Sony Computer Entertainment Japan president Hiroshi Kawano has admitted that the PlayStation Vita has failed to meet expectations in its home territory – but has promised that the platform holder will be on the offensive in 2013. The comments come days after Sony announced a significant price-drop for the maligned machine, which is set to go into effect on 28th February in the land of the rising sun.
"Certainly, at the present time, maybe we're a little behind the numbers we originally pictured," he told Famitsu magazine [via Polygon]. "I feel we have a ways to go in terms of getting across the good traits of the Vita, along with everything the software has to offer.”
During a surprise press conference on Monday morning, the manufacturer confirmed that it would be dropping both the Wi-Fi and 3G versions of its flagship handheld to just ¥19,980 ($214). Asked about the philosophy behind the shift, Kawano explained that it’s all about getting the system into consumers’ hands.
“What we [have] learned is that people who do own a Vita have tremendous satisfaction with it; it's the kind of platform where you get a feel for how good it is once you touch it,” he said. “But we found that the price was too big an initial hurdle for this, and this sparked a long internal debate within SCE."
With the price just ¥1,080 ($11) more than the Nintendo 3DS, there has been some speculation over how the change will impact the financially unstable Sony. Thankfully, Kawano doesn’t foresee it being a problem. “Maybe this will cut down on the revenue we get for selling hardware," he shrugged. "But the trend among Vita users is high connection rates and usage rates for the PlayStation Store. We believe that the more users we can get, the more that'll connect to revenues in the future.”
And as for the next 12 months, the executive was particularly bullish. “We have the new price down; now it's time for software," he said. "Just with what's been announced so far, we'll have more games coming out this year than last, and they're being launched on a regular basis throughout the year. I think that'll make users feel they're always getting enough, and we're prepared to push these titles as needed. We're going to be actively on the offensive in 2013.”
Let’s just hope that the executive’s determined attitude rubs off in the West, too.