Sony’s next portable is out in Japan. We go over the launch buzz and found out how many Vita’s were solid in the first two days.
This past Saturday, the 17th, the PlayStation Vita launched in Japan. No CNN reports of pepper-spray incidents, thankfully, but there was the around-the-corner-block lines outside shops that typically form at any major new gaming hardware’s release; one electronics store, Bic Camera in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, had nearly 300 people lined up by opening time, in fact.
Now that the dust has settled though, and likely everyone who stood patiently in the chilly morning weather went happily home with the PlayStation Portable successor in hand — just how many PlayStation Vita’s were sold? About 321,407 of them, according to the Japanese gaming publication Famitsu, which pulled that number after the first two days of the handheld’s launch, the 17th and the 18th.
Comparing it to previous handheld launches — because hey, it’s what us nerds have to do to pass the time — such as the Nintendo 3DS, which had 371,326 units sold between that same time frame, and the PlayStation Portable, which racked up a total of 166,074 units, the Vita did a respectable first day, sales wise. Not entirely great, but good enough to keep away all the apocalyptic “dedicated handhelds are dead” speak for a day or two (not gonna happen, I know.)
Those are just early numbers, of course, and we’ll have to wait and see after Christmas (oh, check out our geeky gift guides – The Ultimate Geek Guide to Christmas) to really gauge how the Vita is doing in it’s native country. Everything is cool for the most part… if not… for the small percentage of reported performance issues, with some users complaining of software glitches, unresponsive touchscreens, and complete system freezes.
Sony went on the offensive though, and pushed out a post-launch firmware update for the Vita immediately — they even issued an apology to their customers, strangely enough — but it’s quite apparent that the issues that sprung up, arose from your common hardware release abnormalities that every company, probably sans Apple, deals with.
Now, I won’t say that the Japanese launch for the Vita is a testing bed to straighten out all of the hiccups in time for the North American launch in February; it’s kind of cruel thinking. But I’m not saying that isn’t the case either. For now, the launch of the Vita is in the bag, and soon, the rest of the world will have it’s chance to snag the portable that all of dedicated handheld gaming is depending on for survival. (Not really.)
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