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Disappointing Vita sales spark retailer price cuts in Japan

Vita sales take a nose-dive after decent first-week performance

Japanese retailers have been slashing the price of Sony's new PlayStation Vita handheld in an attempt to boost sales that took a dive after its first weekend on sale, according to reports.

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Opening weekend sales for the portable were a hair under 325,000, which isn't bad when compared to the 375,000 sales managed by 3DS in its first weekend on sale.

Second week sales of the Vita have, however, come in at a measly 72,479, dropping it to fifth place in Media Create's hardware charts for the week, way below 3DS (482,200) and even PSP (101,121).

In its respective second week, the 3DS managed 210,000 sales - a drop, yes, but not as drastic. Yet a decline in sales still lead Nintendo to cut the price of its handheld by almost a third in less than six months after launch. Could Sony be forced to do the same? Apparently, retailers aren't waiting to find out.

According to GamesRadar, sales of the 3G-capable model are particularly poor, prompting many Japanese retailers to enforce their own discounts on the hardware, with as much as 20 percent off Sony's original RRP.

Sony said before the Christmas holidays that retail software sales were "a figure in accordance with expectations", while sales of the PSN digital versions of games were "exceeding expectations". Software figures for the same week (December 19-25) however, only list four Vita titles in the top-50.

There has been much debate over Sony's pricing for Vita and its games, which are almost in line with full home console releases and way higher than that of smartphone offerings - the emergence of which threatens to dominate the handheld gaming market.

The platform holder recently confirmed charges for its device and accompanying peripherals for Europe.

Vita hits US and EU shelves on February 22.

[ SOURCE: Tech Digest ]

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