The PlayStation Vita has barely been on shelves for a single day, but there's already talk of a price cut for the system. Research firm Strategy Analytics released a note today projecting that the PS Vita will sell 12.4 million units worldwide in 2012, "assuming a price cut sometime this year."
If Sony can get the average retail price of a PS Vita down to $180, the firm expects the system's hardware sales to reach $2.2 billion. Currently, the Wi-Fi model of the PS Vita sells for $250, while the 3G-enabled hardware goes for $300. The handheld's closest competitor, the 3DS, launched last year at a $250 price point, but Nintendo slashed that to $170 after initial sales proved disappointing.
Strategy Analytics pointed out that when the PS Vita launched in Japan in December, initial sales were strong. The system topped 300,000 units sold in its first week but has since dropped to as few as 12,000 units sold on a weekly basis. The firm believes that the system's North American and European sales totals will follow that pattern as well, the same strong start and quick decline experienced by the 3DS last year.
"Despite the solid design and strong processing power, it is challenging to convince consumers to buy a dedicated game console above the $200 price range in today's economic environment as Nintendo has learnt," the firm said. "Sales of 3G models will be a particular challenge as it demands a $50 premium and additional data plan charges and in the long run is likely to represent only a small portion of total PlayStation Vita sales."