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Sales of the PlayStation Vita portable gaming device in Japan have dropped sharply in its second week on the market, according to sales data from Media Create (translated by NeoGAF).
The PS Vita sold an estimated 72,479 units Christmas week, compared to 324,859 units sold in the previous week. That’s a drop of nearly 78 percent. The Vita was outsold by older portable devices like its predecessor, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), and the Nintendo 3DS, which has now sold over 4 million units since its debut last year.
While these figures are certainly disappointing for Sony, they may also confirm what analysts have been predicting for some time – that the portable gaming market is shrinking thanks to the rise of tablets and smartphones. “There will always be a large and significant market for dedicated portable gaming, but we do believe it is a shrinking category that will eventually plateau to a sustainable market size for at least two competitors,” EEDAR Vice President of Capital Research and Communications Jesse Divnich recently told VentureBeat.
The PS Vita’s lackluster second week sales could also possibly be attributed to its price. The Wi-Fi model costs 24,980 Yen ($320), while the 3G/Wi-Fi model costs 29,980 Yen ($385). When the Vita hits store shelves in the U.S. on February 22, it will cost $249 and $299 respectively. Sony has been under pressure to cut its price since rival Nintendo cut the price of the 3DS to as low as $169 back in August, though this too was due to an initial mediocre reception.
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Sony, however, is standing by its price point. “We have a very good product at a very affordable price,” Sony President of Consumer & Products Services Kazuo Hirai told Bloomberg earlier this year. “There’s no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game industry decided they were going to.”
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