Sony Computer Entertainment Japan on Monday announced that price of PlayStation Vita portable game consoles will be slashed noteworthy later this month. More importantly, Sony will cease to sell PS Vita with 3G support for higher price-points compared to Wi-Fi models, which means that now 3G option gets free in Japan.
Starting from February 28, 2013, PlayStation Vita Wi-Fi and PlayStation Vita with Wi-Fi and 3G will be priced equally at ¥19980 ($213), down from ¥24980 ($266) for Wi-Fi only and ¥29980 ($319) for Wi-Fi+3G model before. By adopting 3G network connectivity, PS Vita enables infinite possibilities for users to connect with other PS Vita users from everywhere. The new price will make the platform more accessible than ever and will appeal to wider audiences looking to buy the model best suitable for their own game play style. In addition, Sony will also start to sell red and blue versions of the portable gaming devices.
The price-cut after less than fifteen months on the market may reflect Sony’s dissatisfaction with sales of the console as well as growing competition from new gaming platforms, such as smartphones and tablets, which have set new sales records in 2012.
Sony will likely follow with price-cuts in different markets, as it typically does. However, given the fact that the PS Vita in the U.S. and Europe was priced lower than in Japan initially, those market will have to wait several months before Sony slashes the recommended pricing to boost sales there.
Sony sold around 2.2 million PS Vita portable game consoles in the first six months after the release. While in Japan the console saw bright days of record sales thanks to newly released titles, in the U.S. and Europe the system has been considerably less successful even during the holiday season.
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.