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PlayStation Vita makes phones look expensive

14 Jun

One of the big news items to come out of last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo was Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation Vita, the successor to its PlayStation Portable mobile gaming device. I wasn’t a big fan of the PSP, simply because I’m not much into portable gaming, but the Vita looks very cool, packed with features as it is.

Moreover, I was somewhat shocked at the announced price: $249 for the wi-fi version or $299 for the 3G model. Given how much technology is packed into such a small frame – the Vita has a touchscreen plus a rear touch pad, as well as internet connectivity and a web browser – it really makes you wonder why we’re paying so much for smartphones. Either Sony is taking a rather significant loss on the Vita, or smartphones – and tablets for that matter – are greatly overpriced.

Sony Ericsson’s own Xperia Play sells for $550, despite the fact that it is inferior to dedicated gaming platforms. At $250, I may end up picking up a Vita. Maybe I can even ditch my smartphone for it?

In any event, I spoke with Sony Computer Entertainment Canada general manager Stephen Turvey while at E3 about the Vita. Here’s a short clip from that conversation:

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4 Comments

Posted by on June 14, 2011 in mobile, sony, video games

 

4 responses to “PlayStation Vita makes phones look expensive

  1. Parallax Abstraction

    June 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Based on those little cost analyses some sties do of mobile phones, there’s no doubt that they’re incredibly overpriced. Apple not only makes profit day one on the iPhone, it’s hundreds per device. I imagine the margins are similar for most smartphone makers. There’s no doubt Sony must be losing money on the Vita but phones do cost way too much. The manufacturers like it because they get high margins and the carriers like it because they can use the prices as an excuse to lock people into contracts that are borderline indentured servitude, especially in this country. I really hope the Vita does well as I don’t care for the vast majority of the disposable games on smartphones but I’m still not sure about it.

     
  2. Hub

    June 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Here come the subsidies. Game console vendors are know to sell hardware below cost and get their money back on game licensing… which is why they don’t like homebrew, don’t like used games, etc. And that’s why they removed the “Other OS” from PS3.

     
  3. Marc Venot

    June 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Early adopters help to pay the research. Soon the price will become popular and in the third world the OLPC_XO-3 will be distributed:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLPC_XO-3

     
  4. Daniel Friesen

    June 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    The “Cloud” feature with save files sounds interesting, but at odds with my opposition to setting up an account with Sony.
    Though I am considering getting a PS3 and maybe a PSP or Vita.

     
 
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