New info about the current state of Sony’s latest portable endeavor. I hope you like sales-age talk!
According to Thursday’s 2011 fiscal year end earnings call for Sony – from its December release in Japan till now – the PlayStation Vita sold 1.8 million units worldwide. Newly-in-charge CEO Kaz Hirai (you know, the “Ridge Racer guy”) was on had at the earnings call to deliver the news, and admitted to those in attendance that “as a starting phase,” he believes the launch of the Vita “was a good start.”
Back in February, a week or so after the Vita’s introduction in North America and Europe, the company reported that the portable had sold 1.2 million units worldwide, meaning around 600,000 units were bought during March. Overall, it’s a number which only masks the sluggish sales of the Vita in Japan, where its been slowly dropping month-by-month; in March the system moved just about 50,000 units, compared to about 60,000 in February. Yeah, not too good.
Kaz Hirai, now faced with steering the “S.S. PlayStation Vita” during this quite stormy period (actually the same could be said for the Sony Corporation as a whole), had this to say in regards to the future outlook for the Sony handheld:
“For a game platform, like Vita, the software is the key to success — how good the software is, that is the key to business success. We have to reinforce the software area in order to improve the business, that is the basic line.”
“Vis-a-vis Vita, at this moment, there is no decline or lack of motivation as a portable platform,” he continued. “This is a very important product indeed for us, and therefore we still have a very high motivation to develop this further. There is no change.”
And lastly, recommitting to his earlier stance,”Software and services must be strengthened. In other words, the collaborative approach is very important, so is third-party. And from first-party studios, the titles will be presented one after the other, so please look at them and give your evaluation based on them.”
Sony would like to sell a total of 16 million PlayStation Portables and PS Vitas in its next fiscal year. Hopefully, as Mr. Hirai predicts, it’s software that help guide the Vita into calmer waters; E3 is next month (June 5 to 7), and no doubt Sony will be heavily focused on proving that its portable system, full of features on end, has just begun to fight (hey look, if I’m going with nautical references, I’m gonna go all out, bros!). Oh, and a price-cut wouldn’t hurt either, really.