Earlier this week, it was reported that the PlayStation Vita handheld console managed to quadruple its sales after Sony cut its price in Japan to ¥19,980, or roughly $215, at the end of February. As it turns out, the handheld’s sales actually quintupled, meaning that its sales were more than five times what they were a week before the price cut.
According to a post on Eurogamer, the Vita’s sales the week before the price cut were 11,456. After the cut? The Vita sold 62,543. That’s pretty incredible.
As the post points out, though, the 3DS sold 77,439 that week, so, you know, win some, lose some.
Even still, the post raises the most important question of this story. Can Sony maintain this level of sales? The Vita’s struggled to find widespread adoption, and the price cut seems to make it clear that one of the major barriers is price. And selling games and consoles is a crazy Catch 22: game developers don’t want to make games for consoles if they don’t have a large install-base, and game consoles don’t get a large install-base unless there are lots of great, desirable games available for it.
It stands to reason that cutting the price of an expensive gadget is going to get a lot of people who’ve wanted one for a while to finally take the plunge. But what about convincing everyone else? Is the price low enough? And outside of this blip, will there be enough actual pent up demand to justify the console’s continued existence a year after it’s launched? And how much will it have to sell in Japan for Sony to finally bring the price cut to other territories?