Launch week UK Vita sales came in at "just over half" the 89,000 3DS units sold by Nintendo during its first week of availability in March 2011.
Unnamed "industry sources" also told Pocket Gamer that Chart-Track figures showed Vita shifted "around one quarter" of the 185,000 PSPs sold during the older handheld's first week on sale back in September 2005.
Another source said of Vita's opening week: "It's disappointing, sure, but we all saw it coming.
"Realistically, I think a lot of people can see it's technically a great system, but people just don't have the cash to shell out for the same game twice. A lot will be waiting for a true system seller before taking the plunge, or, more likely, be happier continuing to pay 69p for dozens of mobile games. The market has changed."
Vita launched in Japan in December and the West last week. A total of 1.2 million Vitas have been sold worldwide since release, Sony said yesterday.