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Sony planning "more tailored approach" to Vita software pricing

Wed 30 Nov 2011 1:18pm GMT / 8:18am EST / 5:18am PST

Multiple price-points expected, but publisher confident it can "sustain" premium pricing on triple-A games

PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan has revealed that Sony is planning to offer multiple price-points for Vita software to combat the growing threat of cheap smartphone games to its handheld business.

While the company has yet to confirm details ahead of the console's European launch next February, Ryan told "I think it would be safe to assume we will take a more tailored approach than perhaps we've done in the past."

Speaking in London last week following confirmation of the first-party launch titles in Europe, Ryan admitted it would be "foolish and na´ve to ignore what's happening" in the smartphone sector.

"It's our challenge to ensure that the gaming experience that we provide is closer to that TV console experience than it is to your 69p thing that you've downloaded on your iPhone," he added.

If we provide great value on games like Uncharted, I think the possibility to sustain historic console price points is there

Jim Ryan, Sony Europe

"If we do that and we provide great value to the consumer on games like Uncharted, I think the possibility to sustain historic console type price points is there."

One launch title that may be priced lower than premium is the newly-announced MotorStorm RC from Evolution Studios, coming to Vita and PlayStation 3 as a digital download, with cross-platform functionality.

Evolution group game director Matt Southern said: "We've not announced the price yet, but we have announced that for one price you'll get both versions". Later last week, during a panel discussion at Develop Liverpool, Southern added that the studio was in dialogue with Sony over pricing, hinting that a lower-than-premium point was preferred.

Further seeking to differentiate Vita from its smartphone rivals, Ryan said: "Absolutely it does do other things, but it has been designed as a gaming device, and a perfectly logical consequence of that is that the gaming experiences you can have on Vita are superior to what is possible on a device that has other functionality at its heart."

Elsewhere, Ryan admitted that predicting the relative popularity of the 3G and wi-fi only models of Vita was something "we agonise over endlessly internally". However, he said Sony expected the wi-fi model would "just shave it" in numbers.

"But the truth be told, we just don't know," he continued. "This is one area where we're going to have to be very nimble internally and if consumer preference skews one way or another we will adjust very rapidly to meet what the true underlying consumer demand is."


Harrison Smith
Studying Games and Graphics Programming

75 4 0.1
SONY should take a good look at the IOS market, and understand that there is alot of developers making for that market, they are making interesting and ever increasing in quality experiences. Now how do I get those developers to make for the PSV, the simple answer to that is to make the process as easy as possible for those developers, allow the price to be that of what they want (do the 30% cut), and open the platform up to allow engines like Unity to offer its publishing as like ios and android, but then go a step ahead and regulate the games, reject the poorly made games and allow those of decent quality in and also make sure there is a great store front. Now these games wont kill the high quality ones, but having that range unlike ios along with hard controls could be a strong reason for people to pick up the device. SONY can get the indie market, they need a good store, allow good prices, and have great support available for the indies and they will be rewarded with more sales of the devices, developers making great games for the system and could be a way for the device to use the current smart phone gaming revolution and not compete against it.

Posted:2 years ago


Graeme Quantrill
Mobile App Developer

42 8 0.2
Sony already have a good marketplace, the PSN network. It's been successful for Indies in the past and gives flexibility on price points (or more so than say XBL).

In some degree, I wonder why Sony consider the mobile market as it is a completely different scenario. Games in that market are generally very short lived, pick up and play affairs. Users will expect more from Vita and expect the same quality from it as they receive on a) home consoles and b) current true hand-helds.

Comparing the console (even handheld) and mobile markets, or at least type of game, is the equivalent of wondering if Book Authors worry about the magazine market or the blogsphere.

Posted:2 years ago


Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
Cross-platform support for MotorStorm RC... does that mean it's coming to the PS3 as well? I hope so; I've got a lot of time for the MotorStorm games.

I'm not personally a fan of handheld gaming, but I'm looking forward to the launch of the Vita. Sony have really done their homework and corrected their mistakes from its predecessor, as it seems to be ticking almost every box.

Posted:2 years ago


Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,129 1,161 1.0

Braid, BitTip, Chime, Limbo, Geometry Wars, etc., etc.

Those are the kind of games you want to play for 15 minutes at a time, not some downport of an 8h console experience.

In terms of WiFi vs 3G, I predict 90% to be Wifi only, due to 3G contracts being rather prohibitive in price considering the target audience of Sony.

Posted:2 years ago


Jack Lee
Studying Internet Marketing

4 0 0.0
Mr. Smith's comment makes me excited just to think about, but can we really expect such a showing from Sony? I'm an avid PS3 owner and player, but they have done nothing to suggest that indies will be overtly supported like on Steam. I hope it happens, as that might make me buy a Vita (once I have a job, at least!), but I won't be holding my breath.

Posted:2 years ago


Preet Basson
Studying Mathematics with Statistics

92 13 0.1

Posted:2 years ago


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