According to Sony’s PlayStation director of hardware marketing in a recent interview, approximately 63 percent of PlayStation 3 owners said they would purchase the Vita once released next year. In addition, 60 percent of PlayStation Portable owners plan on purchasing the Vita before August 2013. However, no clarification was offered on how these figures were obtained. It’s possible that respondents were derived from registered users on an internal PlayStation service rather than polling a more diverse set of consumers. With the PS3 install base approximately 52 million as of September 2011, this data would indicate that Sony stands to sell approximately 33 million Vitas in the first year.
Due to manufacturing delays from the massive earthquake that hit Japan, the Vita was recently pushed from a holiday release to late February for the launch in North America and Europe. This is a similar launch window to the PlayStation Portable which launched during late March 2005 in North America after the December 2004 launch in Japan. In addition, this will likely correspond with the timing on the upcoming release of Apple’s iPad 3. The 3G version of the Vita is currently positioned at $299.99 and requires a data contract through AT&T, but the Wi-Fi version can be picked up for $249.99.
Sony is also launching a first edition bundle for $350 that includes a 4GB memory card, a travel case, a game called Little Deviants and the 3G model of the device. Beyond the extras, customers that preorder the bundle will be able to pick up the Vita a week before any consumer that only preorders the standalone Vita. Sony expects Vita owners will use the handheld device for reasons beyond gaming which includes updates to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and consuming media such as movies or music. However, Sony currently estimates that there are over 100 Vita titles currently under development between both first and third party sources.