The Vita has had a tough 12 months. Originally released amidst a sea of high hopes, a lack of true AAA games and a high price tag for both the handheld itself and the proprietary memory cards it uses have had a serious affect on sales. Recently horror stories of the 3DS outselling its rival 16:1, and of even PlayStation 2 hardware sales outstripping those of the Vita have made for common reading. At last however it seems that the systems future is looking up, with much healthier sales figures starting to leak out of Japan.
A recent price drop in Japan has seen Vita sales firstly quadruple, and then reach a massive spoke which puts them on top for the week in terms of hardware sales for the first time ever. Gematsu translated the data, which shows that the Vita went from selling 11,000 units the week before the price drop, to 62,500 the following week. In comparison the XL version of the 3DS sold 50,000, but if put together with the normal 3DS model the combined sales were still 15,000 higher than that of the Vita. Still, this is a massive win for Sony, and if the increased sales can be maintained then it is good news for everyone as more exclusive games will surely follow. These hardware sales were also backed up by a strong software performance, with Phantasy Star Online 2 alone racking up over 60,000 sales.
Unfortunately the situation isn’t quite so rosy in the West, with Sony still stubbornly refusing to drop the price of the handheld in the US or Europe. Surely though if these figures are anything to go by it is only a matter of time? If Sony were to slash the Vita’s price by around 25%, or even include a sizable memory card (at least 16gb, preferably 32bg) with the standard price, then we could be seeing a renaissance for the Vita sooner rather than later. Come on Sony – its not too late!