Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
arrowPress Releases
April 24, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM TechWeb sites:


Sony not planning a Vita price cut anytime soon
Sony not planning a Vita price cut anytime soon
June 6, 2012 | By Mike Rose

June 6, 2012 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    16 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, E3



Sony is not planning to cut the price of its PlayStation Vita handheld anytime soon, and instead hopes it can boost sales through more games and services.

The PS Vita has sold 1.8 million units worldwide since it launched earlier this year, which Sony CEO Kaz Hirai described as "a good start." The company has been looking to ignite the dwindling hardware sales via new app downloads and hardware colors.

Sony Worldwide Studios' Shuhei Yoshida explained to Eurogamer that a Vita price cut is not currently on the cards, stating, "From the value for money standpoint, we think we have a good price for what the system is."

He continued, "Our priority is to achieve the potential through more games and services. Of course people who are looking to buy are also talking about the price of PS Vita, especially when they have to buy a memory card as well."

"That's something we have to spend time to cost reduce and address in the future. But now, our laser-focus is to increase the content and to realise the potential of the system."

Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris suggested earlier this year that Sony needs to cut the price of the Vita sometime soon, given how badly it is selling in comparison to Nintendo's 3DS and the Vita predecessor, the PSP.

For more reports from E3 2012, be sure to check out Gamasutra's live coverage.


Related Jobs

Io-Interactive
Io-Interactive — Copenhagen, Denmark
[04.24.14]

Gameplay Programmer
Io-Interactive
Io-Interactive — Copenhagen, Denmark
[04.24.14]

Generalist Tech Programmer
Crytek
Crytek — Shanghai, China
[04.24.14]

Mobile Programmer
2K
2K — Novato, California, United States
[04.24.14]

Senior Tools Programmer










Comments


Camilo R
profile image
I'm starting to think Sony really doesn't care about Vita. During E3, they made no announcement of any new original IP for the system which I thought would be required given the state of the system. They barely spent any time on Vita during their entire E3 conference, are they planning to drop out of the handheld race?

Eric Geer
profile image
At least they know where the problems are

Price, additional (pricey) memory carts, and lack of software.

But I'm not sure hardware colors are going to help sales. As for App Downloads--I'm assuming he is talking about more games...but if he is just talking about more Apps outside of gaming..not sure that this is going to help either.

[User Banned]
profile image
This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Eric Geer
profile image
How would they help when there still isn't anything to buy for it??

Dave Long
profile image
There's still a good amount of software for something at this stage of its life - a good deal more than at this stage of the 3DS and PSP as well - but of course people are comparing it to more established devices. That said, their lack of focus on Vita software in their presentation was a little odd - but they apparently have 25 new Vita games at the show (Jet Set Radio, Sine Mora, a few from Japan, Playstation AllStars - new for Vita, and I'm guessing a bunch of others). That said, an Assassin's Creed and CoD for the Vita is hardly a bad sign.

Cleric Storm
profile image
I recommend Sony partners with OnLive or other game streaming service and bring it to the vita. This addresses each of the major issues. The vita's game library will be significantly expanded overnight, there is no need to buy extra memory cards, and OnLive offers flexible pricing where you can either rent or purchase full access. It's just my opinion, but I would definitely buy a vita if it allowed me to stream a large selection of games from anywhere i had a good wifi connection.

William Johnson
profile image
While I can understand Sony thinking the PSP is a good value. But as a consumer, I'm not seeing it. If we look at what we can do with a $200 iPod Touch and a $250 Vita, I can do more with the iPod and pay a whole lot less on apps, games, and pretty much everything, and even just plain do more with it.

I can understand that their trying to target the more hardcore gaming enthusiast crowd, but they're just fighting over a niche with Nintendo. And all those other bells and whistles that add to the Vita is kind of off message, because it looks like they're saying, "We can do what the iPad can do, and play more hardcore games." It just seems like a "me too" strategy, and followers are just never market leaders, unless they can do it cheaper or a lot better. And right now Sony is doing neither.

Ben Rice
profile image
On the other hand, if the Vita didn't have apps like Skype, and YouTube(soon) I think a lot of people would consider that a real black eye. These sort of apps have come to be somewhat mainstream and expected on every internet capable device - for better or worse.

Eric Geer
profile image
The likelihood that I would ever use Skype or Youtube on the Vita is little to nil.

The only effective way that I would even possibly ever think of using Youtube on Vita is if there was a function within the vita that allowed me to record my gameplay videos and upload them directly to youtube. Outside of that..why would I waste time watching videos if I could play video games.

Michael Wenk
profile image
The Vita needs a real high power exclusive for it, that and it needs to compete on basis of price. At its current point, I doubt I would even bother with it for any game. And non game software? That's going to be a non starter, as I have devices that will do everything I want them to do already.

Merc Hoffner
profile image
Another harsh lesson they failed to learn from Nintendo

Ben Rice
profile image
I'm just curious what this lesson is.
I'm guessing it's that they put good hardware in it, which drives up the price above $200?

Nintendo certainly has a track record of launching consoles with lackluster line-ups, so it can't be software.

Merc Hoffner
profile image
The very basic lesson that if the audience doesn't respond well into launch in large part because of price, then you have to react quick to recover the position. Nintendo adapted extremely quickly and extremely painfully. Sony needed to do the same, but it doesn't look like they have any interest.

I get what you're saying about manufacturability, but the 3DS is more expensive to produce than people thought (Iwata uncharacteristically revealed that the 3DS is now being sold below cost and that they expect the system to return to profitability on a hardware basis by September), and it's not exactly Sony's MO to worry about losses per machine. In the wider scope of Sony, it's obvious why they're trying to not lose money, but to be perfectly frank, selling machines at losses should have been concerning to them from the get-go. Why is it a problem for them now and not 6 years ago? Or 12 years ago?

This brings us on to Nintendo lesson number 2: If you want to remain sustainable, even in the face of market defeat, then you better make a cost effective machine: Nintendo always makes machines out of an affordable combination of parts, and that allows them profits when times are good, and pricing adaptivity and manageable losses when times are bad - at least on the hardware side. Even the N64 which pushed the boat out technically, saved substantial money by not having a CD drive, which like all their competitors would have driven substantial loss making with it. Of course Sony fundamentally believes it needs to push advanced technologies to win races, which used to be the case as ironically, N64 couldn't win without a CD drive, but after two generations of failure, Nintendo figured out a way to win AND stay affordable(ish). Having your cake and eating it too so to speak. Sony needed to do the same, and even knows this is the case, but just can't make the final leap on exactly how to do it.

Ben Rice
profile image
Thanks for replying, those are very good points.

Kenneth Bruton
profile image
They need to address, not just the lack of an exclusive title, but power management itself...the amount of battery life is abysmal. They fixed that issue on the PSP, with a larger capacity battery...but wait! You have no access to one on the Vita! The PSP also had a video out, while looking at the Vitas pretty OLED screen is nice, I would like to lift my head up once in a while when I am at home...

Kenneth Glendinning
profile image
It has been quite interesting to read a variety of comments from a variety of Points Of View.

IMHO, the PS Vita is a veritable technological monster machine by comparison to many hand-held gamers, up to now. The mobile platforms have experienced a step-change over the last couple of years. Apple entered the 3G marketplace in an upstart manner and sowed the seeds of considerable disruption for the 1st (and probably 2nd) generation mobile phone/device manufacturers. Very big names such as Nokia and RIM have been left reeling, unable to change quickly and effectively, with even Microsoft having to rethink its game plan. In times of war, technological development cycles are always accelerated, driven naturally by basic survival instinct. Just look at how Samsung rose to the challenge and are now producing amazing hardware and software in the form of the Galaxy Note and, most lately, their quad-cored Galaxy SIII.

I beleive that Sony have been right on the button in seeing the need to get straight in there at the top level, thus the specs on Vita are indeed absolutely close to top end. This, from my POV, makes Vita excellent value for money, at its current UK street price, just on hardware technology alone. In addition to providing breath-taking graphics and beautifully smooth gaming controls, there is the communications through Sony Network, Skype - then some more with GPS and Google Maps and web browser.

Indeed, it is probably the most powerful hand-held gamer around, but today's mobile digital devices are required to be increasingly versatile and aspire to be a universal digital assistant - an essential accroutrement to our fast-moving modern mobile lifestyles. In this respect I think Vita thinking has to be 'outside the box', because it has the potential to do so much more than just captivate through traditional gameplay alone - and MUST take this lead to stack up against the competition and perhaps even become truly 'La Dolce Vita'. The game has moved on over the last few years, the world is now full of demanding sophisticated technology consumers.

Sony, no doubt, sees Vita as a monetisation delivery coduit for its IP in Games, Music and Video, and in this pursuit, has also built up some past experience in combatting digital piracy in order to protect its property and revenue. In contrast to Google's business model, where content is provided free in order to deliver their revenue-winning advertising onto users' mobile platforms, Sony can't really give away the family silver for nought, or allow it to be filched for free and so, there are limits to how 'open' they can allow their system to be. One big criticism of the Android Dev space has been the degree of fragmentation on standards. Sony's quality control to protect the brand also ensures compliance and long-term confidence in the products. But, nevertheless, there is a danger, I believe, in sticking too tightly to a narrow Games/Music/Video-ONLY view of such a powerful, rugged-like-no-other, potentially versatile 3G mini-tablet.

APPS, APPS, APPS, ASAP ! Quality, lifestyle apps - get people using it to check their bank balance, arrange a taxi - all of that sort of stuff to embed it into peoples' daily lives, so much so that they will never leave the house without it. Oh, and what about a games-inhibited school mode with a scientific calculator, so that it becomes an acceptable tool in the classroom. Sony, you haven't even started to scratch the surface with this baby.

One aspect of the Vita browser that I really appreciate is that it does not identify itself to a website's landing page as a mobile phone and, therefore, the full desktop site is always displayed first time.


none
 
Comment: