We previously reported Media Create’s hardware and software sales figures, which were of particular interest because they contained the Vita’s first posted sales numbers. While the system had respectable software sales on those charts, the figures released reflect only physical media.
Part of the Vita’s appeal is its easy access to download games, and said games being significantly cheaper than the physical versions (which has been in practice in Japan for the last four or five years. This isn’t new, though a lot of people think the Vita introduces this).
The challenge for Sony is that Japan is notoriously unresponsive to digital media. I’ve lived in Japan for a bit over four years now, and rarely do I hear of anyone downloading a game or even playing something online. I couldn’t even find anyone who was aware of the PSN downtime back in the spring. Yeah.
But Sony has positive things to say about the reception of downloadable titles, with Sony Computer Entertainment Japan’s Hiroshi Kawano pointing out recently:
Gah, I mean:
Software and peripherals are selling very well, and sales of downloadable versions of games are above expectations
Now, of course, since this is Japan we’re talking about, these “expectations” might have been very low and to break them might be incredibly easy. There is a vague area here. Nonetheless, this is a spot of bright news for Sony and its new handheld. I’ll add, despite the Vita’s hardware and software sales being overall good at the Japanese launch, I worry that it might not be good enough. I’m no doomsday preacher, but I do sometimes tend to think pessimistically. By no means will I write any system off as “dead” within a mere year of its release (take a look at the 3DS now despite how many gloom and doom articles there were over the summer), but you have to also realize that not every console is capable of coming back from slow starts. I love my PSP and am sad as heck to see the effects of mainstream indifference. Now I’ve got a Vita, and I hope that the above is a sign of success for the new machine.