Sony PS Vita sales fall shy of 3DS launch volume

But a better seller in the long run?

Sony PS Vita handheld games console

Mobile-mad Japanese gamers bought 321,400 PS Vita handheld consoles this past weekend, local market watcher Enterbrain has revealed.

A lot of units, to be sure, but behind Nintendo's 3DS launch, which saw 371,000 units snapped up in a similar two-day period.

The original PSP clocked up two-day launch sales of 166,000 units back in 2004.

Sony PS Vita

Nintendo shouldn't get cocky. The 3DS has arguably a broader appeal than the Vita. Yet 3DS sales plunged quickly once eager fans had acquired the device. It has largely failed to build a more mainstream audience.

Sony hopes the Vita will reach beyond its core fanbase. But it faces an uphill struggle persuading folk who already game on smartphones to buy a second device.

Hardcore gamers won't mind carrying two gadgets, knowing that the Vita delivers a better gaming experience than a phone, but more casual gamers may favour single-device convenience.

The PS Vita goes on sale over here at the end of February 2012. You can read Reg Hardware's preview of the PS Vita, based on a play with some of the launch titles, here. ®

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