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Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Friday, November 16, 2012

PS3 shipments reach 70 million; PS Move tops 15 million; but no hard numbers on the PS Vita

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the PS3 has shipped 70 million units worldwide, an impressive number after the botched $600 launch in November 2006. Meanwhile, the PS Move motion controller topped 15 million units worldwide, but I seriously doubt 1-in-5 PS3 owners actually own one. It never did catch on like the Wii did, and I'm sure many owners bought more than one controller.

Sadly, there was no mention of the PS Vita, the successor to the surprisingly successful PlayStation Portable. All we do know about the struggling handheld is Sony has been slowly lowering total handheld sales forecasts from time to time, and the PSP and PS Vita sold a measly 1.6 million units combined worldwide between July and September. When a company combines sales like that, you know it's not pretty. Between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11 in Japan, the Nintendo 3DS outsold the PS Vita a whopping 47-to-1 - 187,077 units for the 3DS and 4,021 for the PS Vita. Even though that week saw the launch of the monster seller Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS, the PS Vita has been stuck in the mid four-figure range for weeks in Japan.

Sony has refused to cut the price of the PS Vita, which is stuck at $250 and $300 for their respective units. They're relying on big name titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified to sell the system during the holiday madness. The problem is this game is getting thrashed by reviewers.

Smartphones, tablets and the 3DS are the kings of handheld gaming these days. The only hope for the PS Vita is to cut the price, but Sony's current financial struggles are getting in the way of that. They'll probably slash it after the holidays, but by then it may be too late to save it. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sony slowly shut down production next year, cut their losses and put all their focus on the next PlayStation console.

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