Sony: PlayStation Vita price was decided from day one

Company did not want repeat of PS3's high price holding back sales, says Worldwide Studios boss Yoshida

Sony has told that the price of the PlayStation Vita handheld was set at $249 at the earliest stages of hardware development.

The decision was taken to avoid a repeat of the launch of the PlayStation 3, which struggled with slow sales due to the cripplingly high price of between $500-$600.

"Going through the PlayStation 3 experience was difficult for all of us involved," Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony's Worldwide Studios, told

"So when we started working on PS Vita three years ago we set goals, and one of those goals was to hit the $249 price point, 249 from the very, very beginning. That was springtime 2008.

When we started working on PS Vita three years ago we set goals, and one of those goals was to hit $249 from the very, very beginning

Shuhei Yoshida, Sony

The new handheld console also comes in a 3G SKU, priced at $299. Revealed last night in LA, the price was one of the biggest surprises of Sony's E3 conference and a target figure the company is proud to have hit.

The price tag was established so early in development that the hardware team in Japan had not even decided on central components for the device, said Yoshida, and highlights the exec's success in bringing together hardware and software teams and having content creators involved in new hardware development - something that didn't happen with the creation of the PlayStation 3.

"The difference was the timing of the Worldwide Studios' and game team's involvement in the process. We were involved in Vita development before we made the decision on what kind of CPU and GPU to use."

"That shows how long we've been involved and we were there all the time when the SCEI hardware guys got their hands on the components. In the past, up to the PlayStation 3, they kept everything behind closed doors, even from ourselves, and making decisions based on their inspirations from a mostly hardware engineering standpoint."

The PlayStation Vita is due for release this calendar year, with software support from some of Sony's biggest franchises, including Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers.

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Latest comments (10)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
Do they not think that what consumers think is reasonable for a launch home console is different to for a handheld, that $250-$299 may be good for a console but IS still seen as high for a handheld. The reaction to the 3DS, with price coming as the main barrier :
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Simon Jefferies Lead Programmer, Gusto Games Ltd8 years ago
I don't think they've mastered the pricing on this one. It's quite high in $ but the price is around the price I paid for a PS3. It's just not at a price that you have to own one, it's more of a luxury item.
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I think they went about with a large straw poll for pricing for a handheld, decided $250 was a the upper end of just affordable, and asked the engineers to make it happen, with some idea that midway, the price would self adjust to the sub $200 barrier.

For the Europeans, they probably reckoned, they were suckers before, they are still suckers, lets recoup where possible.
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Show all comments (10)
Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
I think generally it's seen that to break america the price needs to be right, but the UK will buy whatever seems to be doing well in the US regardless of price. Unfotunately we often prove them right.
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Yannick Boucher Project Manager, Crytek8 years ago
Again, bang-for-buck, this blows both Nintendo and Apple out of the water. All that remains to be seen is whether people will be willing to buy a device that doesn't have an Apple logo on it (at least the iPod Touch), and well, that is admittedly bigger, but clearly has tons more potential.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
But Michael, it still doesn't cost $125 more to make one for the European market or $100 more to make on for a UK customer.
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Consumerism 101 - we dont like being shortchanged
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Eliot Lloyd Studying Computer Games Design and Production, Northumbria University8 years ago
I find it hilarious that before the price was official, everyone was saying it would be amazing if the price tag was $250, and that it would be the perfect price for it.

Suddenly, Sony give it the price everyone wanted it to have, and a ton of people shout out "it's too expensive."
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology8 years ago
Ii wonder what the aussie price will be....hopefully not to much more.
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Jonathan Davis Developer, Gameforge8 years ago
I will definitely NOT be purchasing the PS Vita for 249 ($364 USD). My American friends can purchase one for me (probably without a region lock) for $249 USD (170).
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