July 06, 2013

How Is Sony Trying To Move The PS Vita?

Over the past two years, Sony has stumbled with the Playstation Vita in sales. Why? Read inside......
For those of us who own a Playstation Vita, we know it is a brilliant piece of hardware. But why then has Sony had such a difficult time unloading it? Sure, a knee jerk reaction is to say "poor software library," and that is part of the problem. But what has Sony done lately to get the Vita ball rolling?

In February this year, Sony cut the cost of the handheld in Japan, a move many knew would be a great move. Sales "quadrupled" in the first month, and probably more than that, and of course it did. The now $214 console was at least in the ballpark with its main competitor, the 3DS. It didn't hurt that at the time Phantasy Star Online 2 was released, as well, pushing 60,000+ units at launch. That also had to help push consoles.

This begs us to ask the question, "How come the rest of the world is not getting a price cut?" Sony has not yet responded to this question, and there is no clear reason why. Is there a reason for waiting? Does Sony think other worldwide consumers will buy the console for the fabled Remote Play with the PS4 even if the price is unchanged?

I got my Vita during the holidays when it was bundled with a game and a 4 GB memory card. $200 was a steal, it felt like. The COD and AC Liberation Bundles sold out super fast at that time. The holidays gave a boost to Vita sales, but sadly only temporary. In the months to follow, sales dropped again.

How many people got the bundle at the Holidays?
The best deal out there now is at Target which includes a Lego Batman 2 Vita bundle for $200. No memory card, but still that's a great deal on the system. (Last I checked, the "temporary price cut" had units "unavailable online.") If you want a 3G model, those are apparently trying to get moved off the shelves through the Sony Store: $249 for that model including an 8 GB card and a free PSN game. If you check, those are "out of stock" as well. Good news for the Vita?
$200? Good deal!

The PS Vita Mega bundle is also an interesting way to increase sales. 8 BG memory card and a batch of network games?  Speaking of memory cards, we all know what Sony has to do to those guys. I would personally buy a bigger card and shift and delete games and such when a new one comes around if a bigger and cheaper card came out!
This includes LBP Vita? That's another good deal!

There are a rash of new games coming in the next few months, and that has proven to be very helpful for Sony sales for the Vita. Take a look at some titles that have helped move consoles:
The aforementioned Phantasy Star Online 2 in Japan
Soul Sacrifice moved about 180,000 units in the first month
Toukiden in Japan in its FIRST week of sales unloaded 127,000 units. This, according to Famitsu, boosted Vita console sales from 14,000 in one week to 34,000 the next. And apparently that wasn't even a widely marketed game that just took off.

Sony has to be calculating what the big games are going to rake in for sales, as well as pushing the Vita, itself. Can Killzone Mercenary really be a console shifter? If it can survive the hype, I'm betting a lot of Vita users will be buying that, and spreading the tale to others.

And what of the PS4's Remote Play? How much is Sony banking that users will access that function and buy a Vita just for that reason. Will there be a PS4/Vita bundle? We wait with bated breath for news on the Vita, and will bring it straight to you, our faithful readers.

What do you think would move the most Vitas? A price cut? Bundles? New games? Comment below!


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