Sony saw disappointing Vita sales in Japan after the initial rush prior to the holiday season. At first debut, the Vita sold hundreds of thousands of units. Now, Vita sales in Japan are beneath those of the PSP. In short, consumers aren’t sold on the Vita, and this isn’t a good thing for Sony (a company that was really banking on the Vita to take off). Incidentally, Sony hasn’t had strong sales in the Walkman music department either, and both of these slumping product sales don’t spell success for the company. So, one has to ask, what’s wrong with the Vita?
The handheld console itself includes everything that a gamer could want, it’s more attractive than the 3DS, and it did sell well out of the gate. Why all the poor sales? Vita sales could be dropping for a number of reasons, but one reason in particular stands out, and that reason has very little to do with handheld consoles or any kind of console, really.
The Mobile Gaming Market
It’s no secret that mobile gaming is huge. Certain console games still have a lot of pull with serious gamers (Resident Evil, for example), but most casual gamers have turned to smartphone games in lieu of handheld consoles (or consoles in general, really). In this reviewer’s opinion, there might not be anything wrong with the Vita itself. Instead, the problem might be the competition that the Vita is facing in the current market.
Games like Angry Birds and other popular titles have taken over the gaming world. Further, those people who once sat in front of consoles for long periods of time are now sitting in front of smartphones. In short, the game has changed. The question now is: will companies like Sony get behind the smartphone movement or will they keep trying to put out handheld consoles and console games?
The other, more obvious, possibility is that the Vita doesn’t come with too many games. This was Nintendo’s downfall with the 3DS (and still is to an extent), and Sony seems to be following suit. Games for the Vita are lacking, and consumers simply don’t want to buy a handheld console that doesn’t come with a lot of games, logically. Sony is set to debut the Vita in North America on February 22nd, so you can look for that date if you want to check out with the Vita has to offer.
Keep in mind though that the North American Vita will probably come as a bundle, so you may want to hold out for bundle offers. As for answering the title question: what’s wrong with the Vita? The answer is really: not much. It is, seemingly, a matter of games and a game market that’s quickly moving away from handhelds and consoles to smartphones. Keeping an eye on the smartphone gaming market will be a fun thing to do over the next few months as companies like Sony and Nintendo are bound to start developing these types of games at a rapid pace.