The PlayStation Vita has been outselling the Nintendo 3DS in Japan for the past few weeks. This is due in part to Sony dropping the price of the Vita in Japan late last month. The result is that the Vita is finally starting to pick up in sales since its launch. Nintendo has dominated the handheld market with the launch of the Nintendo Game Boy and has controlled it on up to the release of the 3DS. Sony has sought to challenge this with the release of their own handheld and has had some success with the PSP outselling the DS with the help of the Monster Hunter franchise. Gematsu posted the Japanese hardware sales figures and the Vita sold 63,581 units from March 4 through March 10 in addition to the 62,543 units sold the previous week. That’s only an increase of 1,000 units but it was more than enough to outsell the 3DS. In comparison, the 3DS sold a respective 50,265 units and 39,801 units the following week. No one is sure why there was a decline in sales of the 3DS for the same period of time but a price drop may be what’s needed to boost the 3DS sales numbers and reclaim the top spot.
If this has piqued your interest and you are looking to pick up a Vita, the 3G and WiFi models are currently selling for $250 at Sony’s online store. Gamestop is only selling the Vita WiFi or refurbished units and shows the 3G model to be out of stock. This seems to coincide with the rumors that Sony is discontinuing the 3G model, a move that has some retailers selling the Vita 3G for under $200 to get rid of excess inventory. If you recall, Sony launched the Vita 3G model and told potential customers that their only option for online play without a WiFi connection was to sign a Data Connect Pass contract (pay as you go data plan) with AT&T, or add their Vita to an AT&T shared data plan. This upset many people and could have spelled the end of the 3G handheld model altogether as no one wants to pay the extra money for the 3G Vita and the cost of an AT&T data plan. This move will allow Sony to save some money as they are no longer paying an extra manufacturing cost for 3G hardware.
Regardless of the outcome of the Vita 3G model, Sony’s handheld still outsold the 3DS. This could very well be the crack in the armor of Nintendo’s hold on the handheld market. Only time will tell if Sony can take the sales lead for more than a few weeks and relegate Nintendo to the number two spot.
Japanese Hardware Sales (followed by last week’s sales)
- PlayStation Vita – 63,581 (62,543)
- 3DS LL – 39,801 (50,265)
- 3DS – 21,207 (27,174)
- PlayStation 3 – 19,567 (25,725)
- PSP – 18,023 (11,171)
- Wii U – 9,454 (10,021)
- Wii – 1,363 (1,383)
- Xbox 360 – 738 (486)