Sony PlayStation Vita 3G Price Slashed to $199, Possibly Discontinued

By Dmitry Sheynin , Mar 17, 2013 07:36 AM EDT

Sony dropped the price of the PS Vita to $199 last week, but the discounted PlayStation was only available at select retailers as part of a limited sales promotion.

Sony hasn't revealed if the discount will make its way to online retailers, but it wouldn't be surprising since the Vita is rather pricey at $300, and a $100 discount would likely help attract a much broader demographic.

A $200 price tag would also put the American PlayStation Vita at a price point more in line with its Japanese cousin.

Joystiq first reported the news Monday after spotting the Wi-Fi and 3G bundle for sale at a Los Angeles retailer for $199. Joystiq did some digging and received confirmation from Sony Store locations in several states that the price drop is due to the 3G model being discontinued.

According to Time Magazine, retailer GameStop only seems to be selling refurbished units at the moment, and a $300 bundle that includes some games. Time speculates that Sony might be clearing inventory and gearing up for the release of a 4G LTE version of the PlayStation Vita, but admits there isn't much evidence to support that claim.

Whatever Sony's plan, it better act quickly or suffer the same slow rate of adoption that the PlayStation 3 chronically suffered from. Although the Vita is an impressive piece of gaming hardware, it hasn't exactly taken off in the way Sony expected it to since landing in stores about a year ago.

The cost of the device presents a problem on two fronts. Not only are consumers unwilling to spend $300 to purchase a Vita, but game developers are also keenly aware of that fact, so many don't even bother creating titles for it. This further exacerbates the issue of pricing, as consumers have even less impetus to buy a pricey console with a limited game library.

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