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(Pocket-lint) - The sales of the PS Vita, Sony's new handheld games console, have dropped in the second week of release in Japan. While it sold 325,000 units in its first 48 hours (17 - 18 December) the following 7 days saw a massive dip, with only a further 72,479 devices sold.

Some sites, such as GamesRadar, are even reporting that some retailers are already cutting the price of the 3G version of the Vita by up to 20 per cent. One retailer is now listing the 3G model at 24,999 yen (£208) whereas it launched at 29,980 yen (£250).

News site Forbes also believes that prices could be slashed even further in the coming weeks: "Sony will likely be forced to cut the price of the PS Vita from 24’000 yen to well below 20’000 yen very soon," it says.

In addition, it believes that Sony's pricing strategy for the US launch could cause more troubles for the handheld's initial take-up: "The upcoming US launch could be a true debacle for several reasons. Sony has decided to price Vita at $250, higher than the Amazon Kindle Fire. The hottest games like the latest Uncharted are priced at $50, while many other major titles are $40," it states.

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"The tablet and iPhone market penetration rates in America are higher than in Japan – consumers may well be more reluctant to splurge on expensive, proprietary handheld consoles."

Of course, many were writing off the Nintendo 3DS after poor launch sales figures, but in its 9 months of existence, it has sold more units than the now hugely successful Wii did after it launched. Although, it must be said, that its first week figures of 370,000, with 210,000 units sold in week two vastly outnumber those of the PS Vita.

The Sony PlayStation Vita hits the UK on 22 February, priced at £279 for the 3G + Wi-Fi version, £229 for Wi-Fi only.

What do you think? Will the PS Vita be a success? Is it too expensive? Let us know in the comments below...

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Writing by Rik Henderson.