The PlayStation Vita 'First Edition Bundle' that Sony's announced for North America this afternoon is one of those moments. It's a stroke of genius, and here's why.
In North America, those that plump up for the special pre-release edition will receive a 3G PlayStation Vita, a limited edition case, a 4GB memory card (so you can actually save your games), and a copy of Little Deviants, all for $349.99. Sony's offering a similar deal in Canada, except you'll get a Wi-Fi PlayStation Vita instead of 3G. Naturally, the Canadian deal is a little cheaper, at just $299.99.
The first thing that's brilliant about this promotion (from a marketing stance anyway) is that you get everything you need out of the box, for a very small premium. We're sure those in North America will be pushed into purchasing a 3G unit — when they hadn't even planned to — and it kind of erodes the "no memory stick" concerns for savvy consumers. It also pushes you into making a decision — the bundle's technically "limited" so if you haven't decided whether to purchase a Vita yet, Sony just made up your mind for you.
But the real genius part is that those purchasing the First Edition Bundle get the system a week before release, on February 15th. Sony knows that those following PlayStation Vita news will happily pay a premium to be one of the first to own the system. Enthusiasts are going to lap this up.
The First Edition bundle will be available at a "variety of select retail locations", and we suggest you act promptly if you want one because they're going to sell out fast in our opinion. There's more information here.
Hopefully SCEE offers a similar initiative in Europe.