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PlayStation Vita Price Cut In Japan, U.S. To Follow?

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First Posted: Feb 18, 2013 02:52 PM EST
A customer plays a game on Sony Corp's Playstation Vita (PS VITA) at an electronic store in Tokyo June 27, 2012.

A customer plays a game on Sony Corp's Playstation Vita (PS VITA) at an electronic store in Tokyo June 27, 2012. Credit:Reuters

After months of disappointing sales, Sony announced on Monday, Feb. 18 it will be slashing the price of the PlayStation Vita handheld device, both the Wi-Fi and 3G versions, in Japan.

The Wi-Fi, which currently costs about $265 in Japan, and the 3G, which costs about $320, versions will both be reduced to $215.
Sony is also pushing out a few other incentives to encourage growth in the trickle of newcomers.

A new color, “Ice Silver,” is being released.

Sony is giving purchasers one week of PlayStation Plus for free, which usually costs $50 per year.

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Bonus Sony Points will also be thrown in, and can be redeemed for music, movies and games on the device.

This latest news comes after months of unexpectedly low shipments, for which Sony has come up with a lot of euphemisms.

Back in January, Sony’s freshman CEO Kazuo Hirai told reporters about Vita sales, “I would say it’s on the low end of what we expected.”

He compared the device to the PlayStation 3, which also got off to a slow start at prohibitively high prices back in 2006.

The PlayStation Vita has been regularly outsold by its younger sibling, the PlayStation Portable, which costs $100 now and was released in Japan in 2004.

The PlayStation 3 was also overshadowed by its predecessor. The PlayStation 2 outsold the newer, more powerful console for three years, before the latter finally took over.

Hirai said it can take five to 10 years to judge whether a gaming device has been a success or not.

“Long term is what is important,” Hirai said.

So far the price cut has only been announced for Japanese customers, with no word so far on price changes in the U.S. or Europe.

"The price cut announced today is for the SCE Japan region only," a spokesperson told Eurogamer.

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