Starting next week, you’ll be able to purchase a PlayStation Vita for a significantly reduced price in Japan. Both the bog-standard Wi-Fi and 3G iterations will be available for ¥19,980 ($213), representing a decrease of around ¥5,000 ($53) on the basic model. However, while we’d predicted a similar change would be made overseas during Sony’s press event earlier in the week, it never came. And now Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida has ruled out a price cut in North America entirely.
Speaking as part of a roundtable interview, the likeable executive cited exchange rates as one of the reasons for the price drop being exclusive to Japan. "One answer could be when you compare the pricing on Vita across regions, because of the yen value, in Japan the system had been priced the highest. We had been selling for ¥25,000; that's more than $250 when you compare the exchange rates."
When pushed for clarity, Yoshida added: "I wasn't saying one way to explain [the price drop]. It's a region-by-region-based decision, always."
It could also be that the handheld market is simply more important in Japan. While the Vita has been flagging since its release, the Nintendo 3DS is flying – and Sony may simply want a bigger piece of the pie. The price cut is particularly aggressive, so perhaps the manufacturer couldn't afford to make the change globally.
Regardless, it's an interesting strategy. Do you think that this is a mistake by the platform holder? How much do you think is a reasonable price for the handheld? Let us know in the comments section below.