites crying "Doom" with most things Sony related.

RubyToTheMax2188d ago

Wow I learned a lot from your post. The video game industry is quite a ridiculous and odd atmosphere with folks who are wooed easily by whatever they read. It's good to know that there are some people still using their brains these days.

shodan742188d ago

I would be astounded if the Vita ever reaches the kind of sales total that the PSP and the GBA have amassed. It's sitting at just over 2 million as of the end of June. By anyone's estimation, that's a huge commercial disappointment - especially when you consider the much greater comparative sales of the 3DS, and even the PSP, in the same amount of time.

This is one case where it really isn't the boy crying wolf. The Vita, sales-wise, has flopped. I really don't see how that's in dispute.

ritsuka6662188d ago (Edited 2188d ago )

I knew vita would be a flop second I heard about it.

You can vote me down all you want, but you know it's true.
It has no games, they are banking on old PSone classics to make it sell? really Sony??

Jason_Tanner2188d ago

Just go to a gamestop, best buy or borrow one from a friend (if they'll let you) and try one then. You'll be compelled.

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TongkatAli2188d ago

Memory card prices need to be cut. It has nothing to do with the games cause the Vita got them.

Ju2188d ago

Yes, and this too. First, it needs at least 16GB internal storage, and second there should be a 128GB option for about $50. This is an online platform; I don't like the games on cards. I usually prefer buying them online. Who wants to carry around crap with a mobile platform?

TongkatAli2188d ago

Sony should have put internal storage.

KrimsonKody2188d ago (Edited 2188d ago )

The new version of the Vita will have internal storage.
Which will also give Sony a reason to keep the price the same or charge more for different models carrying more or less storage.


jghvhv2188d ago

My only problem with my Vita is there isn't enough JRPG's.I have a load of PSP JRPGs on it(I just got Final Fantasy 3 yesterday)but some Vita ones with trophies would be cool.I still hope Square Enix upgrades FFType0 for Vita.A Vita Resident Evil,like the 3DS one would be cool too.

SoldierX2188d ago

Hardware is not next get, software is last gen

bubblebeam2188d ago

It is a handheld, and Uncharted GA looks very good.
The new AC on it looks amazing to.

I think the main problem is that it is at the same price point as the ps3. What would you prefer?

I love the VITA, and hope that it sells more. Lots of Sony products start of slow then sell rapidly. I also love the fact that the games on it are significantly cheaper than on home consoles.

Grenade2188d ago

@ SoldierX
The article is about the Vita, not the 3DS.

RubyToTheMax2188d ago

First of all, nice one Grenade.

Second of all... People don't realize how supremely magnificent the PSVita hardware is. Never to this day would I have dreamed to play PS1/PS2/PS3 quality games on a FREAKING HANDHELD! Even if you don't own one, you have to atleast praise the Sony PSV development team and engineers to manufacturing an incredible device that's capable of infinity and beyond.

Never will you see a handheld device, whether it be your 3DS or phone capable of running a game like Wipeout 2048, Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, or LBP Vita, and having console graphics and button inputs that would truly make an all round gaming console experience. The PSVita does it all, and time will punch the people in the face for not being early adopters.

And don't give me the 'no game' argument. There are tons of superb games out now and to be released in the near future for the PSVita. I for one am bombarded with so many games and so little time to play them!

Knushwood Butt2188d ago

I've sunk a ton of time into MGS2 and am not even close to being done yet.

Games I own but have not touched:

Gravity Daze (only played a bit)
Unit 13 (same as above)

Games I want but have no time to play:
LBP Vita
Escape Plan
Sound Shapes

Games I have pre-ordered but have no time to play:
Assassin's Creed III Liberation

Acquiesc32188d ago (Edited 2188d ago )

I'm getting one within the next couple of months. It should pick up in the holidays and as more (big) games come out for it not to mention a price cut which even 3DS needed a huge one. PS3 and psp (I think) had relatively rocky starts too - Vita should be fine.

Neonridr2188d ago

yeah, 2.5 million sales in over 3/4 of a year since launching.. That's not a rocky start, that's a disaster for any dev looking to bring their games over to the system. With an install base of 10% of the 3DS, why would a developer not want to put their game on the 3DS where they could get 10X the amount of sales potentially?

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