Why The PlayStation Vita Needs -- But Won't Get -- A Price Cut

Even when you're at a a fan convention packed with wall-to-wall gamers, it can be hard to find people playing Sony's newest handheld. The fact that the Vita is so difficult to spot is just one bit of anecdotal evidence that the gaming portable is having a rough time. But does this mean it's time for the price of the Vita to get slashed? Not necessarily.

Over at Gamasutra, writer Chris Morris weighs the pros and cons of a price cut, saying that it would reflect poorly on newly appointed Sony CEO Kaz Hirai:

While a price cut seems logical to consumers at this point, it's a little more complicated for Sony. Kaz Hirai is still largely known as a PlayStation guy — and a price cut just two months after the system's U.S. launch would be viewed as a failure of that division. (Just look at the heat Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took when Nintendo slashed the 3DS's price.)

Having that public stumble less than a month into the job wouldn't help Hirai — and it wouldn't help Sony. That makes it a little less likely that we'll see an immediate official price cut for the Vita. Add in Sony's long history of putting off price cuts, even when sales are sub-optimal, and it's an even bigger longshot.

The article also speculates on when a lower price point may happen. Are you waiting for a cheaper cost to pick up a Vita? Or is there a particular game that will make you take the plunge?

Opinion: It's time for Sony to consider a Vita price cut [Gamasutra]


    A price cut would be nice, but some more decent titles would be better and that would more likely make me take the plunge...

      price cut + phantasy star online will have me sold.

        you win!

          Don't worry about PS Online....Got my Vita, and got the Mega Drive Collection (15bux) , playing the still, ever amazing, Phantasy Star 4.

      Price cut on the games imho. Most of the games can be obtained via digital distribution anyways and the quality or breadth or depth is 'meh' compared to what you get from a current gen console (PS3/360) - i dont get the premium pricetags that theyre asking.

        This is where I stand. The PS Vita isn't that expensive, it's far cheaper than the PSP (not even counting for inflation), so I'm not concerned about the unit. I'm mostly worried about 'upkeep' costs. Their downloadable titles are still too much. $20+ can go a LONG way on a Steam Sale, or you can pick up half a dozen good iOS games. This, coupled with Sony's ridiculous pricing on proprietary memory cards (triple that of comparable Micro SD)... yeah. Bring your crap to a reasonable (or at least competitive) price. You'll still be pulling a profit, simply by selling to a lot morepeople on the fence like myself.

    They could possibly get more people on board by adjusting the price of the memory sticks, or actually making some bundled systems.

      Yeah, once the memory stick price drops I'll be more willing to grab a 32GB and get some more games.

        Or they could even RELEASE the 32gb stick in Australia, that'd be progress. Oh well, ozgameshop gets my money yet again

          EB started selling the 32gb stick a couple of weeks back I think (Saw them when I dropped past the Swanston St. branch)

            Confirmed - I bought my 32gb Vita memory stick from EB for $115 last week.

            Seeing as the RRP price in the US is $99, the $115 they are asking isn't that bad... Looks like I have something else to pick up with Prototype today!

              I'm sorry what? You can buy a 2 TB HDD for that price.
              Seriously if people are supporting this sort of milking by lining up and oiling their Udders they deserve every disappointment from sony they can get.

                Good luck getting that 2TB HD to fit into your Vita. Or any other handheld device for that matter. And let's try not talk about the effect it'd have on battery life, too.

                Sorry for not providing my entire opinion on the subject, I am aware of the over inflated price on memory storage for portable devices and home consoles (hey it's not just Sony, look at the MS HDD prices!). My comments was strictly an opinion on the price difference between the US and AU, the difference isn't that bad, normally it would be alot worse.

                The fact remains, it's the only available storage option for the Vita, so what am I supposed to do? Boycott Sony and any company that inflates a price until everyone agrees the price is fair?? I'll happily grease myself up for something I am interested in and Sony hasn't disappointed me with this handheld, as seen below I'm enjoying the hell out of it.

                So if you have no use for your oil, then you can give it too me as I'm running abit low! :p

      Agreed (as always Chuloopa). While I would pay the current price for a Vita, I haven't because of the total price involved when bundled with a memory card (especially a 32GB model).

      The other factor causing me to hold off is the lack of consumer uptake meaning less games in the forseeable future. I've been stung by the Gamecube and that had more games than the Vita currently does.

        At the current point it seems like history is repeating itself with the handheld wars.
        The original DS had a lacklustre lineup in the first 9 months of it's life. It wasn't until Mario Kart came along that it really gained momentum.
        Then there's the PSP. it started out with a higher price point, it had better hardware and screen and was seemingly going to dominate. however it never really got the same traction as it took far too long for really killer titles to turn up on the device.

        The problem is that you're currently part of the low consumer uptake (perfectly fair enough ofcourse), Windows Phone 7 has the same problem as the Vita at the moment, relative lack of stuff thanks to lower sales largely caused by relative lack of stuff

    It doesn't need a price cut, it needs some compelling system-seller games. It had a strong launch lineup, but then there's been nothing major since, and nothing announced either.

    Yup, doesnt need a price cut, it needs a few awesome game. Like a new square enix RPG, maybe Type 0, and a few big name games like god of war and ratchet. Before you all say it needs new IP, it does, but I certainly havent gone out of my way to buy little deviants.

      It's got disgaea 3, which in my opinion is exponentially better than the shit sq. en. produce, so there's that

        Yeah but it's a port. The graphics aren't stellar and it doesn't do anything that the PS3 version couldn't. I bought it, and I personally think it's significantly worse than ZHP on PSP. The tilesets just look like a weird mashup and the plot just isn't that engaging.

        Square Enix have a lot of games that focus on graphics, and at the moment that's what this system needs. Also, I got my Vita for $320 off play-asia, which was less than my 3DS, so I'm pleased with the price. It just needs more games.

          The story is basically fan service, but other than that your only gripes are with the graphics. The PS3 version looked like shit too, but I played nearly 500 hours of that bad boy and enjoyed every minute.
          This version comes with all dlc and portability, I'm more than happy to buy it again for vita.

            Graphics and story mostly. I've been playing it a lot, but I enjoyed ZHP a lot more. They really should have used the high-res sprites from Disgaea 4, and I feel a bit ripped off for paying $40 for a game that I got for $15 on PS3 with basically the same features.

              To be fair, all the dlc for disgaea 3 on ps3 probably costs over $100 on its own. It's essentially no worse than a game of the year edition of a game in my eyes. It could've used the hd treatment of disgaea 4, but the visuals don't bring the game down. I've always enjoyed disgaea for the tight and complex customization and gameplay.

    Yeah a price cut and another big title (Deadspace would be wicked) and im sold.

    The price of the unit is quite expensive, but my biggest problem with it is the lack of games I'm interested in.

    The second FFX comes out on it ill be getting one!

      I really have no use for portipble game platforms yet FFX will tempt me.
      Most likley I'll decide it's noth worth the investment for one or two games and just plug my PS2 back in instead.

      But it's also coming out for the PS3... though if you don't have a PS3 and the Vita is the cheaper choice, then fair go.

        I own a PS3, but I get bored with gaming on it very quickly.
        Every console game I've bought recently I've played for about 1 week (about 5-10 hours) then went back to the PC, never touching the game again... In fact the last game I finished on consoles was FFXIII back in 2010.
        I've come to the conclusion on not one of the 'normal' people who prefer to game on a console, so ill stick to PC when I'm at home and handhelds when I'm out and about.

    A price cut would be nice, 'cause I am currently scrambling to find enough money to buy one hehe. WipEout 2048, Lumines and Uncharted are top of my list.

    Amazon Germany people! Get a wifi vita + 8gb card and 15 euro off a game. Total came up to be $240AU - screw paying over $400 for all that locally

      They don't ship ot Australia. At least, they didn't when the system first launched.

      I think that particular deal finished (it came to around $250 when I took it up though).

      It looks like they've raised the price of the console by 30 Euros and dropped the memory stick now:


    Sony could price it at $599 or $5.99, I'm not buying one until there are some actual must-have games. Hell, if there were ANY games for it.

      There are many, many games out for it already. Uncharted...not a must have? Virtua Tennis 4, Fifa and MLB are both must have's for sports fans. All excellent games. Wipeout, Everybody's Golf, F1 2011, Tales From Space, Marvel V Campcom 3, the list goes on....nearly the whole launch line-up is full of quality stuff - most under $60 on PSN.

      In my opinion they had a really good launch line up.

    One play and you know it's worth the cash you payed for it, you really get the sense that this is one hell of a platform.

      It is pretty badass. Although the UI is shite.

    Dragon's Crown was delayed, Gravity Rush was delayed, no PSOne classics or PS2 titles. I've run out of things to do on the system, there's only like 5 games worth owning.

      Gotta agree, only got like 3 titles that i wanted, otherwise its sort of gathering dust while i wait for teh good stuff!!

    I don;t mind the system, its just those horrible black splotches that come from those Samsung screens. Once you see it, you can't unsee it. Waiting for the second generation which would have hopefully rectified this.

      As long as Samsung is the manfucterer, you'll have to live with those black splotches. Samsung are up to generation 3 with their Super AMOLED plus yet there are still splotches.

    WOW Nintendo are blowing Sony away with their handhelds again,what a surprise.

    It Does not need a price cut, poor people need a job. All it needs is better games

    You want to know what the problem with the pricing is? With the same money you can buy a full-length ps3 with games and infinitely larger memory.

      But that's like saying you can buy a desktop with better specs than a laptop of the same price. Of course the portable unit costs more. Except in this case it's an even lass valid argument due to the fact they're different systems - features, specifications, games and target market.

      Does the PS3 fit in your pocket? No. That's pretty much the explanation in a nutshell.

    The ability to play psOne ps2 and all psp title would sell the system plus better applications. Who could resist?

    Im not overly bothered with the price. For what it can do, the Vita looks incredible and appears to be worth every penny.
    No, I'm waiting on PSone and PS2 classics support of titles off the PSN, and perhaps a revised model with slightly longer battery life and a built in HDD, at least 4 GB for saves and updates.
    Heck, an update for ps1 classics support would make me go out and buy a Vita today!!

    The price for the Vita is totally fair, and shouldn't be compared to the 3DS in terms of hardware pricing - they're very different machines. The Vita has not disappointed me from a hardware standpoint at any stage, and I feel it was worth the $419 I paid for it at launch. It's a well made piece of hardware - and extremely capable from a specifications standpoint - anyone who's played Wipeout 2048 or Uncharted Golden Abyss should be able to attest to it's capabilities.

    What it's lacking is titles at this point - I still maintain some worthwhile titles for the 3DS did more for it than the price drop. Obviously the price drop made it more realistic to purchase - but what makes a system desireable? Games. Hardware capabilities/specifications are great for the more tech enthused among us, but games are what will make the system for the masses.

    Incidentally, I am also a launch 3DS owner, who paid $350 for it. I was never disappointed with the hardware for the cost on that front either.

    Give the Vita some time, and with some new IP's announced, and some new system-selling titles, and people won't care how much it costs.

    Weren't we having this conversation about the 3ds not that long ago?

    Consoles always suck at launch, they cost too much and they have no games.

      Everyone (even Kotaku) labelled the 3DS as a 'flop' up until around 3-4 months ago.
      Same thing happened with the PS3, same thing is happening with the Vita.

    It really is all about the games, but that being said, for me at least the unit kicked off with a bang and the lack of titles at the moment hasn't caused me any grief.

    I hammered away at Lumines (everything unlocked) and Touch My Katamari at launch, and barely scratched Everybody's Golf & WipEout 2048 which I picked up at the same time (intentions to get Uncharted also, but delayed that til recently via the Harvey Norman sale sometime back, only got it yesterday). On the PSN side of things, Motorstorm RC, Super Stardust, PvZ (I'm a sucker for paying that price, lol) have stolen SO much of my time and haven't given enough time to Escape Plan, Mutant Tales and Hustle Kings.

    Honestly feel as though I am good til at least Spring with the games I have at the moment, although I will add The Pinball Arcade at the very least when it hits the local PSN.

    I'm not entirely conviced a big game title would be enough to get major sales. You'll get a few but remember - say you released an RPG. Not all players RPGs, likewise with other genres. Big title games also rarely get released all at the same time.

    If you cut the price of the console, you automatically get a legion of people who will impluse buy purely because, "oh hey, the price has gone down". Then of course you tempt people who are a bit more cash strapped. That is the best way to get lots of sales quickly. Case in point, the 3DS. It doesn't really have an expansive list of flagship games but it's still selling very well. Of course, the best way to do things is to get games AND a price drop.

    I'm waiting for a decent price drop. Minimum $100. I have been tempted a few times. But, have so far been able to talk myself out of it. I tend to buy thing immediately after launch and then kick myself a few months down the track when I could have saved a bundle. Something else that holds me back is the system activation limits. I already have 5 PS3's and 2 PSP's activated. All of these are still in use except for 1 of my PSP's.

      How do you play 5 PS3s and 2 PSPs at the same time? You are allowed 2 console activations and/or 2 portable activations, you can manage your activations and deactivate games on the Vita or you can log into their management site and deactivate games from there. When the original 5 activations rule applied it wasn't possible to deactivate games. The real problem currently is the limit on PSN user Master/sub accounts from being online/activated at the same time.

    Final Fantasy Tactics 2, do it and I'm sold.

    Needs to hit the magic $199-$249 max price point for the Wifi model for me to bite.

      i think you missed the boat on that one.

    I'm waiting to have enough money. There's certainly enough on the system already to justify my purchase - but I need a couple of things waaaay more than a Vita. At the moment, it comes down to money - I think the current pricing is fine for what you're getting. And once they completely roll out the connectivity with the PS3 it'll be difficult not to slap cash down immediately.

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