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When Will Sony Cut The Vita's Price?

If Sony wants to truly support the PlayStation Vita, they'll have to recognize if sales are sliding due to a relatively high and prohibitive price tag.

It will become more obvious that lower sales are due to the cost when we get all that software. A lack of games is always a big reason to avoid a new hardware purchase, but with 25 titles ready to go for launch day and a lot of reported third-party support, software availability shouldn't be an issue.

However, there may be signs that Sony should consider a price cut at some point in the first half of 2012. In fact, it may be bound to happen; one European source is reporting that some Japanese retailers have already discounted the 3G model of the Vita by as much as 20%. Remember, when the Vita comes stateside, the Wi-Fi-only version will cost $250 while the 3G model will run you $300, and that's not counting the cost of the necessary memory card.

The PSP Go fell in price relatively quickly, and the PS3 got a price cut in its first full year on the market as well. The more accessible the cost, the more likely it will be to sell, right? The Vita has proven itself as a highly competent piece of technology, and one gamers ought to really enjoy. But maybe it needs to be cheaper before it can begin to realize its full potential as a next-gen handheld device. We'll have to wait and see.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita price, vita cost

1/2/2012 8:51:44 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

frylock25
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 10:02:59 PM
Reply

i really want one but having to have a memory card on top of buying the system and games may just keep me from getting one right away. i have no doubt that it will be an awesome system, i just may wait for the price to drop.

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Temjin001
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 10:13:14 PM
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It's sad, really. It has me thinking. While I know the phone/tablet market is a real threat, I wonder how the next gen of consoles will fare. Could we be looking at a new trend in the speed in which consumers adopt new hardware altogether?
People seem to want a price drop for the Vita, but the value is undeniably great. I remember when Vita's $250 intro price was praised. Now it's not low enough? There's something wrong with this picture.

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JLB1
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 10:29:24 PM

Well you must remember, the difference in currency is great. According to the Vita wiki, in Japan, the Wi-Fi only Vita costs 24,980 yen which is pretty much $325. While the Wi-Fi & 3G is 29,980 yen and in US currency it'd be $390. I can't imagine how it is for them, but asking those prices over here, and expect the same result.

Last edited by JLB1 on 1/2/2012 10:29:58 PM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 3:55:00 AM

Something is wrong in that picture indeed Temjin, and it's not the price. I am afraid it is the product.

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clockwyzebkny
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 10:15:43 PM
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I've been gone for awhile but I've been reading psxtreme articles daily. I'm not sure if Sony's gonna do a price cut for the north american launch. I'm getting it day one no matter what.
I'd rather a memory stick to be included in the package.
I just hope doesn't fail like some ppl are predicting. I support Sony not because of blind fanboyism, but because they're forward thinking.
The Vita is an exciting technological achievement in gaming I hope there will be lots of adapters. I know that the android and ios are competitors but does anyone thinks it's possible for Sony to team up and integrate one of those operating systems on the Vita?

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 11:06:48 PM
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I wish I won the lotto so I can have more free time.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/2/2012 11:07:08 PM

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Jawknee
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 11:15:58 PM
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$250-$300 seems about right to me for what the Vita is capable of. I'll gladly pay it once I have the extra money. I think it's just tough right now for people. Even the early adopters like me.

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gumbi
Monday, January 02, 2012 @ 11:23:34 PM
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Lets at least wait until it launches outside of Japan before we start talking price cuts. $250 is completely reasonable, I don't get why so many are complaining about it. Doesn't everyone remember the cheering Sony got when they announced the $250 launch price? Maybe they should have announced it with a $350 tag, then dropped to $250 just before launch.

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Omnipro
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 12:17:14 AM
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I think the WiFi version will drop to $199 in two years, and $150 by 5 years.

The 3G version will drop in price sooner within 6 months for $99 to $199 with an AT&T wireless 1 to 2 year contract.
An iPhone without a plan is $500+ dollars so a cheap\Free 3G Vita may be an option if Sony and AT&T are smart and want to move hardware faster.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 12:25:52 AM
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Considering Japan's response to the Vita which started off good the first two days with with 320k then collapsed to only 72k the next full week a price cut most likely will occur sooner than later.

The consensus out there seems to be the Vita was on track to sale 200k units or more in its second week, but for some reason it did not happen. No doubt the Vita's price point is now under scrutiny.

Better to get the Vita into as many hands as possible early on even if Sony has to take more of a loss if it restores confidence in the brand. There is no shame in cutting the Vita's price early on. Nintendo was forced to do the same thing when the 3DS stumbled badly itself. Just this past summer there were weeks when the PSP was outselling the 3DS and many thought Nintendo's days of dominance in the handheld sector was coming to an abrupt end. Nintendo cut the 3DS's price aggressively and followed that up with a steady stream of key games. Problem solved. There's no reason that can't work for Sony as well. Sony is a lot larger company than Nintendo...they should be able to absorb the costs of a price cut.

That leads me into another thing that concerns me. I'm not so sure the Vita has the software to go toe to toe with the 3DS right now in Japan. There probably is not a true system seller for Japan in that launch line up. UC is not as big in Japan. Hot Shots Golf was the biggest seller on the Vita which is fine but it's going up against the likes of Monster Hunter 3G which is an insanely popular series in Japan. That's kind of like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Monter Hunter 4 and Kingdom Hearts are inbound on the 3DS as well. Games drive sustained hardware sales.

I think it's possible we will see a price cut within 3 months if not sooner if sales continue at this pace. I still think Sony can have some success with the Vita if they are willing do whatever takes to get the system in as many hands as possible early on. They can make the money back on games and accessories in the future. If they let sales continue to erode they risk damaging confidence in the brand and losing third party support for the Vita. No doubt all eyes are on the weekly sales charts in Japan in an attempt to quantify exactly what is going on.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/3/2012 12:35:23 AM

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Ignitus
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 1:09:46 AM
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I say in a year or so, unless the US launch is a dissaster, sales wise. In that case, it might me sooner.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 1:47:53 AM
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Unfortunately for Sony I am not so sure if the core problem here is the price. The way I see it I am pretty sure it is not.
Of course a price drop will affect the sales curve, but will it lead to higher total sales, or just make those who would buy it anyway get it sooner?

I think the problem is that Vita is the "wrong product at the wrong time".

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/3/2012 2:20:53 AM

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 5:30:42 AM

"wrong product at the wrong time." I have had the same thought as well. There was an oppurtunity when Nintendo was down this past summer but that time has most certainly past. One other thing I have wondered about is if the 3DS gobbles up 483k in sales in one single week just how much of the handheld gaming market is left over for Sony. Bad timing to launch into the buzzsaw of Monster Hunter on the 3DS.

I still think the Vita can be a viable product but it's going to need an infusion of great games. That would probably help even more than a price cut. However a price cut may be needed soon just to boost sales and restore confidence in the product. Combine that with some true system sellers and the Vita may be okay. Japan has been pretty supportive of Sony's handhelds for the most part. What happens when the Vita arrives in other regions is tough to say. That's where the PSP kind of ran into trouble but the system was a success mainly do to Japan. Let's not forget just this past summer the PSP was giving the 3DS a real run for its money and even beating it many times on the weekly sales charts. Ironic that it was Montser Hunter game that helped put the PSP on top back then.

There is a weird feeling of deja vu that I have had when reading headlines regarding the Vita this past week. Let's see. Late out the gate vs a major competitor. Check. Steep drop off in sales after intitial launch. Check. Negative headlines surrounding the product, and rumblings that a price cut may be needed. Doublecheck. Two words of advice to Sony. Monster Hunter.

The more I think about it the more I suspect a price cut will have to happen within the first quarter of this year if this sales trend continues. Just follow Nintendo's example of how to turn a handheld around if the Vita runs into real trouble.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 6:09:43 AM

I wish I could say "it's just to lower the price" or "it's just to push out great games" but I don't think it is that easy. It's got plenty of (assumingly) good games already, with more to come shortly. And I don't think the price, objectively speaking, is too high compared to what you get for your money.

I believe it is the product itself. Vita goes against everything happening on the handheld market today. The age of proprietary hardware and software is behind us.

It's like the small, dedicated MP3 players that flooded the market a few years ago. "Noone" uses them any more. Where did they go? They went into the phones. Now the games are heading in the same direction.

I'm sure someone will want to say "but BB, the Vita hardware is just *so* much better to game on than a tablet or smartphone because of reason A B C D and E", and I will not disagree with those who say so, problem is that it is irrelevant: It is not what the mass market want at this point in time.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/3/2012 7:03:29 AM

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 7:32:35 AM

Until smartphones and tablets get real controls I would argue the games on those types of devices are limited. The Vita has an advantage over those devices because it features great controls.

I don't see why Sony can't have some success in the handheld sector with the Vita if Nintendo is able to with the 3DS. I'm not entirely sure the Vita's launch line up has a true system seller for Japan. I still think the Vita can do well at least in Japan with the right games and at the right price point.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 8:48:49 AM

Like I said, you'll get no argument from me as to why Vita is not the better gaming device. It is. No doubt.
It's just not how the market thinks. That's the challenge for Sony. The mass market, the casual gamers look at the Vita, then at the price tag, and then the limited number of games (25 titles with a price tag of an arm and a leg on launch is *nothing* compared to a library of a thousand virtually *free* games on their Android device) and ask, "why the HECK should I buy that thing? I'd rather have a new <console/tablet/other device>".

To radically simplify things: The 3DS is different cause it cater to a much younger audience. What is the difference? Kids this young don't own a mobile or tablet yet, so a 3DS makes a great gift. That's a market right there.

Heck, even I, who consider myself both to be a hardcore gamer *and* a Sony fan do not feel any urge at all to get the Vita. And I *loved* my PSP. But times they are a-changin'.

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/3/2012 9:13:43 AM

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___________
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 3:04:40 AM
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when hell freezes over!
i was at my uncles house on christmas day and a he and his nephew asked me how much it was going to be here and when i told them they just laughed.
same thing on boxing day at a friends house and NEY with family again.
its just FAR too expensive, not that $ony will recognize that!
the reason $ony is in last place this gen, and always will be is because they keep treating their customers like disposable cash machines!
they have forgotten you will make more money selling 6 units for 100 bucks then 1 for 500.
everything $ony have released this gen has been ridiculously overpriced!
80 AUD for a vita game?
seriously?????
yea, good luck with that!

ninty saw the 3Ds flopping and responded,heavily!
now its selling like hotcakes!
$ony though, there too arrogant.
the vita will flop, and they will stay in their little fairy world dreaming of swimming in coloured paper.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 5:35:40 AM

I don't think Sony is arrogant anymore. Their culture has changed a lot after what the PS3 went through.

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___________
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 8:08:19 AM

i hope so, im just not convinced yet.

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chuckuykendall
Friday, January 06, 2012 @ 12:03:28 AM

"they have forgotten you will make more money selling 6 units for 100 bucks then 1 for 500"

This logic only makes sense if Sony found said item on the street, but that's not the case. Sony had invested a certain amount into developing each unit, and would surely lose an unacceptable amount per unit. I have to assume that this price point is a happy medium between breaking even on the product (or even profiting on it) and losing their shirt on it.

Last edited by chuckuykendall on 1/6/2012 12:04:04 AM

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D1g1tal5torm
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 7:07:28 AM
Reply

price is nearly the same as a ps3.
games cost nearly the same.
carry round my phone as well.
no real reason for having to repay for my psp games.

4 sound reasons why this is priced incorrectly.

Will sony never learn?

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 1:44:50 PM

I totally agree, since the PS3 has great games, it's going to be hard to jump ship to the Vita anytime soon.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/3/2012 1:45:11 PM

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SmokeyPSD
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 7:42:56 AM
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Even with a price cut on the base system still won't change the practical issues for me surrounding a current psp digital library and needing a 32gig card right from the start.

It looks as if I might be waiting for a new revision entirely, perhaps with internal storage. Failing that, it's going to be a miss. It'd take many price drops for the Vita to become feasible right now. Especially in Australia. People keep saying that 250 is reasonable, yeah maybe. In America. That never translates to other countries, ever.

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FullmetalX10
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 8:42:08 AM
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Why is everyone complaining about the Vita's price, it's those memory cards which cost too much -_-
Really, the Vita's price is nothing compared to what the system gives you. But they should really ship the Vita with a memory card inside the box.
And I'm kind of disappointed by the way the slots open on the Vita, those damn rubber band things that hold the plastic always feel like they're gonna tear. They could have gone with a sliding mechanism or like a spring loaded pop up thing...

My point of it all is, the Vita is worth the current asking price, just ship a damn memory card with the box.

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SmokeyPSD
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:02:22 AM

I think most people's issues around pricing are including the cards in voicing their concerns. That's the whole practical reasoning behind the issues surrounding the Vita. At least for me inparticular but I've seen others framing it that way.

Pricing would have been ok (I say ok, taking into account the US pricing would not be carried over properly into other territories) if it had just had been mostly the out of box cost to worry about.

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daus26
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 10:42:01 AM

Exactly. And well, for me at least, the Vita itself too. Smartphones and Tablets are pretty trendy, so if the Vita isn't gonna function as much as they do with apps, features, or at least a decent browser, it's gonna have a hard time competing. However, since the Vita has the edge in gaming, it will reign supreme if it can do what smartphones are capable of (outside of phone/calling feature of course).

The only way for them to cater to the mass if they made an ad or commercial highlighting, not just its gaming capabilities, but multimedia functions, apps, features, and whatnot that are loved by people with smartphones. I'm afraid it won't bode to well if it's just gonna be advertised as a gaming machine.

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I007spectre
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 9:00:16 AM
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I just do not care to play games using my phone. There is a Uncharted like game for andrioid, but from what ive seen it cannot match the quality of Golden Abyss. And sure Modern Combat 3 may be the best fps on phones, but id rather get a Battlefield or Call of Duty quality game.
I have no issue paying the price for Vita, but I can agree that a 4gb card should be included. I will however still be purchasing a 32gb down the road.

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Robochic
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 9:01:17 AM
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I see it as fine with me i paid more for my 3ds and got nothing really interesting with it, I do use it but nintendo had poor sales so they lowered the price asap but they still struggle with their system cause they have nothing in games that shouts out WOOHOO. While the vita has an amazing launch in titles, ya the memory cards are expensive but they too will come down in price. I just think people need something in this new year to complain about and it's the vita that's being targeted.

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kingjose
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 12:53:17 PM
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I always wait for the price drop on every system I ever got. To many problems with the first edition of any system I feel sorry for the suckers that get the first model of the vita

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 1:52:23 PM
Reply

Hmmm,
Sony has already cut the price of their Playstation Tablet-S by $100 and only 3 months after launch, so maybe they'll do the same for the Vita soon too.....


Sony cuts price of PlayStation tablet

Sony has cut the price of its PlayStation branded Tablet S by $100 in the US.

The move comes only three months after the hardware launched, with the 32GB model now selling for $500 instead of $600, and the 16GB SKU down from $500 to $400.

The Android 3.0 powered device features a 9.4 inch touch screen and Nvidia Tegra 2 graphics chip. It is able to download and play games from the PlayStation Store with support from the PlayStation Suite SDK, also used for PlayStation Vita, Xperia Play and other Android devices.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-01-03-sony-cuts-price-of-playstation-tablet

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 3:15:36 PM

I didn't know about that one! I don't even think it is available on the Norwegian market...?

But when it comes to tablets the current king of the hill is ASUS with their Transformer Prime. Tegra 3-powered quad-core table... Not to mention the looks. Oh yummy.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/3/2012 3:18:17 PM

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johnld
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 @ 6:13:48 PM
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high price, looking at ps3 launch price, may work for home consoles. when i look at the ps3 and its price, its pretty easy for me to justify it. i see single player games, online multiplayer games, local multiplayer games, play videos and music, internet broswer(even if its crap most of the time), bluray player, dvd player, motion control games, etc. when i look at a handheld system, i see it mostly as a portable gaming system. it may do more but gaming is what i'll use it for so i cant justify the price when its the same price as the home console.

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voltfan72
Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 11:52:26 AM
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i'd pay 500$ for the thing its so incredible.

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Ather
Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 4:08:44 PM
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$250 and I MUST buy a memory card, too? Yet Sony still can't understand why I'm not buying a Vita.

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PHOENIXZERO
Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 5:13:11 PM
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Price isn't that big of an issue as some are making it out to be, if people want it, they'll buy it. I think Apple has made that abundantly clear with their products. Now if only Sony had a fraction of Apple's marketing prowess maybe they wouldn't be stuck in the toilet. People talk about the economy and how poor of shape it's in but then have no problem paying $500-$700 for an iPad. Why? Marketing. Same with the entire line of over priced Apple products. Yeah yeah, an iPad or other iProducts can potentially do more being jacks of all trades.

The problem again, IMO when it comes to Japan is the launch software, which was great for a Western audiences but not so much for Japan. That combined with the fact that the 3DS has had some HUGE releases since November that do cater to Japan was a big kick in the nuts to the PSV. People are busy with their 3DS to bother buying another portable gaming device with few or no games on it yet that they're interested in playing.

The only reason people are talking about price cut is because of the 3DS, ignoring the fact that the 3DS was intentionally over priced by Nintendo thanks to the E3 buzz they had and the fact that the handheld's launch and for months following was complete and utter crap in terms of quality software in ALL regions. If the 3DS had a steady stream of great games from launch onward Nintendo probably wouldn't have had to make such a drastic price cut to get units out the door. Then again, it should have been $200 at launch in the first place but it still would have dropped off hard after launch with no appealing games available. People think that the 3DS bombed from launch when that isn't at all the case, stupid expectations from brain dead analyst aside, it did exceedingly well for Nintendo at the start, IIRC it was the best selling handheld launch in Nintendo's history. It wasn't until weeks later when sales fell off as the hype died down and it was consistently being outsold by none other than the PSP that people got aboard the fail train.

IMO they still would have cut the price from $250 after Sony announced the PSV's launch price. But it wouldn't have been as drastic or as soon if there were more new games worth playing.

Games are $10-$50, only one is $50 with Uncharted: GA, it should have stayed at $40, no doubt but why is it taboo for a console quality game being that high? New PSP games were $40 were they not? 3DS games are $40 and some will be coming at $50, RE: Revelations for example. The only thing really over priced with the PSV are the damn memory cards. Game prices will be brought down by retailers just as they always are due to retail competition and the fight for shelf space. Eventually so too will the memory cards though probably not as quickly or as much. Like it or not have MSRP that are in line with other cards. Though again, with a lack of competition with other companies they won't likely drop without retailers doing it. It certainly sucks for something that's likely just M2s in a slightly altered shell with new security software.

As for the PS3 comparisons... Just like the 3DS, it's a different situation. It's not a rarity for handhelds to launch at or close to the price of a console by the same company, this complaint is just silly.

Also, a big issue right now the 3G model, it's the 3G model that most people don't want seeing how it's nearly pointless along the fact that you have to pay even more for a service that's primary function is for social crap. Unfortunately Sony is going to keep pushing it though, especially in the U.S. Thanks to the AT&T deal. You know Sony is getting paid for every one they sell and someone signed up for AT&T's coverage. Subsidizing it might not be a bad idea.

Again, I will ask, do we have the sales data from the PSP's Japanese launch on December 12th, 2004 to today? That's where the true comparison lies. As long as the PSV is ahead of the PSP's launch Sony is not going to panic and cut prices of the hardware. That is the last thing you want to do so quickly after launch. All of the doom and gloom coming from the media is making things IMO look worse than they really are so far. If Sony did indeed cut the price the media would then jump on that and continue with stories of how in trouble the handheld is in and scare away yet more people from buying it out of concern that it's going to die a quick death.


Holy **** I wrote too much.

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