From early reports, it seems the Vita’s doing pretty brisk business already. Sony’s says they’re encouraged by the uptake of the system, especially the more expensive 3G version – which many expected to sit on store shelves while its pared down Wi-Fi brother found its way in to players’ hands.
According to analysts (who are always correct about everything, always!), Vita sales could skyrocket – if Sony cuts the price, in a similar manner to Nintendo’s strategic 3DS price reductions.
“Vita’s hardware sales could reach $2.2 billion assuming a $180 [£114] average retail price,” an analyst for Strategy Analytics said. “In the time of austerity, consumers are considerably sensitive to prices, and Nintendo proved that a price cut can save a product. Their decision to slash the price of 3DS’s from $249 to $169 revived sales of the console.
“Sony now is experiencing the same story in Japan. Sales of the Wi-Fi version of PlayStation Vita at $249 initially exploded, selling more than 300,000 units in the first week of release. But the new console is barely moving 20,000 units per week in its home market after all the hard-core fans made their purchases, mirroring the experience of the Nintendo 3DS.
“Strategy Analytics expects sales of PlayStation Vita in North America and Europe to follow the same pattern, suggesting that a price cut will be essential to stimulate sales and forge a competitive position.
“Despite the solid design and strong processing power, it is challenging to convince consumers to buy a dedicated game console above the $200 price range in today’s economic environment as Nintendo has learnt. Sales of 3G models will be a particular challenge as it demands a $50 premium and additional data plan charges and in the long run is likely to represent only a small portion of total PlayStation Vita sales.”
I wouldn’t expect a price cut any time soon though; speaking to CVG, Sony’s UK boss Fergal Gara says there’re no plans for a cut.
“Not currently,” he said when asked if a price cut was on the cards, “it will take several years for this investment to pay back as it stands, so if we have to do more with the price… Clearly, we’ll have to view how consumers respond – do they value the amount of technology packed into that box?”
I suspect a lot of people are holding out for a price drop; the Vita is a beautiful piece of kit – but it’s a pricy one.
Last Updated: February 24, 2012