Sony’s PlayStation Vita saw its Japanese release this week to sales that have been widely regarded as being an above average haul, yet falling a mite short of expectations for a launch line-up which has been praised as being the strongest in recent memory. Curiously, the game attach rate for the Vita is bellow one game per unit, indicating that digital distribution is beginning to really take off in the land of the rising sun.
The PlayStation Vita put in a strong initial performance on debut, managing to shift a respectable 321,407 units. The launch contrasts favorably against the Japanese launch of the original PSP, which shifted a mere 166,074 units – yet it was unable to best the launch of the 3DS earlier this year, which managed to rack up 371,326 in first week sales. The Vita’s game purchase attach rate is also down in relation to the 3DS and PSP at 0.92 games sold per console, yet this is likely because game sales data does not take into account digital purchases, coupled with the fact that the 3DS and PSP did not have functioning digital distribution infrastructure at launch. Sony have stated that online purchases have exceeded their expectations. Finally, the launch of the Vita saw two of its launch titles crack the Japanese top ten video game purchases for the week, with Hot Shots Golf shifting 61,412 copies at #7, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss selling 48,224 copies at #8.
All things considered Sony are well within their rights to label their smooth roll out of the Vita as a successful launch, though they will no doubt be looking to make further gains against Nintendo in the new year when the system goes on sale in the West on the 22nd of February.