In a surprise press conference overnight, Sony has announced that it is set to slash the price of the PlayStation Vita in Japan. The company confirmed that from 28th February, you’ll be able to pick up either a Wi-Fi or 3G console for around ¥19,980 ($215), down from ¥24,980 ($269). The platform holder has since confirmed that the cut won’t apply in the West, but there’s always a chance that something might be announced during Wednesday’s upcoming PlayStation Meeting.

For the time being, though, the move is clearly aimed at improving domestic handheld sales. During the surprise event, SCEJ president Hiroshi Kawano also revealed a Phantasy Star Online 2 bundle featuring a console and copy of the game for ¥19,980, a red Soul Sacrifice bundle for ¥24,980, and a handful of games. Japanese players will also be able to redeem one week of free PlayStation Plus access between 28th February and 18th March.

Amongst the titles on show were Toukiden, a brand new action game from Dynasty Warriors developer Omega Force. Gundam Breaker and Valhalla Knights 3 were also on display, as was God Eater 2. And, finally, the first footage of Final Fantasy X HD was shown, which looked particularly impressive we must admit.

It’s great timing for the price-drop, with the Vita finally gathering a decent collection of heavy hitters in its home region. The console is now just ¥1,080 ($11) more expensive than the Nintendo 3DS, which is pretty impressive when you consider the differences in technical prowess. The platform holder needs to continue bringing a steady stream of games, though, if it hopes to compete with its closest competitor’s unstoppable juggernaut.

At least this is a step in the right direction.

[via jp.playstation.com, eurogamer.net]