PlayStation Vita launches in Japan
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 6:49 PM
Sony's successor to the PSP, the PlayStation Vita, went on sale in Japan on Saturday December 17th.
As reported by Eurogamer, a special countdown event in Tokyo's Shibuya district saw Sony executives Kaz Hirai and Andrew House greeting the hardcore who had assembled outside the Tsutaya flagship store at 6.45am, before the console went on sale at 7am.
The first officially-recognised owner of a PSP Vita was a young man who had queued from 7pm the previous evening, and declined to tell reporters his name.
According to Enterbrain data, the handheld console sold 321, 407 units across its first two days of release.
This fails to beat the device's main rival, Nintendo's 3DS, which shifted 371,326 units over the 26th and 27th of February in Japan, although it has sold significantly more than the original PSP (166,074 on its first day in 2004).
However, the chances are the figure won't be perceived as a strong start, considering the 3DS was criticised for having an underwhelming launch.
Many commentators argue that the increasing demand for smartphones has weakened the market for handheld consoles, although the recent sales boost enjoyed by the 3DS in the run-up to Christmas seems to resist this.
Eurogamer also revealed that PlayStation Vita game prices had been released on Play.com in advance of the handheld's UK launch on February 22nd 2011.
The most expensive game was Uncharted: Golden Abyss, selling with 16GB of memory for £45 (although this was cheaper elsewhere), with prices staggered down to the lower end at £18.
The PSP Vita will sell for £229.99 with Wi-Fi only and £279.99 with Wi-Fi and 3G access.