Spreading the satisfaction: SCE Japan boss explains PS Vita price cut
20th Feb 2013 | 20:37
Hiroshi Kawano talks handheld console cost
From February 28, gamers in Japan will be able to grab the Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the powerful, 5-inch device for 19,980 yen (that's around UK£139, USD$214 and AUD$208).
Hiroshi Kawano, president of Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan, has admitted the price-tag has proven too prohibitive for prospective buyers, while the initial software catalogue has yet to inspire enough people.
Kawano told Famitsu magazine that the price cut was about getting more consoles in the hands of users, allowing them to share the satisfaction experienced by early adopters.
He said: "The biggest reason is that we simply want to have more people playing the PS Vita.
"Based on our research, there are two broad reasons why people who may want to try the Vita aren't purchasing it. One, they want to wait until there's a game they want to play on it. Two, the price is a little out of reach for them.
"What we also learned in this research is that people who do own a Vita have tremendous satisfaction with it; it's the kind of platform where you get a feel for how good it is once you touch it. But we found that the price was too big an initial hurdle for this, and this sparked a long internal debate within SCE."
Obviously, that debate has led to Sony seriously trimming its prospective profit margins in order to get more Vitas into the hands of consumers. Kawano did not intimate whether the price cut would be extended to other territories.