Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Opinion: Why Sony shouldn't cut the price of the PS Vita now

Almost every chart or sales-based post on the Vita ends with calls for a price cut. Similarly, forums are full of poster's demands for a slash in costs before they'll buy. Trouble is, there isn't much point in Sony doing that now. And for one simple reason.

If someone buys a cheap PS Vita right now, there are only 20-30 games for them to choose from. Say people get their two or three favourite titles (FIFA and Uncharted judging by chart history) from that lot and what next? All of a sudden a lot of PS Vitas are collecting dust in drawers (as happened in the early years of the PSP) while gamers wait for the new releases to pile up.

Sure, the Vita is better equipped with a great range of old PSP games, PSN minis and its own near range of budget titles. But it takes an effort of discovery to find and learn about them, and buyers expecting pick-up-and-play thrills are perhaps not the sort to go digging for them. (Do you see any advert saying "PS Vita available with hundreds of games, now"?)

So, Sony could cut the price this very day, by say $100 (£60) and suddenly start hemorrhaging more money which it can't recoup because the games aren't there. Give it another few months and Sony will have a heap of games available, including all the summer releases plus a bunch of third party titles.

At that point, Sony can trim the price, and when PS Vita games are rampaging through the charts around the world, it will recoup the lost revenue in hardware through games sales, memory cards from all those digital downloads, accessories and so on.

UPDATE: Typically after writing something like this, a few more thoughts creep out. When Sony does announce a price cut, it won't be that news alone. Expect new bundles, tied in with big game announcements (MHP4 anyone?) and updates to the OS in a smartphone style (PS One games). All of that takes time and business commitment, so give it a few months yet.

3 comments:

  1. I think this would be a mistake also. It is just too big of a kick in the teeth for us early adopters..... 3DS had the same issue and ended up giving away games in a ambassador programme.

    It would show that it is struggling, the would do better to just provide the features which they were talking about when releasing/teasing the VITA.

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  2. Agreed! I find it upsetting that Sony is responsive for demands other than what they delivered through the launch of the PS Vita. The lack of support for early adopters can also be added as a kick in the teeth as the commenter above indicated. Why tote a various colored Vita to entice a new interest when you haven't addressed the needs of your current fanbase which seems to be deminishing?

    Browser support, ability to view flash/youtube, email application capabilities, Playstation Plus support, remote play as it was introduced, etc...to name a few are still missing and unanswered to many requests.

    I do enjoy my PS Vita and worry that in an increased market of mobile smartphones and Apple ipods/tablets, Sony really needs to meet the needs of the customers and start delivering. I have only seen about 40% of what Sony promised. That number may be too high. Let's get going Sony, I don't want to lose interest in something that would be amazing!

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  3. excellent point, thank you!

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