Nintendo’s recent 3DS price drop ($249.99 to $169.99 August 12) was a real eye opener, and puts Sony on its heels.
A little over a month ago, the company announced plans to sell PlayStation Vita for $249.99, putting its newest system (at the time) on par with Nintendo’s.
Now, and once again, Sony has the more expensive hardware. Barring some surprise, the publisher won’t drop Vita’s price to compete. That would look foolish, since the handheld doesn’t have an official release date. No, Vita will debut at $250.
It’s easy to compare both portables and conclude that Vita is worth that kind of money, since it packs more features and looks sexier.
The obvious conclusion? You have pay a little extra for this kind of power.
That was Sony’s message in 2006 with the launch of PlayStation 3, and the company faltered, losing considerable ground to Nintendo and Microsoft, both of which offered less expensive products.
Now Sony must carry a similar mantra into the holidays, where it’ll compete against not only a less expensive 3DS (with a stellar fall/winter lineup), but also cheaper iPhone and Android devices.
In other words, a pack-in game (or games) would be ideal.
There will, of course, be early adopters, PSP and tech fans that want the latest gadget. Clearly, the hardcore Nintendo fans that wanted 3DS systems picked theirs up March 27, 2011. Some even stood in line (in the freezing cold, no less) for days.
A select number of Sony’s biggest supporters will do the same. What happens a week later, though, remains to be seen.
Just because Nintendo failed to move 3DS at $249.99 doesn’t mean Sony can with Vita. We don’t know if the public passed on 3DS because the tech didn’t justify the price, or that they refused to buy any handheld for that amount.
Regardless, Sony has reason to worry.