The latest sales figures of 2.2 million devices announced by Sony don't seem to be meaning well for the company. Especially if we take into account that the 1.8-million point of that total number was already reached in May. Some simple arithmetics makes for 400 thousand PS Vita units in the third quarter of 2012, which is extremely low even in comparison to the sales of Nintendo 3Ds, the Sony handheld's main rival released in February 2011, which sold over 3.5 million units in less than 3 months since it came to the market.
So what's wrong with the handheld? Apparently, one of the reasons behind PS Vita's unpopularity is its cost of $249.99 (for the Wi-Fi version). If we compare the price of Vita's direct rival, 3Ds (after its cut to $169.99 per unit), the difference is tangible. Still, the technical advantage, along with the superior power and performance, and supported games appealing to more advanced gamers, are on Vita's side, which makes its market price at least understandable.
Sony has other rivals in the shape of various smartphones and tablets, which can attract gamers by offering lower prices for the games. But there again, we should consider various types of customers. Based on the current iOS and Android devices, casual games will stay casual; and no matter how popular some of them are, their quantity still overdoes the quality, and smartphones won't win hardcore gamers over any time soon.
In the wake of the forthcoming release of Wii U, some think its gamepad controller can be compared to the Sony handheld. The things at issue are the superior Wii U graphics and the upcoming ZombiU game with a promising trailer. But actually I've got no idea how a portable device can be compared to a non-portable add-on controller, which isn't even handy to hold and does nothing on its own.
Whether these are the reasons for Vita's disappointing sales are or not, Sony still need to offer something new to its handheld gamers. As the company announced, the prices for Vita won't be cut in the nearest future. They have as well admitted that it's getting harder to get support from game publishers for their portable console. But there is still hope for Vita's sales to increase, with its future game releases such as Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified.