Last week, Sony held a press conference to showcase the upcoming PS4. Many were excited at the specs for the console, while others were concerned about no announced pricing point, amid other things. Beyond circumventing pricing on the unit, they also didn’t announce any kind of price drop for the PS Vita. This is another huge miss. After already having sales completely bomb during the holidays, those in the Vita camp were expecting a price drop, or some kind of program to lower the overall cost of ownership.
Instead, it looks like Sony is positioning the Vita to be a compliment to the PS4. The only mention of the Vita was that it would sync with the PS4 to allow you to continue gaming on the road, and I honestly don’t think this is the right direction for the unit. Sony is banking on Vita users adopting the PS4, and it’s seemingly harsh pricing, which is rumored to be upwards of $500. It seems Sony’s goal is to keep their customers simply spending their hard earned money to help Sony’s bottom line. So instead of finally admitting that they released the Vita too early, and subsequently didn’t feed enough advertising money to spur sales, they want to champion the idea that everyone has about $1000 to spend between a Vita and PS4 and we’ll all be happy gamers.
Sony has had several chances to resurrect the failing handheld, and yet they’ve remained steadfast that the unit will eventually sell. What does this say to early adopters? Read on any forum relating to the Vita and the hot button is the pricing of not only the unit, but also the cost of memory. Sony seems content to just stand by and continue to aggravate and disappoint their loyal followers. If another handheld with similar capabilities were announced tomorrow, many Vita users would abandon Sony without hesitation. Sony has already abandoned them, and they seem to think it’s no issue. In fact, their actions seem to solidify the idea that we gamers just need to keep on spending. If they intended for the Vita - and now maybe even the PS4 - to be a cash cow, this is not the way to go about it.
This leaves a huge opportunity for Microsoft to potentially role out a handheld, or at the very least, to debut their new console at a lower price point. If this is the case, Sony’s cash cow strategy will be left in the dust. Sony needs to wake up and realize that they don’t have the diehard following like they did during the PS2 days. But I fear the steam they have going into the inevitable release of the PS4 will be too much for them to turn back now. So, Microsoft, how about a handheld?
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