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Sony on the PlayStation Vita: “Higher Sales Would Have Been What we Had Hoped For”; Digital Only Future Possible

January 13, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

Vita

Even with a price cut in August of last year, it’s no secret that the PlayStation Vita still isn’t living up to Sony’s sales expectations, with the company rarely ever touting actual numbers, a far cry to what they’ve been doing with the PS4.

Being very candid about the PS Vita in an interview with VG247, PlayStation UK Managing Director Fergal Gara said, “In all honesty, higher sales would have been what we had hoped for.” Gara then continued on by explaining some factors he believes lead to the Vita’s disappointing numbers so far:

The market Vita entered was more complicated than it was when the console was originally thought about and designed. Games on tablets and phones have changed the marketplace and people can’t carry too many things around at one time.

The truth is that the number of people that want the core experience [that Vita offers] is not as big as the number that simply want any sort of game available on the move and, because the likes of a tablet and smart phone are so multifunctional in their use, they will always be very appealing.

Really, I think the reason it hasn’t sold more is that it comes down to people thinking: ‘Do I need it as well as these other things that are taking my money?’

While sales numbers for the system may be down, games are still releasing on the PlayStation Store at a nice pace, with many developers bringing their titles over from other platforms. This was a process Gara briefly touched upon:

A lot of our discussions with developers don’t centre around developing games to better suit digital or physical purchases, or even centre around developing specifically for the PS Vita. We talk a lot with developers about developing the best games for PlayStation in general and how we can properly map any ideas that they may already have to a platform or multiple platforms.

Although it isn’t the best gauge, Gara mentions how, compared to the PS3, “Vita has had a higher percentage of games bought digitally since it was first launched.” Not only that, “More Vita games are still consumed through physical game cards than they are through digital, but things are increasingly moving the other way. Could be that in future physical games becomes the side we do without.”

Do you tend to buy your PlayStation Vita games through the PlayStation Store, rather than a retail store? Do you think Sony will release a PS Vita Go (without the ability to play game cartridges) at some point? Let us know in the comments below.