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.