With the PS Vita currently struggling to find a significant audience, many people think that a price cut could help out a lot. After all, it worked for the 3DS, which was posting poor sales until Nintendo decided to drop its price six months after launch – once that happened, the 3DS began flying off the shelves. Unfortunately, the PS Vita won’t be seeing such a price cut anytime this year.
However, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida tells Eurogamer that engineers are working on cutting back on PS Vita manufacturing costs, which means that Sony is planning to drop the price of the Vita at some point in the future. Yoshida plainly ruled out a price cut for 2012 though, saying “It’s too early.” For the time being, Yoshida is counting on freshly-announced PS Vita bundles and key franchises to move units:
At a certain point in the future we would like to address the pricing issue for some of the people who are waiting. But this year we are trying to add value by creating different types of bundles. We announced we will provide LittleBigPlanet PS Vita bundle pack. That’s affordable for people who are looking for a good deal.
Yoshida also says that right now, the priority is making more and more content available to consumers, through things like PSOne Classics, PS Mobile, and of course, Sony’s famous franchises. It seems like that should have always been the priority for Sony, but at least the company seems to be taking it seriously now. As for Yoshida’s hope that bundles will be able to move units until a price cut is implemented, that’s going to be a tough sell. There have been some good-looking PS Vita games announced during Gamescom, but gamers always want more, and the only way to get third-parties interested in developing for the Vita is through selling units.
So here we have this rather vicious circle where PS Vita owners want games, Sony wants support, and third-parties want a wide audience. In order to get any of those, the PS Vita needs to deliver solid sales numbers, and right now it isn’t doing that. Bundles may be enough to boost sales for a little while, but it won’t be until that price cut is implemented that PS Vitas will start flying off the shelves, just like the 3DS did. For Sony’s sake, we’re hoping that the company doesn’t wait too long before dropping the price, because the PS Vita needs a major boost and it needs one soon.