Sales of Sony PlayStation Vita are far from great due to competition from numerous non-gaming devices as well as relatively high prices amid short list of video games designed for the platform. Sony Computer Entertainment is working on a version of PS Vita with reduced costs, but the company has no plans to intentionally cut pricing of Vita this year.
"Of course, cost reduction is one area our engineering team is working on. But we just launched the platform earlier this year. It takes time to do so. 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 is affordable for people who are looking for a good deal," said Shuhei Yoshida, the head of Sony Worldwide Studios, in an interview with Eurogamer web-site.
Game consoles are usually sold by platform holders at loss in order to make devices popular and then sell a lot of video games with profit. Therefore, game console makers are interested in reducing the cost of their products in order to either trim their losses or broaden the audience.
However, it usually takes years to reduce production costs of game consoles. For example, it took Sony slightly less than three years to introduce second version of its PlayStation Portable. Therefore, it is unlikely that the company manages to significantly trim cost of PlayStation Vita this year.
In general, Sony remains optimistic about PlayStation Vita and the public response that it got from gamers. The company even admits that it now needs to provide more content for PS Vita to improve sales. SCE specifically notes that it needs premium multi-hour video games to actually attract attention to Vita platform and avoid competition from general-purpose mobile devices with simplistic game titles.
"The reaction to the hardware platform itself has been very strong. We are very pleased with the response we got. [...] But the actual sales of PS Vita, obviously we would like to see more uptake. We see lots of feedback from consumers saying they would like to see more content, they would like to see their favourite franchises coming to the PS Vita. [...] We designed PS Vita as a medium you can spend hours immersed into playing games. That means any amount of content can be potentially consumed pretty quickly. [...] We have to continue to work on bringing more content from big titles people are looking for in terms of franchises, to very small, snack-sized, intuitive casual games on the digital distribution side," said Mr. Yoshida.
Sony PlayStation Vita is based on a system-on-chip with four ARM Cortex-A9 cores, PowerVR SGX543MP4+ graphics engine (accompanied by 128MB of memory) and a memory controller. The new portable game console has 5" multi-touch OLED screen with 960x544 resolution, typical set of PSP buttons, two cameras (front and rear), Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, GPS, six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR controller, integrated speakers and microphone as well as multi touchpad located on the back side of the system.