Analysts not convinced of Sony’s 10m Vita sales claim; “a stretch”

After announcing that it’s shifted a rather humble 1.8 million units of PlayStation Vita since launch, Sony made a bold prediction: that it would sell 10 million by March next year.

Analysts aren’t buying it.

“10 million looks like a stretch goal at this point,” RW Baird’s Colin Sebastian says (via GI).

“Perhaps there is a price cut baked into that guidance later in the year, or Sony believe that there are titles such as Call of Duty for Vita that will be meaningful platform drivers.

“Vita is a great dedicated game device, but the market for those products continues to shrink as smart devices become better platforms for games.”

Asif Khan, CEO of Panoptic Management Consultants, believes that in order to make the device more attractive, a price cut would have to take place.

“Unfortunately, PS Vita’s margins will have to suffer through price cuts if they want to start moving more units out of stores,” Khan says, pointing to  Nintendo’s recent experiences: “The price cut of the 3DS was exactly the catalyst Nintendo needed to jumpstart sales after a similar lacklustre launch. That being said, Sony has bigger problems than a Vita price cut can solve.”

Lewis Ward, IDC Research Manager, however, believes Sony can in fact deliver on their estimations: “My global estimate for Vita hardware sales in calendar year 2012 is a little over 9 million. Vita only had about a month of sales beyond Japan in Sony’s last fiscal year so I think it’s likely the 1.8 million total will be matched or beaten in the next couple quarters.”

Sony itself sees the problem being in the lack of software. “A game platform, like Vita — the software is the key to success, how good the software is,” Sony CEO Kaz Hirai recently said. “We have to reinforce the software area in order to improve the business, that is the basic line.”

Fingers crossed for a massive E3 presence then.