Vita Price Cut ‘Still Under Discussion’
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 16:10
Playstation UK Managing Director Fergal Gara discussed the possibility of a Playstation Vita price drop with Eurogamer this week.
We always aim to establish price cuts,” he said. “So the question is not so much if, but when.”
This seems to be in keeping with Sony’s behavior in the past. Both the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable received a plethora of bundles including software and accessories before finally reaching new, official price reductions.
In a sense, the inclusion of extra software is a form of price drop, as you are removing the price of the software from the cost of the Vita. However, the psychological impact of bundles on consumers has always proven to be much weaker than a different price on vanilla hardware packages.
Gara maintains, however, that we won’t see a standard Vita price cut before this year’s holiday season, when gaming hardware sells at its best.
He says instead that “what you will see us doing is work very hard with our retail partners to add value to the product to make it more compelling. Even this week there are some tremendously attractive bundles out there, for example wi-fi Vita plus LittleBigPlanet at the £200 price point. There’s the wi-fi product again plus FIFA 13 plus Uncharted Golden Abyss plus LittleBigPlanet at not much above the £200 price point.”
The “FIFA 13” bundle stands out in particular. While the series has begun to enjoy healthier and healthier sales here in the United States every year, it’s always proven incredibly popular in the British Isles from which Gara hails. “FIFA 13” made up 80 percent of the region’s overall entertainment sales last week across all platforms. However, I can personally verify that “LittleBigPlanet Vita” is, in fact, pretty awesome as well.
In the United States, we will instead be receiving a bundle of the game alongside “Assassin’s Creed: Liberation” later this month. The game and the bundle will be available on the very same day as “Assassin’s Creed 3,” which, depending on who you ask, will either help boost sales thanks to the old chestnut of brand synergy, or choke the game to death under the wait of its counterpart.
Regardless of how you feel about Vita bundles, a price drop would be an incredible boon the flagging handheld. However, that will likely have to wait as Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida made it clear during Germany’s Gamescom event that a price drop won’t happen until the company can make the portable devices cheaper to produce. Such attempts are already underway, he said, but if we cross-check his statements with Gara’s, it seems that they won’t likely come into effect until next year at the earliest.
So, if you’re still on the fence about getting a Vita, know that it will be a little while before the price drops below the standard $250, but you can always grab a bundle in the meantime.