Sony should drop the price of the PS Vita, says analyst

Sony should drop the price of the PS Vita, says analyst

Summary: With slumping sales in Japan, Sony's Vita appears to be in trouble. The solution? Cut its price.

TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility

Sony's PS Vita has quite a lot going for it -- large, bright screen, slew of impressive games, etc. -- but its success is currently being held up by one thing: its price.

So says Strategy Analytics Senior Analyst Jia Wu, who compares the Vita's current situation to the one Nintendo faced last year with the 3DS. Sales for the 3DS plummeted in the months following the its launch, owing not only to its paltry games selection, but to its lofty $250 price tag as well.

The Vita is seeing a similar trend. In Japan, weekly sales for the console have averaged 20,000, a major departure from the 300,000 units sold during its first week. Jia blames the Vita's price, which is $249 even before consumers buy games and memory cards.

"In the time of austerity, consumers are considerably sensitive to prices, and Nintendo proved that a price cut can save a product," Wu said.

And that it did. Nintendo cut the console's price to $170, triggering a 260% sales surge in the following weeks. Since then, the 3DS has become the fastest console to reach 5 million sales in Japan. All because of a price cut.

Jia says Sony can expect similar success if offers a similar price cut. He estimates that Sony will sell 12.4 Vita consoles in 2012 if it cuts the price to $180. That's $2.2 billion in revenue.

Of course, it took Nintendo a few months to announce its 3DS price cut, and its certain any such similar moves from Sony would come after a similar time span. Current sales are sustained mostly by early adopters, who would buy the Vita no matter what price it launched at.


Topics: Hardware, Mobility

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  • RE: Sony should drop the price of the PS Vita, says analyst

    Sell the handsets for $150.00 and have game prices max out at $20.00. That's the only hope for non-cellphone based mobile gaming. People will drop $19.99 on a great title that's written for a mobile gaming platform with proper controls. But they won't shell out $39.99 per title for a $249.00 gaming device when super fun games go for $.99 cents on the iOS and Android app stores. And when you can get an awesome iOS/Android 3D shooter for $3.99 it makes even less sense to pat 10x as much for a game taht plays on your portable gaming device.
    • RE: Sony should drop the price of the PS Vita, says analyst

      @dsf3g .
    • Agree

      I agree, the days of games selling around the $50 mark are gone. In the PC games market, services like Steam are making games far more accessible simply by having prices like $10 for a good title.

      Mobile games are even cheaper!
      • Cool device

        Let me add:

        I stepped into Best Buy yesterday after work (there's one right accross the street from where I work! Yaaaay! You know where I go every afternoon at 4:30) and they had a Sony playstation Vita on display. I got to play with it a bit. I really, really like this device. I could see it being spectacular for playing 1st person shooters in bed before going to sleep. If Microsoft by some strange and impossible twist of fate allowed a Halo port for this thing I'd probably even be saving my pennies for it right now. Heck, I may even buy one if the price drops. But I'll probably only ever buy two or three titles for it.

        See, back in the day when you bought a portable gaming device you'd also buy a bunch of titles for it, because it was your only portable gaming device. But since I've got a smartphone and a tablet, and can buy all sorts of titles for a couple of bucks, for them, the only games I'd buy for the Vita are a couple of must-have 1st person shooters.
    • Nonesens

      Wrong! Mobile gaming only appeals to casual gamers, anyone who wants something more complex than Angry Birds is never going to be happy with anything other than a full console.
      Doctor Demento
      • Nonsense

        You shound like a guy who's only ever played Angry birds on a smartphone.

        There a hundreds of much more complex titles available, including some pretty complex tower defense games as well as RTS games. Heck, there are even involving 1st person shooters that do a passable job tailoring input for a touch screen.
    • Are you serious?

      You would obviously NOT be the target audience for these devices and games. I'd like to see a cell phone deliver PS3 quality graphics. That is pretty much what they are going for with the Vita. Like doctor demento said, cell phone games are for casual gamers. Any real gamer will tell you that they have to have physical controls on a dedicated device. Your point about the prices just shows how you have no idea what you are talking about. You obviously have never been in the playstation store and checked the prices of the mini games there. Your entire argument is old, unoriginal, and has been countered every time someone else has tried to play it.
      • I'll be waiting

        Are you going to come back and apologize when either:

        A) The system fails to generate reasonable sales
        B) Sony slashes prices on most titles to below the $20.00 mark?
    • Not so fast

      I agree with slashing the price of the unit. They should also cut the prices of those proprietary memory modules. Or at least include the 4Gb with the unit for free, seeing that it's needed to play games.

      When it comes to games though, I don't know. Look at 3DS games. At 35 ~ 40 bucks each, people still buy 'em.
      • Demographics

        The 3DS survives because it's targetting a demographic that largely don't have cellphones. When I go to my wife's church I see Nintendo portable gaming devices in the hands of about half the young kids. But the older guys are all playing games on their smartphones.
  • RE: Sony should drop the price of the PS Vita, says analyst

    That is what I am waiting for, especially for Christmas 2012. :] No way I was going to buy my 2nd grader what would amount to over $300 (Vita + memory cards + games). Hell, our PS3 didn't cost that much. But would love the integration though. This thing blows the competition away.
  • Proofreader needed

    "...Sony will sell 12.4 Vita consoles in 2012 if it cuts the price to $180. That???s $2.2 billion in revenue."

    Geez, does anyone read these articles before they get posted? Lazy.
    • haha

      I was laughing at that myself, that is an awfully pricey console!
      • especially

        especially to the poor soul who gets the .4th of the Vita
  • SONY: Must Save Itself Before It is too late

    2012 is not only the beginning of new year but also mark an inflection point for Sony: adapt or surrender.
    The core products must be good, very good. The price has to be competitive. The good old days are over.
    Innovation by seamless integration. Sony trying hard to sell all the bells like proprietary memory card and functionalities. Current Standard memory and flash are fast and cheap. Cheap enough not to make much different. Stop using the old tricks. It does not work anymore.
    Game prices have to be reasonable. You do not expect any games for more than $20 for Vita.
    Put the visionary person with passion in charge of product development, sales, and marketing.
    Sony keeps driving its customers away, directly into the opened arms of Apple and its direct competitors. Common sense and passion are gone at Sony. Sony keeps breaking my heart. Too sad.
  • Umm, when was it released?

    I believe it was only released like 2 days ago, maybe these analysts should give it some time before they declare a time of death.
  • played with one today - not impressed

    I went and played with the PS Vita today and I will say that I wasn't very impressed.
    the screen is still too small and makes reading text a strain and the controls are way too small. It was almost impossible to push the buttons without accidentally hitting another button (no I don't have big fat stumpy fingers). I think 8 - 16 year old children are the target for this device, so while a price drop may initially help the Vita, I don't see it as a 'fad' that will last long in the schools unless Sony team up with Yugioh or whatever yesterdays craze was.