If you were one of the many thousands watching the Sony Press Conference, hoping with bated breath that Sony President Kaz Hiari would step up on stage and deliver a cheaper PS Vita… you were sorely disappointed. In a new interview, both Hiari and Sony Worldwide Studios chief Shuhei Yoshida say that they are content with the price of their latest handheld, regardless of its struggles.
Worldwide, the Vita has only been able to snag 1.8 million sales by the end of March 2012, but Hiari believes that’s “a good start.” With an expected 16 million in sales by the end of the fiscal year (with the PSP making up nearly 6 million), Sony and its handheld division remain undeterred.
What remains the issue however – and what really wasn’t addressed during the press conference – is the lack of content for the Vita, versus the cost of upkeep (I.E., the additional cost of things like memory cards). Speaking with Eurogamer, Yoshida makes clear that he understands this, and is looking towards the future to resolve the issue:
“Of course people who are looking to buy are also talking about the price of PS Vita, especially when they have to buy a memory card as well. That’s something we have to spend time to cost reduce and address in the future. But now, our laser focus is to increase the content and to realize the potential of the system.”
Both men also realize that their display during the press conference was seriously lacking in the Vita department. Aside from showing off footage from Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and cross-play title PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal, there was nothing else said about the handheld.
“I’m getting lots of tweets from people saying, ‘where are PS Vita games?’ That was, in retrospect, our fault – not looking at every angle when we designed the programme for the show. We have 25 new games, Vita titles, playable on the show floor.”
Those titles will get more focus as the week goes on, but one thing is clear: Sony is behind the little handheld, and believes that it is the future of the portable market. Perhaps focusing more on content, and giving the consumer something to actually spend their money on, is really what Sony needs to do.
Do you think Sony should wait, or is it time to start slashing Vita’s price? Let us know and give us your feedback.
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