Following the PlayStation Vita's Japanese price cut, SCE Japan president Hiroshi Kawano has told Famitsu the handheld is performing a "little" less impressively than it expected. That's one brave way of putting it.
"Certainly, at the present time, maybe we’re a little behind the numbers we originally pictured," he said. "I feel we have a ways to go in terms of getting across the good traits of the PS Vita, along with everything the software has to offer."
As far as the price drop goes, Kawano downplayed the reduction as simply an effort to get more of a great product into the hands of the market.
"The biggest reason is that we simply want to have more people playing the PS Vita," he claimed. "Based on our research, there are two broad reasons why people who may want to try the Vita aren't purchasing it. One, they want to wait until there’s a game they want to play on it. Two, the price is a little out of reach for them.
"What we also learned in this research is that people who do own a Vita have tremendous satisfaction with it; it’s the kind of platform where you get a feel for how good it is once you touch it. But we found that the price was too big an initial hurdle for this, and this sparked a long internal debate within SCE."
The executive added that Japan's getting around 100 Vita games this year, and he's eager to get customers playing them. Further, he reiterated Sony's classic "ten year cycle" mantra, applying it to the latest handheld system.
"Like with our other platforms, we’re developing the Vita system with the idea that it’ll have a lifecycle of ten years and change, so I think we need to do everything we can to flesh out the service going forward. We have the new price down; now it’s time for software. Just with what’s been announced so far, we’ll have more games coming out this year than last, and they’re being launched on a regular basis throughout the year.
"I think that’ll make users feel they’re always getting enough, and we’re prepared to push these titles as needed. We’re going to be actively on the offensive in 2013."
As someone who struggles to find excuses to use his Vita, despite really, really wanting to, I do hope this "offensive" approach makes it across the ocean. Maybe tonight's PlayStation event will have something for us? Fingers crossed.