John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

PlayStation Vita Sales Tank in Second Week

Sony’s new PlayStation Vita isn’t selling quite as well as it did when it first launched. Though the company reportedly sold 321,400 Vitas in the game console’s first two days of availability in Japan, demand appears to have tapered off drastically in its second week at market.

According to research outfit Media Create, which closely tracks the Japanese console gaming industry, Sony sold just 72,479 Vitas during the crucial shopping week before Christmas. That’s a massive decline in sales following the device’s debut — well over 75 percent.

In fact, at 72,479, the Vita actually sold fewer units that its predecessor, the PS3.

So what happened?

That’s not at all clear. Certainly, inventory issues could be to blame. The decline could also have something to do with early reports of problems with the device. While Sony was quick to refute such allegations — which ranged from laggy gameplay to freezes and crashes, it wasn’t able to stamp them out before reports echoing them appeared in the broader tech media.

Could such negative chatter have put this big a damper on holiday sales? Maybe. A more likely explanation, though, is the Vita’s high price, its underwhelming lineup of games at launch, and Nintendo’s decision to debut its wildly popular Monster Hunter game at the same time. Knit those three things together with reports of software glitches and you’ve got a pretty big wet blanket.

Either way, those hiccups will be well behind Sony when the PS Vita hits the U.S. and Canada on Feb. 22, with a pretty impressive lineup of launch titles.

(Media Create chart courtesy of Neograf)

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”