Aug 8, 2011

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Analyst Claims Sony is Under Pressure to Cut Vita Price

Analyst Claims Sony is Under Pressure to Cut Vita Price

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Hideki Yasuda, an analyst for Tokyo based Ace Securities Co., stated that Sony is starting to come under pressure to cut the price of the not yet released PlayStation Vita. The Vita is upcoming portable gaming system and is the successor to the PlayStation Portable. The new touch screen capable system is highly anticipated by gamers but with Nintendo’s recent decision to drop the price of their new handheld, the 3DS, some gamers feel that Sony should follow suit.

“Gamers are increasingly anticipating Sony to lower prices, especially after the 3DS cut. Sony is under major pressure to cut the price of the Vita or risk a major failure.” Claims Yasuda.

However it should be noted that the Vita is more expensive in Japan. While U.S. consumers will be paying $249 for the Wifi version and $299 for the 3G version, Japanese gamers will be paying 24,980 yen ($317) for Wifi to 29,980 yen ($386) for 3G.

While the 3DS dropped from $249 to $169 here in the States, Sony has no plans on changing the price of the handled anytime soon. In a pervious interview Kazuo Hiari, president of Sony’s Consumer and Products Services said “We have a very good product at a very affordable price. There’s no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game industry decided they were going to.”

Some analysts continue to believe that the market for portable systems is shrinking due to the growth in smartphone gaming but others still believe that Sony’s handheld device will be a success because it’s target audience are those gamers who will be willing to pay more money for a better gaming experience.

However it is all about strong titles, which many say is the reason Nintendo’s 3DS system got off to a slow start, and if Sony doesn’t offer “system selling” games than no one is going to buy a Vita no matter what the price point is.“If strong titles aren’t there for Vita, there is a risk I might have to cut my estimates,” said Kazuharu Miura, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo, who expects Vita sales will reach 2.5 million units by March.

Those who are calling for a price cut for the Vita are talking about it from the Japanese point of view and seeing that it is that much more expensive over there compared to the U.S. one could make an argument for a price cut in Japan. I personally don’t see a reason for Sony to jump the gun and cut prices here in the States simply because a few analyst or gamers are worried about the price point. If they have a strong launch line-up with reasonably priced software than I think the Vita will sell well at its current price point.

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[Source: Bloomberg]