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Sony PlayStation Vita sales fall sharply after Japanese launch

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Mentioned by Bloomberg earlier today, sales of the PlayStation Vita have fallen by nearly 80 percent during the week that ended on December 25 according to tracking firm Media Create. Sony sold approximately 325,000 Vita units on December 17 and 18, but only sold about 10,000 units a day during the following week. Sales of the PlayStation Portable beat sales of the PlayStation Vita by approximately 25,000 units. In addition, Nintendo saw massive sales of the 3DS during the same week and nearly sold half a million units. That pushes Nintendo over four million units sold for the entire year, a fact that Nintendo officials mentioned in a recent press release

PS-Vita-300x300Analysts are pointing at the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets as the cause of the Vita’s poor sales numbers. The Wi-Fi model of the PlayStation Vita costs about $320 and the 3G/Wi-Fi model costs approximately $385 in Japan. The expensive pricing of the device is likely a stumbling block when it comes to a purchase decision. When the Sony handheld launches in the United States in February, the Wi-Fi model will be priced at $249 and the  3G/Wi-Fi model at $299. However, the Vita also requires the purchase of a Sony memory card that starts at $20 for the 4GB size and ranges up to $100 for the 32GB card. Sony is also planning on selling a $40 “starter kit” that includes a 4GB memory card, screen cover, card case, cleaning cloth, headphones and carry pouch.

With the recent price cut of the Nintendo 3DS, Sony may have a difficult time convincing consumers to purchase the more expensive Vita over the $169 3DS. However, the Vita is expected to launch with a lineup of 25 launch titles in the United States including Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Nintendo struggled initially on the 3DS with a lack of first party titles, but released Mario Kart 7 to please core Nintendo fans at the end of 2011.