Analyst: PS Vita Sold 4.2 Million Units in 2013

We know Michael Pachter’s track record for predicting the future isn’t very good, but looking back at 2013, his “model says the [PlayStation] Vita sold 4.2 million last year.”

He told this number to Game Informer as part of an interview about handhelds, saying that Vita “sales are horrible,” while adding, “It’s a pretty small number and I don’t think they are going to build a business selling 4 million a year — and that number could go down.”

Going further with that 4.2 million number, it’s the same as what the PS4 had done in all of 2013, and according to Famitsu, the PS Vita had sold 1,197,980 units for all of 2013 in Japan (and is at 2,275,139 lifetime). For comparison, the 3DS moved 4,931,509 units in 2013, with a lifetime Japanese number of 14,694,011.

When it comes to worldwide numbers for the fiscal year, we’ll have to wait until Sony reports their results in a few months to find out an exact number, but they were predicting combined PS Vita and PSP sales of 5 million worldwide, with the worldwide Vita + PSP sales at 1.4 million as of their Q2 reporting.

If you want to hear Pachter talking about the Vita dying a slow, painful death, here’s some more of his thoughts about the system:

Vita is a little bit too elegant and a little too expensive. I always feel like I’m going to break it. But then it has relatively few games because they are complicated to make and the market is so small. Very few publishers are spending money to make them. You had Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, that cost Ubisoft a lot. It’s a whole new adventure. Sony will spend the money with their internal studios, but you’re just going to see [Vita] die a slow, painful death.

And here’s what he thinks about Remote Play helping Vita sales:

I don’t quite get it. First they were selling it as a controller, which was lame. I would rather just spend $50 on a controller. They were selling it as a controller because… I have to turn off the game on my TV because American Idol is on and I have to continue my session on my Vita? That’s what a DVR is for, you can watch American Idol later. I think most people who have competing concerns about use of the console versus watching TV have their console on a different TV from where their wife is. I agree those are cool features, but it’s limited.

Would you be disappointed to learn if the Vita had only sold 4.2 million units in all of 2013? Let us know in the comments below.