Ever since the PlayStation Vita's Japanese price drop on Feb. 28 (both the Wi-Fi and 3G versions are now 19,800 yen over there), Sony's portable has been selling pretty respectably — or, at least, a lot more than it was.
Over 200,000 units were sold in Japan during the month of March, the best month it's had since the December 2011 launch, and the system now has a userbase of around 1.4 million systems in the country. (The top-selling game: Persona 4: The Golden, at 238,000 copies).
However, this doesn't necessarily mean all those Vita owners are happy. According to a survey conducted on Famitsu.com a couple weeks ago, about 46 percent of users said they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the hardware. An equal percentage were satisfied with the software lineup, but users were overall much more negative about the Vita's game library than the system itself.
"Sony seems to be pushing the social features of the device, but to me that's a lot of functionality I don't need," said one 38-year-old male respondant. "Also, the interface is non-intuitive and hard to use. It's difficult to tell what the icons mean, and what little text-based explanation there is includes a lot of Vita-specific jargon that's easy to get confused with."
Although games like Persona 4, Soul Sacrifice and the upcoming Dragon's Crown are attracting user attention in Japan, some gamers in Japan still don't see it as quite enough. "There is a better selection of interesting software now, but I think there's still too few of them," one 34-year-old woman wrote. "I'd really like to see some kind of big title that I'd want to recommend to people that don't own the Vita."
Survey commenters were asked by Famitsu to rate their overall experience with the Vita on a scale from 0 to 100. The average score, out of over 1,500 replies: 74.92, with most of the replies printed in Famitsu demonstrating cautious optimism for the future. "If you actually try it out, you realize that it's really kind of like a tablet that happens to be good for games," as one user summed it up. "Being able to play fully fleshed-out titles like these on a portable system easily is really great; I don't use my PS3 much any longer. I'm hoping for better things from it in the future, in apps as well as games."