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Analyst Advises Sony to Cut Vita Price Point

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Ace Securities analyst Hideki Yasuda has some advice for Sony when it comes to the current pricing of the PS Vita:

No dice, Chicago. (My words. I’m sure his were more eloquent.)

In fact he told Bloomberg news the following:

“Gamers are increasingly anticipating Sony to lower prices, especially after the 3DS cut. Sony is under major pressure to cut the price of the Vita or risk a major failure.”

However, Sony isn’t playing that game as Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony’s Consumer & Products Services group fired back with this:

“We have a very good product at a very affordable price. There’s no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game industry decided they were going to.”

So, at $249 or $299 (3G) is the Vita overpriced due to the 3DS price cut? Are the two tied together? Is the 3DS failing due to a bad game lineup? Will the Vita prove worth 300 bones?

I’m curious.

Update: It was also announced that the Vita will in fact miss the 2011 holiday season in the US and Europe and will ship in early 2012.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

10 thoughts to “Analyst Advises Sony to Cut Vita Price Point”

  1. I would also advise Sony to cut the Vita’s price, preferably to somewhere in the $10 range.

    Nintendo went on the offensive with the price cut, which is all well and good but a $179 unit that will play Steel Diver and Asphalt 3D still won’t sell. If Nintendo manages to get the Mario titles, Kirby, Kid Icarus, and some other top-shelf titles out by Christmas, then yes, Sony needs to react.

    However, Sony has two options in terms of reacting. One is to cut the price. I think they could do a token $25 cut on both models and it’d make a substantial difference. Or, they could launch the Vita with _several_ top-shelf games that will make the $250-$300 price point seem justifiable. Uncharted, LPB…those are good starts. Two more titles available day and date at that level and I think they’ve already beat Nintendo.

    It’s all about software in this contest, I think. All of the gewgaws (did I get it right this time?) and gimmick features don’t matter. People want the games, and that’s what it’s going to come down to. What’s more, both systems have to earn their keep in the same space with the dollar IOS games. Full-fledged Uncharted and Bioshock games could potentially do that.

  2. Don’t forget Little Big Planet, I think it’s going to pull in it’s fair share of customers aswell.

    Edit: That was supposed to be in reply to Barnes’ comment.

  3. I don’t adopt any system at any price point until it has more then a couple of things I want to play. I don’t own a 360, not because I’m some sort of raving Sony fanboi, but because there are maybe 2 game series on there I’m interested in, and only one of those I can’t play on the computer. 3DS has nothing available that I feel the need to buy (or re-buy as the case may be). Vita has already announced 2 franchises that I’m deeply interested in, and, much to my wife’s dismay, I don’t mind paying the price they’re asking for, as long as the games are available out of the gate.

  4. Oh yes, I mentioned it. I don’t think LBP has the pull of a Mario game, but there are certainly LBP fans and modders that will flock to the game if it’s nearly as robust as the console game. From reports I’ve heard, it is. I admire LBP more than I actually like it, but I think it’s a good fit for a mobile device, sure.

    That’s really where the Vita can suceed…if it gives you literally a 1-1 console experience without compromise. As great as the DS was, it played DS-caliber games. Vita needs to demonstrate that it can do these kinds of full-blown games without cutting features or functionality.

  5. Sony pretty much fucked the whole opportunity here. They gave people who might be on the fence no compelling reason to wait for Vita and they give Nintendo time to build up its titles for the 3DS.

    That isn’t to say Nintendo will run with the ball, as they’re very bad at following through, but the chance now exists.

    In fact, the Sony response is utter shit. Nintendo? 3DS isn’t popular enough, we totally failed and now we are going to slash the price because we would like you all to buy one and have a userbase to bring the games. Sony? Yeah, whatever, we’re not changing a damn thing and you’ll damn well like it.

    The fact that they are out the gate with Uncharted and LBP is fine and all but apparently I am the only gamer on earth that was underwhelmed by the Uncharted demo. I love the series, but wow, I can draw the path with my finger? Definitely worth $250.

    Between iDevices and maybe the 3DS, I think Sony is going to need the best damn system launch in recent memory.

  6. That’s true, they haven’t given anyone a reason to wait as of right now. The _first_ reaction to Nintendo should have been a release date and launch lineup. That would cause fence-sitters to say “well, 3DS is going down $80…but if I wait until 1Q12, Sony has Uncharted, LBP, Bioshock, etc.”

    And you’re right about Sony too- they’re one of the more arrogant companies in the business, stopping just short of a “they’ll pay anything for our stuff” attitude.

    I think they know that they’re headed toward a binary smash/flop proposition with the Vita and I think part of the strategy is to cultivate an “event” launch. Yet I don’t see the logic of missing holiday ’11 if that’s the case. They should’ve scheduled a day after Thanksgiving release. People are more inclined to buy things without reservation or caution, and the gift dollar would ensure a sellout product.

    Rather than an “oops, we undersold by 400,000 units” report three months later.

  7. The price of the console is not as important as the the price of the games. Personally if I thought I was going to get decent use out of a handheld there isn’t that much difference between $179 and $249. But if I know every game is going to be at least $30, while I can get Ipad games for $2, I’ll stick with the Ipad. I think this is what both Sony and Nintendo are going to run into.

    I ride a train an hour each day back and forth to work and I haven’t used my DS or PSP in ages. I’m all about the Ipad. I even use my IPad to play PC games like OOTP and Panzer General through remote desktop sharing apps like JumiMouse.

  8. $249 was a great price for the Vita when it was announced in June, and it’s still a great price.

    It was a terrible price for the 3DS because Nintendo was trying to sell dated technology, dated input options, a dated distribution model and a questionable 3D gimmick like it was a high end device.

    Conversely, Sony is packing best in class portable hardware, every control method you could want and the ability to download every single game in the library if you so choose. That’s a much better value at the $249 price point.

  9. The only question now is whether we really want a $250 device in our hands that plays console-like games. That’s what the PSP was and we all know how well that went (and I love my PSP, I’ve played a ton of it in the past year thanks to Atlus).

  10. I can think of a reason to push it back. Games.

    If the games they want to ship it with aren’t ready, they shouldn’t push it out early. They NEED to launch this with Uncharted, LBP and Bioshock, not say “they are coming soon after”.

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