The Sony party may be about to board the PS4 train tonight, but let’s not forget the other half of the PlayStation empire.
Sony confirmed a Japanese price cut for the PlayStation Vita this week – a move it hopes will reverse its fortunes in its homeland as it continues to be significantly outsold by Nintendo’s 3DS.
And speaking to Famitsu (via Polygon), SCE Japan president Hiroshi Kawano admitted that the machine – sales forecasts of which have now been lowered three times by Sony – is failing to perform.
"Certainly, at the present time, maybe we’re a little behind the numbers we originally pictured," he admitted. "I feel we have a ways to go in terms of getting across the good traits of the PS Vita, along with everything the software has to offer.”
However, Kawano reckons the new lower RRP is the first step in reversing the machine’s fortunes.
"The biggest reason [for the price drop] is that we simply want to have more people playing the PS Vita," he stated. "Based on our research, there are two broad reasons why people who may want to try the Vita aren’t purchasing it. One, they want to wait until there’s a game they want to play on it. Two, the price is a little out of reach for them.
What we also learned in this research is that people who do own a Vita have tremendous satisfaction with it; it’s the kind of platform where you get a feel for how good it is once you touch it. But we found that the price was too big an initial hurdle for this, and this sparked a long internal debate within SCE."
Of the software issue, as well as an upturn in the number of games coming to the system Kawano also wants customers to focus on the quality already available.
I want to keep pushing for more games that people want to play, since like our research showed, that’s one thing blocking customers curious about the Vita from making a purchase,” he explained.
There are about 100 titles released [in Japan] in a year’s time, and I want to get across that we’ve got a lot of really good games. Like with our other platforms, we’re developing the Vita system with the idea that it’ll have a lifecycle of ten years and change, so I think we need to do everything we can to flesh out the service going forward.
"We have the new price down; now it’s time for software. Just with what’s been announced so far, we’ll have more games coming out this year than last, and they’re being launched on a regular basis throughout the year. I think that’ll make users feel they’re always getting enough, and we’re prepared to push these titles as needed. We’re going to be actively on the offensive in 2013."