PlayStation Vita

Outspoken industry analyst Michael Pachter doesn’t believe that Sony has much of a chance of making money on the PlayStation Vita. Speaking on the latest episode of the Pach-Attack, the Wedbush Securities employee described the system as a “joke”, explaining that while it’s a capable device, very few people want to buy one at the current price point.

“The Vita’s a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful piece of hardware, but nobody owns one,” he said. “The reason that they don’t own one is because it’s too good. It does too much, and developers aren’t making games for it because the market is too small. You need a big install base before you get third-party developers embracing a platform, and [that’s not going to happen on the Vita] at the current price point.”

Pachter added that the system’s caught in a vicious cycle. “If you don’t have software, then [no one’s] going to buy the Vita. But if [people don’t own the Vita], then you’re not going to get software. So, the Vita sucks. Sony has no prayer of making money on the Vita.”

The suit continued that while the handheld’s confirmed interoperability with the PlayStation 4 is impressive, it’s not going to encourage consumers to splash out on the device. “The handheld market is just not as big as it used to be,” he concluded. “[Sony’s] going to have trouble selling five million units a year [...] and nobody makes money selling five million units a year.”

Since its price cut last month, the Vita’s position in Japan has improved. However, its situation still seems grim in the west, with very few titles in the pipeline and hardware sales reportedly in the gutter. Despite this, the platform holder has ruled out a change in strategy overseas, opting to stick with the console’s $249.99 base price in North America.