Shuhei Yoshida, leader of the Worldwide Studios division inside Sony, admits that the PlayStation Vita handheld is performing worse than his company was expecting and that it has plans to push sales numbers up in the coming months.At the moment, official information from Sony says that the new device has only managed to sell a little more than 3 million units since it was launched, in late February 2012.
The executive says, while speaking to Le Monde, that, “These results are below our expectations and explain first the players’ equipment. Consumers now have multimedia devices, such as smartphones.”
“These devices include the ability to play and it is difficult for us to justify the purchase of an additional machine. To us to produce added value to attract players to the PlayStation Vita. The other reason is the number of content available on the console,” he adds.
Yoshida has also laid some of the blame for limited PlayStation Vita sales at the feet of video game developers, who now have limited resources to back games for the handheld because they are putting more effort into the creation of titles for mobile phones and tablets.
The solution that Sony has come up with, which is being implemented at the moment and should bear fruit in 2013, is to talk to smaller studios and encourage them to create video games for the Vita.
Since Nintendo launched the rival 3DS, analysts have been speculating that the handheld market will gradually shrink because of the competition from mobile phones.
Sony says that it has more high profile games for the Vita, which will be launched during this Christmas shopping season and early in 2013.
The company could also introduce a price cut, but it claims that this would offer just a temporary bump in sales while worsening long-term prospects for the Vita.