The sluggish sale start of Sony’s new portable gaming console, PlayStation Vita, has forced retailers in Japan to run unofficial price cuts which go up to 20 percent.
The discounts are offered only for the most expensive 3G version of the console, which also requires an extra mobile data plan.
The PlayStation Vita has succeeded in selling more than 321,000 units in the first weekend, nearly double compared to the previous Sony portable gaming console, the PSP. But compared to the rival Nintendo 3DS, which sold over 371,000 units in its opening weekend, the Vita was still low.
The low sales then continued through the winter holidays in Japan. The Vita added just 72,000 units in the second week and analysts wonder how the console will do on the U.S. market, where is set to début on February 22.
There are however other voices which say that the console is on track and Sony will not run any official price cuts.
“There’s no chance for a price cut,” said Michael Pachter, a video game analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. “The price points for software are what I expected, and highlight the disparity between casual smart phone games and premium console-quality handheld games.”