The PSP Go was pretty much a disaster for Sony, and they are keen to avoid making the same mistakes again as they gear up for the launch of the PlayStation Vita early next year, or this holiday if your Japanese. Or Rich. Or both. One of the most criticized aspects of the PSP Go’s download only functionality was the pricing, as the cost of titles available on the PSN store for the handheld were invariably either higher or the same as physical copies bought in the high street or via online retailers. If Square Enix’s pricing plans are taken up by other publishers however, we could see a markedly different strategy for the Vita.
Army Corps of Hell is a strategy title due out in time for the Vita’s Japanese launch, and it will reportedly cost 4,980 yen for the boxed copy, and a reduced 3,990 for a digital download. That’s a saving of around $13 or £9 if you decide you can do without the physical game cartridge. No news yet regarding whether or not this will be standard pricing for the Vita, but if so it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Of course you need to factor in the cost of a memory stick to store your downloaded games on, but even then this should work out as a considerably cheaper option. I can’t see any reason why directly offered content, freed from the commission of retail stores and the manufacturing and packaging costs shouldn’t take advantage of a lower price point. What about you guys? Would you rather pay $10 or so more for the option of displaying a game on your shelf?