Sony's next-gen handheld the PS Vita had its worst sales slump in Japan last week, with the amount of units shifted slipping below the 10,000 mark for the first time.

All gaming hardware sales in Japan took a bit of a battering, with Nintendo 3DS sales plummeting by nearly 50 per cent to 72,115 units.

The PS Vita is currently selling at around 60 per cent of its predecessor, the PSP, which managed 14,804 sales in the same week.

Some experts are pointing to a software lull for the PS Vita, with the hope that when new triple-A titles are released the console's numbers will pick up.

And, to its credit, it did beat the Wii – 7,095 units – and the Xbox 360, which took home a paltry 3,764 (although this was triple the sales it did the week before).

TechRadar Verdict
PS Vita
PS Vita review

Upping the game

It's a tough time for the dedicated handheld gaming market, with massive competition coming from tablets and smartphones - and the recent reduction in console prices won't have helped matters, either.

Sony's latest announcement that it is to restructure its whole business shows that the company is at least making the major changes it needs to get its business back to fighting fitness, but these latest PS Vita figures will come as something of a blow.

There's a number of big games coming to the handheld soon, including Mortal Kombat and LittleBigPlanet.

And here's hoping Sony's E3 announcements in June will bolster consumer confidence for a device TechRadar gave a more-than decent four stars.

Via SlashGear and PSU