Vita sales around 15,000 a month in America, ouch!

While Michael Pachter may be a self-serving games gimp to most, he should at least know the numbers from his day job as an industry analyst. So, when he says that estimates for April's NPD figures for the Vita are around 15,000 units (which is what it often sells per week in Japan) then its time for another wince and clench from existing happy (or unhappy) Vita owners.

Every time a number does appear, it seems way below what the Vita needs to attract western (and even Japanese) developers, beyond the welcome indie hordes. And, while there might be a last push from E3 up to Christmas, if the Vita doesn't take off dramatically by that point, then Sony will have to look at refocusing its effort on PS3/PS4 since developing big games at a major loss can only be tolerated for so long.

Which leaves us pretty much six months for a GTA, Gran Turismo or proper Call of Duty or Monster Hunter -esque title that will help sell millions of handhelds. Even if a new big-hitter does appear, with the next-gen hardware imminent, it is hard to see gamers flocking to a portable for just one or two games.

Perhaps if Sony throws in a year of PS+ (I think "20+ free games with this console" sounds rather good) with new bundles then things may get moving, but based on those numbers and Sony's insistence on hiding the true figures, you know things can't be good.

The last hard figure for Vita sales was 2.2 million worldwide some 11 months ago. If it is over three million now, I'd be impressed and most of that from the Japanese price cut and recent resurgence. Yes, we're well past the "Vita has no games" issue now, but even the supposed system sellers, Persona 4 and Soul Sacrifice made the merest dent in the chart.