Sony’s PlayStation Vita has struggled out of the gate, with slow sales and a sad little trickle of software to support it. The most telling sign of the device’s lack of popularity is you just don’t see it very often when you’re out and about. Those who’ve managed to wait a couple months to pick one up are in luck, with used copies dipping to as low as $162 at times.

In a telling opinion column, a Gamasutra writer speculates that the thing keeping the Vita from getting the price cut it needs to pick up sales is the ego of new Sony CEO Kaz Hirai. A short-order price cut, like what Nintendo did for the 3DS, could make the Vita seem like a failure. Hirai is apparently nervous about suffering a blotch on his record so early in his reign, so the Vita will stay $80 more expensive than the 3DS.

Sony should have learned from its experience with the PSP, as well as the 3DS, that a handheld is a tough sell at $250, even if its tech blows the competition away. With so many cheap games available on cell phones already in their pockets, people are hesitant to dig too deeply to spring for another piece of hardware.

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