Vita unit sales hit 1.2m, tracking faster than 3DS?

Sony has announced that total worldwide sales of the PlayStation Vita have now passed 1.2m units.

The device was launched in Japan on December 17th 2011 with the European and North American release following on Feb 22nd.

Combined software sales across retail and the PlayStation Network have passed 2m units. Sony says that sales of the handheld and its games have exceeded expectations”.

So how does that compare to 3DS?

Following its Japanese launch in February 2011 and its European and North American arrival in March 2011, it wasn’t until October that year that Nintendo released the first worldwide sales number for 3DS – 6.68m units in eight months.

Estimates suggest that Nintendo’s machine sold over 400k units in its first weekend in Japan.

By the end of December 2011 Nintendo said that 3DS unit sales were approaching” 3m. As of last month global 3DS sales stood at 15m units.

PS Vita was designed to deliver the ultimate portable entertainment experience, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the reaction we’re seeing from consumers and the pace at which PS Vita is selling,” SCE president and Group CEO Andrew House said.

The market has responded and there is clear demand for a mobile device capable of providing a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context.

To sustain momentum, we’re working closely with third party developers and publishers to ensure the best games and franchises possible will be available on PS Vita, and our software line up for the remainder of 2012 will have something for everyone across the globe.”

And what of comparisons to PSP? They’re very favourable.

While Vita launched across all major regions within two months, the PSP saw a staggered launch, appearing first in Japan in December 2004, then in the US in March 2005 and Europe in September.

The machine took 15 months to hit 1m UK unit sales, with total 2004 sales hitting 4m in Europe. Lifetime PSP sales currently stand at around 55m.

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