Sony Drops PS Vita Price To Drive Sales, Netizens Skeptical

Sony will drop its price for the PSP Vita due to disappointing sales.

Sony’s computer and video game division Sony Computer Entertainment released the PS Vita in Japan on December 11, 2011, as a successor to it’s popular PlayStation Portable system. Since then, the system has sold modestly well, but in the country’s fast-paced handheld gaming market, it may be falling behind.

CEO Kazuo Hirai stated in August of last year that sales were more or less on target, with the exception of a few territories. Fast forward to January 8, 2013, he changed his tune in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, admitting Vita sales were ‘on the low end of what [they] expected’.

With the January 18 announcement of price drops on the PS Vita’s two models [one 3G capable and one Wi-Fi only] both to ¥19,800, many critics assume it is a plan to revitalize the struggling sales.

Netizens echoed this opinion, adding their own concerns, most notably: the lack of game software.

Comments were trending toward the notion that even a lower price tag cannot drum up sales if there are no worthy games for the system. Although some received the news well, even claiming they would buy the system at the new price, others lamented for those who bought it before the price drop.

From Reuters Japan:

From February 28, Sony Will Offer PS Vita For ¥10,000 Less

Sony’s video game console arm Sony Computer Entertainment announced on February 18 that it will reduce the price of its hand-held gaming system ‘PS Vita’ starting February 28.

Both the 3G capable model and the Wi-Fi model will drop to ¥19,980 from ¥29,980 and ¥24,980 respectively.

The Vita, Sony’s successor to it’s PlayStation Portable [PSP], debuted in December, 2012, and has gone on to become the company’s top product. However, although the fiscal year began with substantial sales, their starting goal for [Vita and PSP combined] sales of 160,000,000 units was reduced to their current plan of 7,000,000 after three successive downward adjustments in their third quarter balance sheets.

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At this time last year, the PSP alone sold 6,800,000 units while the Vita only sold 1,800,000. Although the balance sheets of the Vita have not been disclosed, the price drop is an attempt to drum up sales for the system that has hardly made an impact in the hard fought battle of handheld games.

According to gaming magazine publisher Enterbrain, there was a huge disparity between Sony and competitor Nintendo in 2012, with Sony selling about 670,000 units, while Nintendo sold about 5,620,000 Nintendo 3DS systems.

Currently, the Wi-Fi model remains the same price as the 3G model, despite having fewer capabilities.

Comments from Hamusoku:

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Good call

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Call me when it goes down to ¥15800

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Keep going!!

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Also, you’ll only use it for Monster Hunter

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WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFI just bought one with Atelier Totori!!!!!!

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But the memory cards are still expensive, eh?

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It’s too late!

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They’re really desperate to make sales, huh?

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It’s still too expensive

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I’m buyyyyyyyying one!!(^ω^)

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Oh, I guess it’s time to buy one wwwwww

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[I don't mind that] I bought my 3G at the release, all I care about is if this results in an increase of games for the system.

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The WiFi model needs to go down more www

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I wonder how the people who already bought one are feeling

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I just bought one yesterday, idiooooooot

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Good job! I think I’ll buy one now!

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I’m definitely getting a 3DS

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Even if the price goes down there aren’t any games for it

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It’s a trap because there are no games. At least bundle it with a memory card w

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4GB Memory Card ¥2,200 [tax included]
8GB Memory Card ¥3,200 [tax included]
16GB Memory Card ¥5,500 [tax included]
32GB Memory Card ¥9,500 [tax included]

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  • jack

    Actually, second hand systems have already been filling up resellers in japan for 20,000 or less, so you can probably get one for 15,000 or less soon… i was tempted, but when you think about it… there are no games on it :/ maybe one.

    • Dan

      True. As one user pointed out above, PS Vita really needs Monster Hunter. I don’t know if that will be it’s app or not, but considering the turnout Monster Hunter Portable 3rd had for the PSP, I think it’s the Vita’s best shot. That and I’m a Hunter, myself. *cue meat roasting music*

  • dim mak

    This is another one of those things where Japan is out of the loop

    Newsflash: The days of expensive, specific devices designed primarily for handheld gaming is in terminal decline. Like consoles, the future is trending towards multiple functionality. Handheld gaming is going be the domain of iOS, Android and mobile operating systems in general.

    Nobody wants to buy an expensive single purpose device when they can save up for a smartphone that plays games and much much more. Wake up.

    • rexroom

      I don’t think Japan really cares, since Nintendo 3DS has been an astounding success there. As long as mobile OS games continue to remain on the level of cheap minute diversion/click farms a’la Gree, there will always be demand for triple A-gaming devices. And a dedicated gaming device is always superior to a device that is primarily used for communication in terms of gaming – and vice versa for that matter.

      • Moniisek

        I agree. My Nintendo is my magic.

        • Ami

          Blessed be my 3DS.

          • EightNineBall

            Hey, bless my DS :P

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