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No price cut for PlayStation Vita expected, despite slow sales

PS Vita Screenshot - PS Vita wallpaper

It's no secret that the PlayStation Vita sales haven't lived up to expectations and early predictions.  After selling roughly 320,000 units in its opening weekend, Vita sales plummeted 78% in the second weekend - with only 72,000 units sold.

On top of that, Sony's biggest rival in the handheld department, the Nintendo 3DS has been selling like hotcakes - recently surpassing 4 million units sold.  In fact, just last week sales reports indicated that the Nintendo 3DS outsold the PlayStation Vita 6 to 1.

One person who believes the PS Vita is fine is game analyst Michael Pachter, who recently told Forbes there is "no chance" for a price cut for the Vita.

“There’s no chance for a price cut,” Pachter said. “The price points for software are what I expected, and highlight the disparity between casual smartphone games and premium console-quality handheld games.”

Although the price points for the software are where Mr. Pachter expected, it could be a big reason for slumping software sales on the Vita.  As of last week, the Vita only had four titles in Media Creates Top 50 sales - with none of them appearing in the Top 30.  The top performing game for the PS Vita was Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, coming in at the 37th spot.

“I think PS Vita is a hardcore product, and it may have difficulty finding a mainstream audience, especially as smartphones penetrate the mainstream,” said Pachter.

I, personally, have a hard time believing people will dish out $40 to $50 for a game on the Vita, when they can be just as entertained with a free Angry Birds game on their phone.  Will it have the same story or graphics?  Absolutely not, but it'll keep them occupied for hours on end.  And really, I think that's all casual, mobile gamers are looking for - something affordable that will keep them occupied as they travel from point A to point B.

The PlayStation Vita is currently available in Japan with a slated release of February 22nd in the United States and Europe.  However, if you are into doomsday reports, CNet has predicted that Sony would go so far as to cancel the U.S. launch completely - due to slumping sales in Japan.  For those looking to get a better understanding of the Vita, check out our walkthrough of the handheld.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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