GameStop Bracing for a PS Vita Failure

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Yesterday I began my trek in search of MLB 12: The Show for the PS Vita (garnering many “Why not just get it on PS3?” looks along the way), and I was actually stunned at how difficult it was to find. On my first visit to my primary GameStop, the sales associate replied that the store manager was ordering very few Vita titles and unfortunately the only copy they had was for a reserve. I chalked it up to just being unlucky and made my way a mile and a half down the road to the next store. Lo and behold, they had it! The kicker was that they only had two copies and I was informed that their stock is very limited as well.  I ring up, and walk out happy with a miniature sized MLB 12: The Show and a smile the size of Texas. Portable gaming just got real!

I wasn’t quite done yet, instead turning my attention to a few more stores to check out the inventory scene. I kid you not, in the following three stores I went to I found a pathetic rack of games in a far corner out of plain view, and repeatedly finding out that majority of their games are severely limited. I actually encountered a sales associate who was unaware of what I was talking about at all. Are you serious? That’s a different rant altogether, but it doesn’t give me the impression that GameStop has many eggs in the Vita basket. It was especially surprising for a title like MLB 12: The Show, which was just released yesterday morning and has a huge fan base.

Why is this, with all the hype put towards the PS Vita as the future and first true portable gaming system? Are stores growing weary of diving into the hype of future failures like the PSP Go, forty DS models that have little distinction and ending up with mass product that they can’t get off the floor? I know it’s common business practice to stock what sells, but there could be something more as the Vita hasn’t even had enough time to make a dent and it’s already a step away from the bargain bin. Put it this way: the final GameStop I went to had fourteen different iPod models available, and just six PS Vita games.

I’m no Carmen Sandiego, and I willingly admit that a small sample size in a ten mile span doesn’t make an indictment on a major gaming chain in the USA. What is it like at your local GameStop? Did you have a midnight release for the PS Vita, any Vita-happy events and a high stock of games? Leave a comment below or talk about it in our forums!

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