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Sony sells 160,000 PS Vitas in first week of US holiday season

Struggling firm's game division said combined PS3 hardware and software sales were up 9% from a year earlier

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Sony sold over 160,000 PlayStation Vitas during the opening week of the holiday shopping season in the US, a key test for its flagship handheld game.

The Vita launched in December 2011 in Japan, but several months later in most other markets, so the next few weeks will mark its first holiday season in much of the world. The Vita is increasingly competing not just with Nintendo's portable 3DS console, but with the growing armada of tablets and smartphones on the market, many with high-resolution screens and multi-core processors.

Sony has already downplayed its expectations for its portable game consoles. The company slashed its annual sales target for the Vita and previous generation PlayStation Portable to 10 million earlier this month, 17% lower than its previous goal.

In its first three weeks of sales in Japan last year, the PlayStation Vita racked up an impressive 500,000 sales.

Sony also said its PlayStation 3 game console performed well during the opening week of the US holiday retail season. The company sold 525,000 consoles from November 18 to November 24, including various game bundles.

Sony aims to sell 16 million PS3s this fiscal year worldwide, including a slimmed-down version released earlier this year.

The company's game division, Sony Computer Entertainment, said that total sales from November 18 to November 24 were up 9% compared to a year earlier, a figure that combines consoles, game software and peripherals.

Sony said it sold out of several bundle packs that include games along with consoles, including a Vita bundles that include Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, and Lego Batman 2, which sold out during the week.

In addition to its traditional game console business, Sony is also pushing heavily its online gaming network. The company has also begun rolling out its fledgling gaming platform for Android-based phones, PlayStation Mobile, which certifies third-party devices and games to provide a "PlayStation-like" gaming experience to users on their existing hardware.



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