Yesterday, Sony finally confirmed the price of the PS Vita (formerly NGP) during the Sony Press Conference at $249 (WiFi) and $299 (3G). Gamers, including myself, were fairly ecstatic at the news, but then I found out that Sony had different pricing plans for the UK and elsewhere, with the PS Vita costing almost $400.
At the Presser Sony confirmed that the WiFi model would cost $249 in the US, E249 in Europe, and 24,900 Yen in Japan, however there was no price confirmed for the UK.
Soon after though, CVG posted an article that cited a source “close to the company” as saying that he was “very confident” that the WiFi model of the PS Vita will retail in the UK for “somewhere close to £235”. Now that doesn’t seem too bad until you realise that, at current exchange rate,s £235 equates to a staggering $386, almost $400. If the source is correct, UK gamers will be paying a full 60% extra for exactly the same piece of hardware. If Sony were to equalise prices, the PS Vita should cost a little over £150, instead we’ll be forced to pay £85 extra simply for residing in a different country. The UK retailer GAME is currently listing the WiFi model at £230, although this is likely to be a placeholder, nevertheless, it still pushes the price too close to $400 for my liking.
In addition, if we take a similar pricing strategy, which reduces the nominal price (irregardless of currency) of the UK RRP to 94% of the US RRP, we can see that the 3G model could cost around £280. This equates to $410, a full $110 more than what the PS Vita will be priced at in the US. Of course, this price is speculation but there would be little reason to suspect that Sony would alter the price by any more for the 3G model. Furthermore the GAME is expected to list it for £280 reinforcing the rumour.
Pricing is just as unfair in Europe, with the WiFi model costing $365, and in Japan with the same model costing $311. It is quite clear that, as always, North America is getting preferential treatment, something that would be expected with an American based company like Microsoft, but not with the international giant that is Sony. Yes, obviously different taxes and tarriffs apply to every country but I find it hard to believe that that would justify a 60% price hike in the UK.
Personally, I feel let down by Sony. The PS Vita (who’s name I actually like) looks exciting, something that will help move forward handheld gaming away from gimmicks like 3D and into the next generation. But this pricing really irks me, and will definitely affect my decision as to whether or not I will buy one on release.
What about you? Is this pricing unfair and will it affect your buying decisions?