Rival platform the Nintendo 3DS sold 50,000 systems more when it debuted, moving 371,000 earlier this year, reports Reuters.
3DS sales later slumped, forcing Nintendo to slash the price of the handheld console. However, the platform holder has since revealed that it went on to surpass the original DS in terms of first-year sales.
PS Vita launched with 26 game titles in Japan last weekend. Sony executives Andy House and Kaz Hirai were in attendance at the Tsutaya store in Shibuya to personally hand out the first unit sold.
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3, BlazBlue Continuum Shift II, Lord of Apocalypse, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Power Smash 4, Uncharted, Hot Shots Golf 6, Disgaea 3 Return and Katamari Damacy Nobita were among the console's launch lineup.
PlayStation Vita will arrive in North America and Europe on February 22, 2012.
> PlayStation Vita suffers software issues
Scroll through pictures from the PlayStation Vita's Japanese launch below: