The Sony PlayStation Vita launched in Japan on Friday, and over the weekend the hotly anticipated handheld console had a bit of a rocky start.
While Sony hasn't released official sales figures yet, Japanese magazine publisher Enterbrain has announced that an estimated 321,407 PlayStation Vita units were sold in the two days after its release. To put this into context, 371,326 Nintendo 3DS units were sold in the first two days of its launch in February of this year and many considered that to be a poor showing for Nintendo. The PlayStation Portable sold 166,074 on its launch day in Japan in December 2004. Considering there were reports on Friday that Sony shipped an extra 200,000 Vita units due to "massive pre-order demands" (making for a potential shipment of 700,000 units), sales figures aren't spectacular. Presumably, the launch lineup of 26 games (including Uncharted: Golden Abyss and LittleBigPlanet) meant to entice fans into picking one up hasn't quite worked as planned.
There have also been numerous reports of problems with the device. These include issues with the device crashing, lagging during gameplay, frequent freezes and problems registering a PlayStation Network account. While there are often issues with new systems and Sony were quick to release a new system update, many early adopters are reporting that the process of configuring a PlayStation Vita is excessively complex. Cheap Ass Gamer founder David "CheapyD" Abrams uploaded a video explaining how he had to set up a temporary PSN account to download the update due to a glitch stopping him from using a pre-existing PSN account. While the update only took a few minutes and fixed many of the problems, the process involved is something that's bound to infuriate many new Vita owners until it's rectified.
Sony has issued a statement on their Japanese PlayStation Vita website roughly translated as "Currently, our information centre regarding PlayStation Vita as well as our usual customer service centre are receiving many enquiries. We apologize if your phone isn't connected straight away." Sony has also been keen to reassure users who do have problems by providing Japanese users with advice on how to deal with common issues like device freezes or power failures.
The PlayStation Vita is set for release February 22 in the US. Hopefully by that time, these teething problems will all be rectified.
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