Sony cuts Vita price in Japan

Wi-Fi and 3G versions slashed by 20 and 30 per cent respectively

Sony will drop the price of the PlayStation Vita in Japan at the end of the month.

The Vita has struggled to sell more than 10,000 units a week in Japan since it launched at the end of 2012. Performance has periodically spiked due to key software launches like Persona 4: The Golden, but Nintendo's 3DS has been dominant - largely due to its own price-drop last year.

According to a Sony livestream, from February 28 both the Wi-Fi and 3G models of the Vita will cost 19,980. Based on current prices, that's a drop of around 30 per cent for the 3G model and 20 per cent for the 3G model.

No price drop for Europe or North America was announced, though that may follow at Sony's New York event later this week.

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Latest comments (15)

Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
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This has better align with some key releases, or its going to be real waste for Sony. I think the latest Phantasy Star is coming on PSV soon...

Also, you have to question how this is going to affect their finances. Find out soon.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University5 years ago
Exactly what Vita needs in the short-term, but the long-term picture will only improve with software. Sony really need to show that they and third parties are going to throw some serious weight behind Vita, or things won't be much better in twelve months time. A price cut is a good start, but Vita is far from out of the fire.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 5 years ago
About frikkin time. This is a great machine let down only by Sony's lack of support with both the pricing model and the games releases. Why for example has there not been a "The Last Of Us" announced for Vita? Where is Thieves in Time in Europe? Where is a a red, blue, whatever colour Vita

Hopefully they realise that they have a potential money machine here and do something about it.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
You know what's odd.

I've found that the prices for the Vita in the UK are almost exactly, if not the same for the Wi-Fi and 3G versions. I think Asda and Tesco are even selling them for exactly the same, which makes it pointless getting the unconnected version. Sad thing is, given all the 3G devices in my pocket I'd much rather make a saving.

As for the topic, I do hope this translates to a European price drop. Sure, the tech was not cheap, but it would have dropped considerably in the time its been out. It could do with a sales boost. Above all, for me the consumer, I'd be closer to buying one at a better price.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd5 years ago
Definitely needed, but I agree with Michael that if it's not accompanied by big software it's not going to have much affect, outside of a small boost the first week or two.

The 3DS price drop helped it for sure, but only because it was accompanied by a glut of huge software for Japan (and really for the West, though the 3DS is nowhere near as popular over here).
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Patrick Williams Medicine and Research 5 years ago
There is a problem when your portable consoles are nearly as, if not more expensive than, the TV consoles.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games5 years ago
"largely due to its own price-drop last year." not.
3DS is the preferred console in Japan for other reasons. not for a minor price difference.
How about the stellar games coming out for 3DS which are constantly in the top 10 of sales globally?
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University5 years ago
Exactly, Yiannas. 3DS has had a consistent, quality release schedule through-out 2012 in Japan. Also, the 3DS price-cut was way back in 2011, so the major Japanese boost that came last year coincided with the quality software release schedule.

Nintendo are finally beginning to ensure a similar stream of content for Western markets, and that--regardless of any moves on pricing--is exactly what Sony should aim to accomplish with Vita.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
Vita games are just tooo bloody expensive, in Japan it goes as high as $50 to $60.
This is the razor and razorblades business model. Make money on the games, not on the hardware. Besides, why would an indie develop for the Vita instead of the PC, Mac, iOS, Android or XBLIG, which are a lot easier to get into.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange5 years ago
When the system launched they were already selling it at a loss, and now it's going to be sold at an even greater loss. I still don't see this becoming successful if they will not lower the prices for the memory cards and if they cannot come up with "evergreen" game titles that will generate consistent weekly sales. The timing isn't right, this should have been done during the holiday season, SONY waited too long.

I hope this is not some desperate attempt to clear out their inventory in time to announce a more streamlined "cheaply built" version of the system.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
Hmmmm... I'd personally love to see a reworked Vita with on board memory and/or some sort of card storage format that's not proprietary, a removable/replaceable battery (which probably isn't going to happen, but I can dream), a few tweaks to the menu screens and DEFINITELY the ability to link with the new console as a controller.

Cross Platform play is a MUST for ALL future Vita games and most PS3 titles that can get away with two less shoulder buttons than a Dual Shock and the new controller and blah and blah blah. We'll see on Wednesday, but I hope they thought far enough ahead and not just of a quickie fix to get people to buy into a new model at some point.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 5 years ago
Hope they cut the price in the US. Japan always seems to get the price cuts first.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games5 years ago
Vita is an exceptional piece of hardware. just like PSP was in its time. They both failed. PSP was a case similar to nintendo's Gamecube. (although GC made a profit!) and Vita has other issues. Development cost is one of them. Nintendo always keeps in mind development cost. Because they are developers themselves. With 3DS they offered a previous gen budget range similar to wii and PSP. Familiar and manageable mid range budgets for excellent games. For a true vita game you need to spend nearly as much as a PS3 game and if you are to create something less than that you might as well do it on 3DS and take advantage of the user base that doesn't expect higher visual fidelity on 3DS.

On the other hand for many years Sony has made huge efforts to attract the western crowd with games that fit in these regions. However after 360 took over the west, and since as we know Japan doesn't particularly like western style games that much, let's say they have found themselves locked outside their home.

I think, the EU market which is still warm with Sony love and still supports it, (since in EU we do not have our own hardware) seems like it should be the main area of focus for Sony right now. That, and emerging markets. (Nintendo and MS pretty much ignore India for instance while sony is all over the place.) Software is the key in any case. (and maybe tone down the hardware cost as they did for PS3)
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University5 years ago
@ Andrew, depends on how you look at it. PSP sold 70 million units globally, but outside of Japan, never shifted significant amounts of software. The system kept going in Japan largely thanks to the success of Monster Hunter and a succession of niche hits, long after it was circling the drain in the US and Europe.

On one hand, it's by far the most successful non-Nintendo portable console ever released. On the other hand, the "underpowered", experimental Nintendo handheld that dropped the GameBoy brand racked up more than twice the install base, and a significantly larger software market, than the PSP. The PSP was heralded as the device that would finally sink Nintendo; in 2003, when it was announced, Nintendo were having a torrid year and GameCube was floundering. The only thing keeping Nintendo going as a major player was the GameBoy, and the announcement of the PSP looked set to end that, Nintendo's stock price tumbled with the PSP announcement. If you look at what PSP was supposed to do, extend PlayStation's dominance of the market from home consoles to portable consoles, and potentially be a death-blow to Nintendo, the PSP failed. But like I said, it's the most successful non-Nintendo portable yet released.

So in some respects, the PSP certainly failed, it didn't even dent Nintendo's progress in the handheld market, but the machine obviously wasn't a complete failure because it found a considerable degree of success.
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