SCE president Andrew House at the Vita's Japanese launch ©AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO

(Relaxnews) – Sony is sticking to its stated aim of selling 10 million PlayStation Vita handheld consoles by March 2013, aided by a strong software line-up and selection of free services.

Speaking to Reuters, PlayStation CEO Andrew House confirmed the 10 million target, first alluded to by Sony boss Kaz Hirai back in May.

The portable console, released in Japan in December 2011 and debuting in North America and Europe three months later, accrued a total of 1.8 million worldwide sales by the end of March.

Sony will need to see significant holiday sales in order to shift those remaining 8 million units, but it can have some measure of belief in the Vita’s roster of games.

Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and Call of Duty: Black Ops II Declassified join Lego Batman 2, LittleBigPlanet, the Metal Gear Solid and Persona 4 reissues as well as a new FIFA and Madden NFL among titles due before the year end.

In addition, Sony has been faithfully plugging away on the services front, making space for a range of unique, free apps such as Travel Bug, Wake Up Club and Paint Park to complement the ubiquitous Facebook, Skype, Twitter and YouTube functions.

Belief in the strength of software, services, and the appeal of shiny, shiny high tech gadgets was one of the reasons why Sony didn’t follow Nintendo’s lead by lowering the price of its handheld.

“We’ve never been first. We’ve never been cheapest. It’s about being the best,” said Jack Tretton, man in charge of Sony Computer Entertainment’s American branch, when GameTrailers TV gave him the chance to justify company strategy.

Watch Sony’s E3 2012 PlayStation Vita “Sizzle” trailer: