News Article

So, the PSP Almost Matched the Vita's Sales in USA Last Month

Posted by Sammy Barker

The end is nigh

Step out of a New York subway station and you’ll no longer be greeted by a religious zealot with a sandwich board, but instead a dedicated handheld decrier. “Portable consoles are dead,” they’ll scream, pointing to pictures of the PlayStation Vita with a big red line drawn through it. And they may be right, as NPD data has shown that the PlayStation Portable – y’know, Sony’s all but defunct mobile machine – almost sold as many units as its flagship pocketable format in the US last month.

Research analyst David Gibson revealed the snippet on Twitter earlier this week, stating that the ageing PSP moved around 5,000 units, while the Vita managed a “little over” 10,000 units. That’s a frighteningly close overview whichever way you cut it, but fortunately it doesn’t quite tell the full tale. It seems that the platform holder is running down stock of its OLED augmented device in preparation for its slimmer successor, which is due out in early May. Indeed, the console’s not readily available right now.

That doesn’t make the numbers any easier to read, but at least there is a sliver of an explanation behind the disappointing data. Still, it’s a tricky time for Sony at the moment, as it attempts to desperately revive its failing handheld format. The strategy appears to be working in Japan, where the unit is up year-over-year, and is currently outselling the once unstoppable Nintendo 3DS. Overseas, it looks like it has a tougher battle ahead. Maybe portable gaming really is dead – unless you’re Angry Birds, of course.


User Comments (31)



MadchesterManc said:

PsP go! go! go! lol Still carry my go everywhere with me. Good to see the PsP still selling as it's been a fantastic handheld



get2sammyb said:

@MadchesterManc Well, that was unexpectedly refreshing response. I agree, the PSP had a number of flaws, but still played host to some cracking games. I was also a fan of the PSPgo!



InsertNameHere said:

At least both are selling, though looking at the numbers, I wouldn't call that "almost" outselling.



ZeD said:

@MadchesterManc still have my psp 1000 (old fat one) knocking around my house. It is a beautiful machine and feels very retro



divinelite said:

I srugh... Is america really hate vita that much? Jrpgs and many translated games are coming, whyyou dont list them sony.. And you know, properly market vita just like ps4

Ps4 has limited games but all the world get the message is it having so many games



MadchesterManc said:

@get2sammyb I've noticed there's a few go fans around here It's not for everyone, but those that like it swear by it lol

@Jazzer94 I tend to dump my physical copies so I don't have to carry them around & I have a few digital only releases so it's built in memory is great, lack of UMD drive gives better battery life too. The screen being 1/2 an inch smaller makes things look a tad crisper too while the design of the go with its slide up screen is a lot more pocket friendly. For me it's a step up, but it all depends on how you use it.



Savino said:

I really dont get why Vita doesnt sell... I mean, it is a sexy, confortable and powerfull little machine!
Dont get me wrong, I live my 3ds, but vita really does looks like a portable console instead of a calmpy, cranky, giant piece of red plastic which hurts your hand after a couple of hours!!

I simply dont get it... And I really hope sony doesnt quit his next portable project. I would love to see what beast they have in mind.... But I am not too confident about that!



Jazzer94 said:

@MadchesterManc I see where you're coming from but the fact that a lot of PSP games aren't available on PSN makes it slightly inferior then the 2000/3000 which can play any game physical or digital plus other perks.



RawShark said:

@ZeD haha, I never thought of my PSP 1000 as retro, but that's cos I'm turning into an old geezer who still has a Donkey Kong Game and Watch knocking around the attic somewhere.



N711 said:

I wouldn't call 5000 almost matching 10000 huhemm but I guess they are waiting for the new model and. Specially the Borderland bundle



ZeD said:

@RawShark I remember the days living at my dads playing Death Jr lol
Just like my vita it never left my side.



ZeD said:

@Savino I went into game and pre ordered Borderlands 2 and the guy said "it's about time they released some games for the vita"
I was wondering what world he was living in!



Punished_Boss_84 said:

The problem is right in your sentence "Jrpgs and many translated games are coming." This is a niche market, a very small one in fact. As much as i like them even I know it won't save Vita. (EDIT) Niche/Japanese games will not lift Vita sales, particular Japanese games will save Vita (MGS/GT). Indies won't do it either. It needs western games to achieve that potential.

Sigh, i'm going to regret this: "PlayStation® Vita (PS Vita) is entering its first-ever holiday season and enjoyed very strong sales during the week of Black Friday. The Assassin's Creed® III: Liberation Bundle for $199 sold out at retail, highlighted by Amazon selling through its specially priced inventory in less than five hours. The Call of Duty® Black Ops: Declassified Bundle and Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Bundles for $199, respectively, were also very popular with gamers and sold out at retail during the week. More than 160,000 PS Vita units were sold during the week of Black Friday." (Source:

As mediocre as those games were, they are among the top best selling PSV games, they were marketed, they were exclusive, they were bundled, they are big names, they gave PSV momentum and all that made PSV sales figures during that period over 160,000. Now SCEA doesn't know what Vita is and SCEE is still trying.



Punished_Boss_84 said:

@ZeD The world which requires western games to be made to take notice? Western games are more known to western people, so that perception is completely understandable.



Punished_Boss_84 said:

These figures may be influenced by low stock but i doubt May will change that picture all that much. To extend what I said above SCE need to make games like Syphon Filter: Kill Strain? GT Portable 2? God Of War? And get exclusives such as COD, AC again and MGS. If they fail, at least people can say they tried until then this is just incompetence and shameful neglect.

And Sammy that pic is just wrong



JaxonH said:

The Vita is slowly starting to take form of the PSP in terms of its library. Which is a GOOD thing. Yes, it's a niche market in the US, but it IS a market nonetheless. And it'll do very well in Japan as a result. Thing is, western games on Vita are a waste of time. Most western pop-gamers want to play on the big screen. Vita did well in the past with its select western games because, well, it was the holiday season. Not to be over-analysed.

And the Vita isn't quite outselling the 3DS in Japan, although its numbers are comparable now. Last week was the first week in like, idk, forever that the Vita actually topped 3DS numbers. Only by 500 units but it still topped them. Point is, Vita's doing very well in Japan recently. But none of them are doing great. Vita and 3DS are both hitting around 25-35 thousand a week. Which is fairly alarming if you ask me considering they're at the top of the charts.



adf86 said:

@JaxonH I believe tax has gone up in Japan recently (could be wrong) that might have contributed to those numbers.



hYdeks said:

Alot of people now just use their phones to play mobile games, probably why the sales of portables are going down.

Me, I plan to buy another Vita, the Borderlands 2 Vita Bundle, cant wait!!!



skywalker0794 said:

Jeez..Sony should really turn its attention back on Vita. They can easily have new MediEvil on Vita which could be really good (and which might happen, who knows) and they could finally do something useful and buy Craah Bandicoot IP from Activision and finally make new Crash ! Its been too long and new Crash would help so much and would be awesome..everyone has been crying out for new entry in recent years..



thedevilsjester said:

@Savino While I agree that its an amazing device (and I bought a Vita at launch) the fact that its practically a console in your hands is exactly the reason why it doesn't sell. Its not like you have your console and then this bite size, on the go, system. You have two systems that even sitting in your home will directly compete for your time, and your money. This is why I am not likely to ever buy a Vita game. Its an accessory for my PS4, with some occasional bite size play when I buy an indie game that has cross-buy.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Thats definitely a big part of it. The reason its practically the other way around in Japan is because thats exactly what they want, elsewhere its mostly the people buying them specifically to play the games they get that play them at home. Like @Hydeks said people are switching to mobile, games like tetris are no longer console sellers. So handhelds will probably sell more like the GBA or PSP did.

The funny thing is how playing a handheld in public is sorta seen as 'weird' yet sitting there with your nose in your phone is perfectly 'normal' in today's society.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the PSP sales are replacements and that sort of thing. Its whole PSN library is available, its affordable, and memory is more reasonable though, so who knows.



thedevilsjester said:

@Zombie_Barioth The problem for me with the PSP (even though I bought a launch PSP as well) is that there are no trophies. When Sony added trophies to the Playstation, it changed the way I play games. I can't bring myself to play games that lack trophies, which eliminates all PSP games that were not remixed for the consoles.



divinelite said:

@Big-Boss oh well... I guess this might be the last year japan games will be translated sigh

If only Ruin is still made for vita...



Gamer83 said:

3DS is still doing well enough every where, so there's still a market for "traditional" gaming on handhelds, the problem is not enough high profile exclusive games. It needs Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and more Assassin's Creed and Uncharted. Get some games in those series, lower the price and sales will go up. Probably wouldn't sky rocket and put on the path to being one of the best selling handhelds ever but I don't rule out a possibility of it selling in the 45-55 mil range, provided Sony markets it better and is able to land some big-time exclusives.



TheLZdragon said:

@JaxonH And it only outsold the 3DS because the 3DS's numbers went down in Japan.

@ZeD The Vita is comparable to Wii U. Both have games that are worth playing to a decent sized crowd, however neither resonates with the majority of the market.



JaxonH said:


Yeah, but the Vita has had a resurgence the past few months. It was still trailing the 3DS, but not by much. In any case, I'm just excited to see what's coming to both handhelds this E3.

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