Thanks to the 3DS cut, pressure mounts for Sony to drop PS Vita price

PlayStation Vita display

About a week ago, Nintendo took bold action and cut the price of its 3DS handheld game system from $250 to $170 due to stagnating sales and a dim outlook for the rest of the year. This move was unheard of for a games system from Nintendo this early into its lifespan. The 3DS launched in March 2011. Now Sony is feeling the heat of this decision, as some are calling on it to reduce the $250-$300 possible pricetag for the PlayStation Vita, reports Bloomberg. Previously, Sony executives said they would attempt to keep the unit’s price about as low as the 3DS.

“Gamers are increasingly anticipating Sony to lower prices, especially after the 3DS cut,” said Hideki Yasuda, a Tokyo-based analyst at Ace Securities Co. “Sony is under major pressure to cut the price of the Vita or risk a major failure.”

Sony, which has long been a proponent of high prices and has a history of sticking with them, is not taking the bait. “We have a very good product at a very affordable price,” said Kaz Hirai, president of Sony’s Consumer & Products Services group. “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.”

And Sony may not. Though the PlayStation 3’s sales were slow during the first year or two of its life (it’s still the #3 console, saleswise), Sony stuck with its exorbitant $500 and $600 price scheme for a full year before lowering the PS3’s price to a base of $400. The PlayStation Portable was also thought to be too expensive when it arrived for $200 in 2004, but Sony stuck with the price. It will be telling to see if the Vita experiences the same trouble as the 3DS, as that could indicate that the market really has changed due to smartphones and tablets, but it may take a healthy dose of actual failure before Sony decides to lower the price and lose more money on each Vita it sells. The Vita will hit shelves sometime in 2012.

Would you buy a PS Vita for $250?