The PS Vita has sold 1.2 million units worldwide and is being declared a success. Sony is laughing and saying "I told you so" and the 1.2 million who have bought the device are saying its great that it's a success and that the device is fantastic. That the console is great has never really been in question so it's irrelevant for this post. What this is about is the sales.
Last year with the launch of Nintendo's 3DS, also a great console, figures were announced for sales that were considerably higher than those of the PS Vita and yet it was deemed a failure and many worried about its future. I accept that Sony handhelds traditionally undersell compared to the Nintendo handhelds but still, calling the Vita a success when the 3DS was a failure is sheer madness. Also, consider that the Vita is intended to make Sony the dominant handheld company, and therefore must outsell the 3DS.
But the industry has changed! Mobile gaming has reared it's ugly head and conquered more of the globe than anything that has come before it! How could handhelds possibly sell?! The idea that the Vita is a success because handhelds can't sell due to the rise of mobile and tablet gaming is lazy. If you were to analyse things such as sales figures, which I have done in my post on mobile gaming (check the archive for these figures, it's called Smart Gaming), then you would see clearly that the two can coexist because they cater for different audiences within the vast gaming community. Indeed the 3DS is breaking records and I'm sure if Sony woke up and dealt with the Vita's issues then it could be a roaring success.
So, the Vita isn't quite the monolithic failure that many predicted but nor is it the success story that some are trying to claim it is. It still has a long and hard road ahead of it, much like the 3DS did last year, and it's still clear that Sony learnt nothing from Nintendo's launch. I'm sure they can turn it around but they mustn't relax just yet. 1.2 million sales really isn't that impressive.