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PS3 vs. PSVita: The Same Price?

Posted on Tuesday, August 16 @ 12:41:42 PST by GR_Staff

Anthony's take: The PlayStation Vita is a serious valueconsidering the bleeding-edge technology it featuresat $249 for the Wi-Fi-only model and $299 for the 3G model, there's no denying that. But with the PS3 being price-matched to the Wi-Fi Vita and the 3G Vita being $50 more expensive than the PS3, that value diminishes.

When the PlayStation Vita pricing was announced at E3 2011, the gaming community let out a simultaneous sigh of relief: The Vita will be affordable! After the 3DS price drop, analysts and investors spoke out against Sony, claiming that the Vita needed to have a lower price. At first I didn't at all agree with analysts calling for a PlayStation Vita price drop, especially not before it was ever released. But with the latest news that the PS3 price was dropped to $249, I'm starting to agree.

Now that the PS3 is priced neck and neck with the PlayStation Vita, the Vita becomes a more difficult sell for Sony, who has yet to prove that price of admission. On the other hand, the PS3 is a proven value at this point. It has the strongest library out of all of the consoles currently available, and it even packs in a Blu-ray player. The Vita, however, doesn't have the library (yet), nor does it have a feature like Blu-ray playback that might sway some users who feel they can get double use out of their purchase.

If faced with the decision between a PS3 with this robust library, Blu-ray, and more, versus a PlayStation Vita with a meager launch line-up and features not entirely yet known to the public, many consumers will likely go with the Vita over the PS3. Sure PS3 owners may pick up a Vita, especially due to the connectivity, or someone who would prefer a handheld over a home console, but they're severely limiting their target market.

And it's really all smoke and mirrors. If the PS3 still had a higher price tag, the Vita would appear the cheaper system; maybe even the system with more value. By having the price exactly the same, Sony cannot avoid comparisons between the two.

Don't get me wrong, either. I'm buying a Vita at launch even if it's $249. And this PS3 price drop is great news for consumers and for the PlayStation brand. I just can't help but see that the Vita now has another challenge ahead of it: competing with the PS3.

Nick's take: I can't help but feel like I'm complaining about something as awesome as the recent 160GB PS3 price drop at Sony's gamescom conference, but why has Sony decided to make the PS3 and PSVita the same price at $249.99? That leaves the impression that they are worth exactly the same, deserved or not, and that either the PS3 was priced too high or that the PSVita is priced too low. Aren't they taking "trans-farring" a little too far?

Many analysts were clamoring for a price drop for the PSVita to compensate for Nintendo 3DS' controversial price drop to $169.99, which is now locked all across America. So it's difficult not to imagine that Sony was hard of hearing and thought that everyone was talking about the PS3. Oh my goodness, what did you say?

If I were to put on my top hat and monocle, my inclination is that because Sony decided to push back the release date of the PSVita to next yearand rightfully sothey felt the need to have something, anything, ready for the holiday season. Now for America, it's a fairly wise decision given that most of us already have a Xbox 360 and we're more ready to spend our money on a full-on console with great exclusives rather than the 3DS without many great games at the moment. This makes the new inFamous 2 PS3 bundle for $299.99 which includes 320GB, inFamous 2, and 30 days of PlayStation Plus time ever the more enticing.

This also puts the 160GB PS3 at $249.99, the 250GB Xbox 360 Slim at $299.99, and the Wii at $149.99. It's a fair fight for now... until Microsoft drops its console to $249.99 and bundles it with a Kinect and Dance Central. Oh, them's fighting words. (Okay, I'm dreaming. They'll never do that. Probably.)

Has Sony backed themselves into a position where they're forced to rethink the price of the PlayStation Vita? Or do you think that the value is already there, and the price is just fine where it's at. Sound off in the comments.
Tags:   PS Vita, PS3, Sony

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