For the third week in a row, Sony’s new portable handheld has shown decreasing sales figures, failing to beat its own predecessor (the PSP) in the hardware sales charts. According to Japanese chart company Media Create, the PSV sold a paltry 42 648 units in its third week of sales; last week Sony sold 72 479 PSV units.

By contrast, Nintendo’s 3DS handheld (the PSV’s chief competition) sold 197 952 units beating the PSV numbers by nearly five-to-one. Adding to perspective, the 3DS sold 96 463 units during its third week of sales back in March 2011.

Certain Japanese hardware stores have begun reducing the price of the 3G version of the PSV. This price reduction is NOT a Sony sanctioned price cut. On top of this, only two PSV titles managed to crack the top 30 list so far: Hot Shots Golf and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. It’s probably safe to say that the PSV is experiencing a sluggish start in Japan! It’ll be interesting to see how it’s received in the USA as well as Europe and South Africa in February. Are you planning on picking one up?

Sources: Eurogamer and Joystiq