Sony didn’t just announce a grossly overpriced new PlayStation 3 at its Tokyo Game Show event on Wednesday morning. It had a little bit of news to share about the PlayStation Vita as well. The game announcements were less notable than those at the Gamescom conference in 2012 unfortunately. Reason being, most of the games announced are targeted only at the Japanese market. There’s little likelihood that the big-breasted-ninja game Senran Kagura or Monster Hunter clone God Eater 2 will be making it to the US anytime soon.
PlayStation Plus for the PS Vita, on the other hand, will absolutely be a selling point for the struggling portable in the coming months. Sony already confirmed that PlayStation Plus would extend its reach to Vita at Gamescom but it was only at TGS that pricing and release info was made available. Vita gets PlayStation Plus in November for $18 per month or $50 per year, and that fee will net you discounts on myriad downloadable games and free access to others.
Sony also announced a couple of new Vita colors, namely a snappy red console and a nice blue one as well. These are only confirmed for Japan at the moment, but Sony never shied away from releasing new PSP colors with regularity. The US will still get access to the white PS Vita when it comes out bundled with Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation in October.
Sony already said in August that it didn’t plan on a PS Vita price drop before 2013, but it’s still disappointing to have TGS come and go without Sony attempting to incentivize a purchase of the handheld. The Vita’s a great gaming machine, with some quality games. Gravity Rush, Sound Shapes, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, and others have made the Vita’s first year more memorable than PSP’s first three years on shelves combined. At $250, without one of Sony’s expensive proprietary 32GB memory cards, Sony just doesn’t have a machine to entire people yet. They’re spending on Kindle Fire, on the iPhone 5, on the iPod Touch, and even Nintendo 3DS before they are Vita. The only thing that Sony can do to lure them in is to either drop the price, or bundle both the PlayStation 3 and the PS Vita together at $350, positioning it as a Wii U competitor.