Nintendo Legend Miyamoto Criticizes PlayStation Vita: Why?

5 May 2012, 12:31 pm EDT By Jonathan Charles Mobile & Apps

It looks like Sony has not maintained the PlayStation Vita's strong sales that it experienced at the beginning of the year, with the system lacking titles as the Nintendo 3DS did during its first months post-launch. Gaming icon and industry legend Shigeru Miyamoto has criticised the Vita, specifically Sony's software strategy with the device.

Miyamoto said the device isn't poorly constructed, but the Vita's execution is failing Sony.

"It's obviously a very hi-spec machine and you can do a lot of things with it, but I don't really see the combination of software and hardware that really makes a very strong product.," he said in an interview with Edge Magazine in Paris. Miyamoto added the comments weren't out of place because he doesn't see the Vita as a threat to the 3DS.

In the 13 months since release, Nintendo has sold 13.5 million 3DS units. The company initially expected to sell 16 million, but was pressured into a price drop - from $250 to $170 - along with additional colors and first-party titles such as Super Mario 3D Land because of poor opening sales.

The Vita's slump is probably a surprise, however, as titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Lumines: Electronic Symphony received positive reviews. The handheld sold 325,000 units in Japan and 600,000 in western regions during launch respectively. It has been outsold in Japan more recently by its predecessor, the PSP, and Nintendo's Wii.

Also, the 3DS has been the top-selling device in Japan since the August price cut. Miyamoto admitted to Edge, however, the lack of software titles harmed the device.

"When we launched the 3DS hardware we didn't have Super Mario 3D Land, we didn't have Mario Kart 7, we didn't have Kid Icarus: Uprising. We were striving to have all of these ready for the launch, but we weren't able to deliver them at that time.

"We were kind of hoping that people would, nevertheless, buy into the product, find 3DS hardware promising, but looking back we have to say we realise the key software was missing when we launched the hardware," he added in the interview.

(reported by Jonathan Charles, edited by Dave Clark)

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