While most of the mystery surrounding the PlayStation Vita including release window and pricing categories has been lifted, there is still one nagging issue: games pricing. As perhaps the most controversial issue for game publishers, a lot is riding on what pricing scheme Sony employs with their new handheld.
Some are thinking that the Vita will follow the suit of the Nintendo 3DS, going for the traditional handheld pricing, while others are thinking that since this is, essentially, a next-gen console that the pricing should follow suit. Though we still don’t know exactly what prices gamers are looking at for Vita games, the Japanese pricing of games might give us a better idea.
Since the Vita in Japan already has a hard release date, gamers have already began browsing the pricing for many of the most anticipated titles for Vita, or at least those that Americans are eagerly anticipating getting their hands on. A title like Hot Shots Golf 6 for example will retail for ¥4,980 ($65) with a digital download option being provided for ¥3,900 ($51). To help spur on sales many retailers and publishers are also offering select Vita titles at a discount, offering them for around ¥3,980 ($52).
So essentially, applying a little bit of estimation and currency conversion, it can be assumed that the more popular Vita titles, like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, will most likely set gamers back the traditional next gen price of $60 for the physical media version and $50 for the digital download. Less popular games, or discount titles, will probably come in at under $40 for both versions.
This news begs the question of whether or not a Vita title should be considered in the same pricing category as a next-gen console’s games? Though the handheld does retail for around the same price as a next-gen console, dependent on the SKU, many consider it to be a member of a completely different category. Most 3DS games for example come in at under $40 brand new and without a digital download option.
For now, gamers will just have to wait and see — with a better indication of game pricing expected to be unveiled once a firmer North American release date is. But, with so many details regarding Vita popping up in the “right” category, one had to anticipate something was going to be less than perfect.
What do you think the pricing will look like for hard copy and digital versions of the Vita launch titles? How do you feel about a retail handheld title costing $60?