PSVita Pricing And Release Date - What Does It Mean For Australia?

At the Sony E3 conference we just got news that the PlayStation Vita will retail for $US249.99 with Wi-Fi, and $US299.99 with 3G. Considering the specs and features of the device, this is incredibly aggressive pricing from Sony - but what does this mean for Australians?

Previously it would have been safe to look at precedent - with most devices retailing at $US250 going at $399.95 in our region.

From that reasoning, and from Sony's previous pricing in Australia, you might expect Sony to go higher - with a $399/$499 price respectively.

However, I fully expect Sony to go lower. We could be looking at $349.95 for the Wi-Fi PSVita and $399.95 for the 3G enabled version - for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the US pricing for the device is designed to compete directly with the 3DS launch price. I fully expect Sony to follow suit and launch in Australia at $349.95 for the base model.

Secondly, Sony needs to re-earn the goodwill of its consumer base - relatively fair pricing in all regions will help that.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the strength of the Australian dollar should have an impact. For the last few months publishers have been in denial about the need to pass on savings to the consumer, but we're starting to see such attitudes thaw from consumer pressure, a dramatically growing imports market, and pressure from the consumer groups and the Australian government itself. We're not sure yet, but the PSVita will most likely not be region locked - which will make importing the device a viable option for many. In order to justify itself as a region worth subsidising, Sony Australia must be relatively competitive with pricing.

And being 'competitive' will probably result in $350 baseline price point.

As for the release date? Until we get full confirmation that's anyone's guess. We're still waiting to hear back from Sony with regards to the official pricing and release date - but it looks like the PSVita may launch globally by the end of this year. Sony's E3 conference did not make any reference to specific reasons, so from that we can only deduce that the PSVita could be in Australian stores before the end of the year.

We've contacted Sony with regards to the official word, and hope to have more details soon.


Comments

    yea was thinking the same thing, $349.95 rrp for wi-fi. and then youd probably see a similar low price on day one around $299 just like the 3ds had. unless some really good games come out soon for the 3ds im seriously thinking of trading it in for the vita

    They also quoted 250 Euro...which is US$365. So Europe is getting screwed also.

    US$250 = Approx 171 Euro.

    Talk about a 100% increase.
    I can see similar here sadly.

      171€ -> 249€ is not a 100% increase, it's 45%.

      And there's tax in that too - people always forget US prices are pre-tax, whereas Australian prices include 10% GST, and Euro prices typically include 17% VAT.

      So you're really looking at a 49€ premium for euro consumers, or a 25% increase - still not great, but not nearly as bad as you're making out.

        Yup, my bad.

        In my own dodgey equation I had 175-->365...

        I blame the extremely early start at work.

    Hopefully it is region free. Then just import if they try and screw us with the price model.

      Same here. If it's region free i'll import from the US.

      yup. I'm importing. I got a PSP from japan before it was released in Oz for AU $255. As if I'll purchase from Sony Australia when I get get that sort of sweet deal again!

      I will buy from overseas if it is cheaper for me to courier one in than buy it locally.

      It's insane to try to justify any additional premium to Austrlian prices other than for the reason: "Because they will pay it".

      And if they region lock it -then I simply wont buy one, ever.

      I'm wondering what the software prices are going to be like -if it's on flash memory, it should be significantly less expensive than UMDs, and even more so given that our dollar is so strong, and has been consistently so for months, with it expected to be even higher vs the US dollar in the months to come.

    $350 for 3G and you got a sale other wise I'll wait for the portable xbox device(i know it doesn't exist excluding WP7).

    It's sad that we consider $350 to be a fair price in Australia when really it should be $280-300 (US pricing + gst/shipping) would be necessary for Australian goodwill. Apple did it back in March for the iPad 2 (price was roughly US equivalent + extra to cover our gst built into rrp)

    If Sony is cocky enough to go AT&T exclusive in the US for a telco carrier, they can be Apple-cocky with the pricing model too!

      Apple has a yearly product cycle, completely different model to a console/handheld that has to ride out trough years for the 4-5 years of its life.

      A hell of a lot can happen in that time.

    We'll be paying whatever the Europeans are paying.

    Well, when I say "we", I mean the Australian market, which is a group that doesn't include me at this moment because I refuse to pay over $300 for a portable console.

      I'll be paying whatever the buy it now price is on ebay.

    Its the same damn price as the 3DS in USA. If its any more than the 3DS RRP here ($350) it will be a complete dick move from Sony Australia and there will be some explaining to do.

    They are deliberately making the price completely level and competitive, it was their whole design choice right from the start of making it.

    Since its probably region free, importing sounds sweet at $250 AU parity. In fact, it sounds like a f-ing bargain.

    Probably means it will retail for $400 - $500 lol.

    Well since its made and packaged in Asia, it should be cheaper here since it doesn't have to travell as far and our dollar is worth more than the US. But that will never happen.

    I think it will be interesting if region locking will play a part in determining the price for Aussies. If so it still might be cheaper to import the device.

    Fingers crossed on the $$$'s. I'd really like to buy locally. Incidentally, I'm finally feeling the urge to get a hand-held with this piece of techno.

    I'll be importing if the price isn't right.

    I'm actually more excited by the announcement today that the iPad2 can stream wirelessly to your HDTV if you have an apple TV, mirroring your games, browsing, photos etc. I'd like to see that sort of capability between my Sony TV and the Vita. Would be fun to game at home wirelessly on the big telly if the mood took me.

    If its region free and can charge via USB then I'll definitely import if they screw us on the pricing here.

    the 3ds was $349.95 rrp and cost on the invoice (and the store i work at) was about $328. Yet stores like JB had it for $288 with a case and Dick Smith even cheaper than that with a game if you pre ordered online. so even if it is $349 or $399 you can still get a pretty good deal assuming the launch is very competitive

    What does this mean for Australia? Why, it means that our online PSVita purchases will go up!

    I'm gutted the 3G US model is locked to AT&T. That would have been an easy import. As it stands I'll go as high as $400 for a 3G model in AU... and that's only if the release is simultaneous. Otherwise I'll be importing the wifi model from the US.

    Well if the thing is region locked (NOOOOO!!!!) I'd be buying from the US regardless.

    Even assuming the 'generous' $350 tag, can someone explain to me how the **** a $100 mark up when our dollar is worth MORE is "fair"? I thought this shit would end when our dollar hit $1.01US. Seriously. I want to know.

    In any case Sony has given me zero reason to buy it so far. In fact between the TWO cameras, TWO touch-pads, and all the other miscellaneous crap that could be replaced with more power, more battery life, and less weight, all they've really done is barrage me with reasons not to.

    Still. As others have said, here's hoping for region-free so I can import it when someone actually makes a good game for it.

      Our dollar is highly volatile. This is as high as it's ever been and it's incredibly presumptuous to simply say "Yeah! We've arrived! Now price everything at this going rate to the end of time!"

      Unless you're some time traveler, you don't know how the currency will fluctuate in the 5 or so years the PS Vita will be selling. What if it dips to 50 US cents again? Sony would be screwed with a fixed $250 AUD console.

    Wonder if ozgameshop will stock them. I was rather hoping that the psp god of war hd remakes would be an ngp launch title, that'd be another reason for me to get one. So far its only uncharted that really grabs me.

    Any word on backwards compatibility yet?

      Obviously not for UMD based games though some trade in for digital versions thing would be sweet

    We all know we'll get screwed over pricing in Australia.. happens all too often.. we don't like it and we can put all the pressure on companies as we like, but in the end they won't listen because a large majority just accepts thats the price and there's no point fighting it.

    EBGames has Vita listed as $338 for the WiFi version. This price does not have the usual "Price Subject to Change" caveat.
    http://www.ebgames.com.au/psp-153020-Sony-PS-VITA---WiFi-PSP

      EB listed it for cheaper than the 3DS?! Intriguing.

        $338 from eb hopefully means a $280-$300 price on day 1 from JB/Dick Smith/Big W. I guess Ill wait to hear about the region locking first, but I always try and buy from an Australian store as I usually trade in some old stuff towards new purchases

      According to this

      http://www.news.com.au/technology/gaming/sony-releases-newest-console-playstation-vita-at-e3-games-expo-hacking-not-forgotten/story-e6frfrt9-1226071013577

      pricing will be "closely tied to European pricing". So we probably want to look at the Euro price as a guideline, not the US$ price.

    Whether or not the 3G version will be importable will depend on the flavours of 3G that it supports though, right? We've got multiple different networks here which run at different frequencies on different protocols which all get referred to as being '3G'. The US one being AT&T only could end up being pretty limited. There's a good chance we could end up needing to import a EU or JP system to actually get useful connectivity depending on whether they have a one-size-fits-all 3G chip or have custom hardware for different regions / carriers.

      Just get wifi. Seriously if I activate 3G internet on my phone - its akin to putting on a blindfold and opening up my wallet - the costs are astronomical - at least with my home connection its predictable!

      Aside from that - glad to see some competitiveness with the price, but if it ships for $350 - I'll be looking to import from the states.

        I have a 3G iPad on Telstra. Paid $150 for 12gb allocation that lasts 365 days at the end of December. I've used roughly half of that. Not too bad IMO. WiFi is fine if you're only using the system at home, but I want connectivity everywhere. I'd probably use more data on a PS Vita but I'd also probably ditch my iPad and just have my phone, with which I never even come close to touching the amount of data I actually pay for due to Optus having absolutely awful 3G coverage :(

        3G data costs are only 'astronomical' if you're roaming in another country or haven't done your homework and gotten onto the right sort of plan for your usage.

    I think that pricing is incredibly fair, considering the RRP of the 3DS (in Australia) and how Sony has previously priced their consoles.
    Considering also that SOny are pushing the PSN as a major way to get games for the console, it stands to reason that they can take less of a profit margin on hardware with the intent of making it back with reduced distribution / manufacturing / retail costs for the games.
    I think this is very competitive pricing (remember the original PSP RRP'd at $399 in Australia) and if Sony are confident enough in the PSN to carry a lot of the expectations to turn a profit on this thing then they're pricing the console just right.
    I want one, very badly.

      better != fair

    Sweet I'll be buying myn from America region locking or no.

    Since everything comes from there as it is

    With just a bulk order at the end of the month these days(no real need for release day purchases)

    Pricing is good though fully expected the 3G to be $100 more

    I'll make a prediction of

    $350 for the WiFi (if they want this to compete with the 3DS then I can see it being head to head in pricing)

    $400 for the Premo 3G model

    But will the plans be like for the 3G Model???

    Or will they adapt the iPad Pre Paid Model???

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