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Sony admits Vita is "a little behind the numbers we originally pictured"

Research points to two reasons: price and games.

Sony's put a brave face on regarding Vita's performance since launch. The handheld hasn't taken off and Sony can't be happy with it, but Sony's never going to admit that - or is it?

A little honesty seems to have slipped through the cracks in Japan, where SCEJ president Hiroshi Kawano admitted to Famitsu magazine (reported by Polygon) that, "Certainly, at the present time, maybe we're a little behind the numbers we originally pictured.

"I feel we have a ways to go in terms of getting across the good traits of the PS Vita," he continued, "along with everything the software has to offer. Also, I want to keep pushing for more games that people want to play, since like our research showed, that's one thing blocking customers curious about the Vita from making a purchase.

"There are about 100 titles released [in Japan] in a year's time, and I want to get across that we've got a lot of really good games. Like with our other platforms, we're developing the Vita system with the idea that it'll have a lifecycle of 10 years and change, so I think we need to do everything we can to flesh out the service going forward."

That research he mentioned highlighted two hurdles Japanese people stumble at when considering a PlayStation Vita: price and games.

Sony lowered that price-hurdle two days ago, slicing both the Wi-Fi and 3G Vita to 20,000 yen (roughly £140). It's still around 1000 yen more expensive than 3DS, but the difference is now negligible. (No comparative price-cut has been announced for Europe.)

The question of games is harder to answer. The Sony studios that tried to give Vita a running start are now all presumably working on giving PS4 a running start. Meanwhile, third-party publishers are probably sitting on their hands waiting for the Vita market to prove itself worthwhile. They're also, I expect, more concerned with the impending arrival of PS4 and the next Xbox.

It's a tricky time. Maybe Sony has an ace up its sleeve that we'll see tonight at the PlayStation event in New York.