Sony confirms Vita sales figures

Sony's PS Vita handheld had sold 1.8 million units by the end of March, the company has confirmed.

The figure was revealed by new CEO Kaz Hirai during an investor call following the release of the company's annual results, which showed total Sony losses of £3.6 billion.

"About Vita," Hirai said through a translator, according to Eurogamer, "the last year, [we sold] 1.8 million units [in the] US, Japan, Asia and Europe… I think it was a good start."

It means 600,000 units were sold worldwide in just over a month: the handheld had notched up 1.2 million worldwide sales by February 26. Sony is forecasting 16 million sales of Vita and PSP in the coming financial year, with Hirai telling one analyst PSP would be responsible for around six million.

Vita's slow start – especially in Japan, where weekly sales have hovered around the 10,000 mark of late – mirrors that of 3DS. Sales of Nintendo's console picked up in the fourth quarter of the year, fired by a belated rush of quality games, and it was surely with this in mind that Hirai said software was of the utmost importance to Vita's fortunes.

"[With] a game platform like Vita, the software is the key to success – how good the software is," he said. "We have to reinforce the software area in order to improve the business, that is the basic line.

"At this moment, there is no decline or lack of motivation as a portable platform. There is no change. And services and software must be strengthened."

Sony's annual losses rose 76 per cent to £3.56 billion, with the consumer products and services division, which includes the PlayStation business, hit with a loss of £1.8 billion. The company has confirmed it is to axe 10,000 jobs over the coming fiscal year, and expects to be back in the black by March 31, 2013.