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PS Vita's Japanese sales continue to slide as consumers wait for games
PS Vita's Japanese sales continue to slide as consumers wait for games
January 25, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

PS Vita's struggle to gain traction in Japan continues as the portable's weekly hardware sales sink even further, with its titles still notably absent from the country's top 20 retail software chart.

Sony's new handheld is already tracking behind early sales for PSP and 3DS at this point in its life, due in part to what some believe was a lacking launch lineup. PS Vita fell below 20,000 units sold for the first time two weeks ago, but now its numbers threaten to drop past the 15,000 mark.

As consumers wait for more system-selling games to arrive for PS Vita, the highest profile releases planned in the near future are this week's Tales of Innocence R, a Namco Bandai port of a 2007 DS RPG; and in two weeks Sony's own Gravity Rush, a new, unproven IP.

Nintendo 3DS, though selling a fifth less hardware than last week, still remains relatively strong after pushing over 80,000 units, more than all other consoles combined. PlayStation 3 sales (and sales for all other systems) also fell, moving around 21,000 units.

PSP outperformed its successor for the fifth week straight, selling more than 17,000 handhelds. Wii sold 10,000 consoles last week, while the Nintendo DSi family, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 2 remained at around the same numbers as the previous week's.

Below are the full sales rankings provided by Media Create and translated by NeoGAF for the week ending January 22, 2012 (The second chart lumps together sales of all models in a given line of hardware):

LWTWPlatformWeekly SalesLast Week

LWTWPlatformWeekly SalesLast Week
77DSi XL/LL1,2001,515

New software releases last week include Sega's 3DS rhythm game Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure, D3 Publisher's Xbox 360 action title Onechanbara Z: Kagura, Namco Bandai's PSP RPG Heroes Phantasia, and Konami's 3DS RPG Beyond the Labyrinth.

3DS titles continue to dominate the upper half of the top 20 software sales at retail chart thanks to Capcom's Monster Hunter 3G, Nintendo's Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, Level-5's Inazuma Eleven Go: Shine / Dark, and the aforementioned new releases.

In the bottom half, many of Nintendo's evergreen Wii games populate the list, but its new release this week, Kiki Trick, an audio-themed minigame collection from the team behind the Rhythm Heaven and WarioWare series, is noticeably missing from the top 20.

The complete top 20 chart, as supplied by Media Create is shown below:

LWTWTitlePublisherPlatformWeekly Sales
21Mario Kart 7Nintendo3DS351,505
NEW2Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure Sega3DS31,598
33Monster Hunter 3GCapcom3DS31,369
44Super Mario 3D LandNintendo3DS26,051
NEW5Onechanbara Z: KaguraD3 Publisher36022,013
NEW6Heroes PhantasiaBandai Namco GamesPSP15,163
57Inazuma Eleven Go: Shine / DarkLevel 53DS14,190
NEW8Beyond the LabyrinthKonami3DS14,176
19Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Masou Kishin II - Revelation of Evil GodBandai Namco GamesPSP11,598
610Warriors Orochi 3Koei TecmoPS310,690
811Final Fantasy XIII-2Square EnixPS38,706
1012Just Dance WiiNintendoWii8,315
1313Monster Hunter Freedom 3CapcomPSP8,126
1214Wii PartyNintendoWii7,133
1115Wii Sports Resort with Remote PlusNintendoWii6,594
1616Kirby's Return to Dream LandNintendoWii6,162
1517Mario Kart WiiNintendoWii6,137
1918Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Dubbed EditionSquare EnixPS35,945
1819Nintendogs + Cats: French Bulldog / Shiba / Toy Poodle & New FriendsNintendo3DS5,932
1720Go VacationBandai Namco GamesWii5,460

Looking forward, this week's big releases in Japan include Capcom's BioHazard: Revelations (or Resident Evil: Revelations in the West) for 3DS, Namco Bandai's Tales of Innocence R for PS Vita, and Sega/From Software's Armored Core V for Xbox 360 and PS3.

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wes bogdan
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Being that a32Gb stick will run$120 + vita,s $249-299 and still no game?! UNCHARTED vita might be the draw but requiring anoverpriced stick to save kills vita ...meanwhile my 3ds can save to a real 32Gb class 10 SDHC CARD and 3ds games need no extra expensive stick to save and with no umd disc why sony won't let all games save to the card they come on is beyond me.

Sony wants vita to be a dl or cloud based system offering big games like uncharted which is a 4GB game on a card and on psn so those with slow internet or who simply prefer physical over digital can buy the game but @ sony's mem prices vita will do negative business...though droping vita $50 on each sku would help and put the wi-fi vita within striking distance of the 3ds.

Fiore Iantosca
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Vita sales are going nowhere until they drop the price, even with some killer games IMO

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Shouldn't the title read "PS Vita's Japanese sales continue to slide as core players wait for key games they only want to play."

Suggesting that the system came out and there where no games for it is silly. The over head title is used a lot when a system comes out and the AAA titles only core gamers want to play are not out. And by AAA I meant squeals of generational titles like Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest (JAPAN).

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Harry Fields
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And that's a portable, how? What do you do, have the guy next to you on the train hold the screen up while you mash buttons on the gamepad? Tablets and traditional handhelds offer drastically different experiences, and there is, gauged by Nintendo's surging success with 3DS, still plenty of demand for said traditional experiences.

Mark dogg
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3DS had 2 Mario, Monster hunter. PSP is selling better than Vita. Vita sales will also pickup. I think western launch games is much better.

Harry Fields
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If they launch at 199$, maybe. More than that is just too much for a handheld... especially one you have to feed expensive proprietary memory cards...

And in the Christmas season, granted different segments, but Wii U will probably be "the item" for 2012. PSV has an uphill climb... but so did PS3 at launch, so long term, system's prognosis isn't all bad. Companies are simply learning about the new economics of the industry in an increasingly competitive and crowded market space.

Andrew Chen
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The Japanese PSP demographic of 15-34 year-old males are likely waiting for 3 things:

1) Monster Hunter 4 HD Portable

2) System price drop (or enough cheap second hand systems)

3) Monster Hunter FOURTE Hybrid G HD Portable

And maybe throw in a handful of Idol Master, Love Plus and AKB48 dating sims to warm up some cold cold nights.

That is all a little ways away however, so yeahhhh...lots of short-term pain for Vita in Japan. Good thing Sony seems to be focusing more on the West, what with that launch lineup.

Agree with Harry that the US market has yet to show it will embrace a $200+ dedicated portable game system.