Playstation Vita sales climb to 1.8 million

Sony’s new handheld has shown strong growth lately, but there’s still a lot of room to grow.

Sales of Sony’s Playstation Vita had a very slow start and the device’s launch in Japan was mired by glitches and game-crippling bugs.

However, now, the company says that it has reached a more admirable 1.8 million unit sales by the end of its fiscal year, which ended in March. In February, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Kirai says that sales were at 1.2 million units. That means in March alone, the number of Vitas that have been sold grew by 50%.

Of course, that’s also because it was actually on US store shelves as well as other regions. In its first couple months on the market, the Vita was only available in the very limited region of Japan.

In March, Sony said, only 52,492 Vita units were purchased in Japan. That represents less than 10% of the 600,000 or so units that were sold on a global scale. So bringing it to the larger markets has of course had a boost in sales.

It still needs to prove that the Vita is a viable handheld, and that there is room in the market for a dedicated handheld game device when so many people are now content to play games on their iPhone, Android phones, and tablets.

Sony said that in its next fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012, it will be able to do that. It projects that 10 million units will be sold in that period.

A big part of that will depend on next month’s E3 trade show, where the Vita could even be a bigger talking point than the PS3. Sony will need to show a lot of