Another point that needs to be made here....
No one really ever thought the Vita was going to blow 3DS out the water or anything, only that it would hold its own against it in a similar vein PSP did (PSP is the ONLY handheld to ever retain it's stance in the market against NIN handheld). How quickly we all forget tho, the E3 of Vita's reveal....the press and fans alike were all about the Vita.
Vita was positioned perfectly with exact same price point as 3DS, high quality of games all due in the first year. It had/has far more functionality and so forth. Everyone was looking at it with wide anime eyes.
Then 3DS released, and sales were not as rapid as NIN would have liked (but honestly not that bad), but the fact that the press was wrecking the mindshare of it all was spelling doom for the system. The media keeps peddling this fantasy that handhelds are in direct opposition to phones and everyone started believing it. In comparison the 3DS looked bleak, but in reality it was doing just fine. Never the less....the 3DS dropped price dramatically.
What happened when Vita arrived? Now the Vita had it's own set of set backs that might have deterred some people (Memory Card overpriced, 3G exclusive to AT&T, PS1/PSP support not at launch) but the biggest hurdle would have to be the elephant in the room, a $70 cheaper 3DS.
At that point everyone just ASSUMED Vita should drop as well. Its not even that anyone thinks it is to expensive, it is priced fairly appropriately and the 3DS was price gouging from jump. Its the mindset that no one wants to feel robbed like many of the 3DS early adopters felt. So in order to be on the safe side, many would be buyers are waiting on the side lines for the inevitable price drop. We all know its right around the corner, so who in there right mind other than the totally faithful would get it now?
Sony has been fighting this reality with tooth and nail ever since. They should have just dropped it from jump to save themselves the heart ache. They seem to think SAYING they have dropped price somehow cheapens the product or harms it in someway. They technically have already done so but they just won't say it. Unfortunately, consumers have to hear someone say "Cheap" before they realize it is there in front of them. If Sony's memory isn't broken, that became PS3's issue for years (the "No Gaemz" mantra that was false). Doesn't help there advertisments this gen have been abysmal and can't get the basics of selling an item across, let alone benefits.
PSN:Forevercloud (looking for Soul Sacrifice Partners!!!)