The PlayStation Vita was released earlier this week and, despite Sony saying that a price cut isn’t in its plans, analyst firm Strategy Analytics believes that the Japanese company could increase its sales in a massive way if it slashes the asking price for the handheld console.
The PS Vita
released in the rest of the world earlier this week, after going on sale in its native Japan in December, last year.
While the console is certainly impressive, as you could tell from our hardware and software reviews, its asking price, which is $249/€249 for the simple Wi-Fi model, and $299/€299 for the 3G+Wi-Fi one, is certainly an issue for potential consumers.
Sony is convinced that people will be attracted by the device given its quality and the variety of games that are on sale for it, but analysts are still skeptic about the price.
According to Strategy Analytics’ Jia Wu, consumers, especially in the current economic climate, won’t be able to justify spending money on such a pricey device and its various accessories.
"Despite the solid design and strong processing power, it is challenging to convince consumers to buy a dedicated game console above the $200 price range in today's economic environment as Nintendo has learnt. Sales of 3G models will be a particular challenge as it demands a $50 premium and additional data plan charges and in the long run is likely to represent only a small portion of total PlayStation Vita sales," Wu told GI.biz.
If the price were lower, the analyst believes that over 12.4 million Vita units could be sold this year, resulting in sales figures of over $2.2 billion (around €1.64 billion).
Sony’s job in the handheld market is still going to be difficult, no matter the price, according to Wu, as it needs to rival not just the Nintendo 3DS, but also regular smartphones or tablets.
"To survive the march of smartphone's entering the casual gaming space, Sony needs to achieve the Holy Grail of inventing innovative new gameplay whilst at the same time investing heavily in exclusive content," said Wu.
In the end, the analyst believes that, if sales dwindle, Sony might follow Nintendo’s strategy with the 3DS and drastically lower the price in order to save its sales figures.
"In the time of austerity, consumers are considerably sensitive to prices, and Nintendo proved that a price cut can save a product," Wu concluded.
What do you think? Is the PS Vita going to follow in the footsteps of the Nintendo 3DS and get a price cut?