US marketing research firm Strategy Analytics predicts Vita will sell 12.4 million units in 2012, but only if given a price drop by Sony.
The firm figures Vita sales could hit somewhere around $2.2 billion but the firm’s senior analyst Jia Wu said the big number still wouldn’t be enough to dig Sony out of its current financial hole, despite the handheld being an all-in-one entertainment device – minus being a phone of course.
“The real value of the PlayStation Vita is its drive for content revenue growth and its strategic position in Sony’s entertainment ecosystem,” he told the Guardian. “The PlayStation Store will have a vital role in selling games, videos and other content through its online access.
“Crucially the cross-platform availability of content will also boost Sony’s position in competition with giants Apple, Samsung and Microsoft. Sony can leverage its console gaming business, which Apple and Samsung do not have, to build its online content cloud.
“Despite the popularity of Xbox 360, Microsoft lacks a serious portable console and mobile gaming device. So with PlayStation Vita, Sony further strengthens its brand, device competition and future content reach – even if the console hardware itself will not generate much profit.”
Wu said the biggest threat to Vita’s success are smartphones and in order for Sony “to survive the march of smartphone’s entering the casual gaming space,” the firm needs to “achieve the Holy Grail of inventing innovative new gameplay” while investing in exclusive content and dropping the price in order to move units – like Nintendo did with 3DS, a console which has shifted over 15 million units since February 2011.
Vita is now available worldwide.