Seven months into its life, PS Vita is not doing terribly well. Sales figures slumped then disappeared into combined 'global handheld' sales, third-party publishers haven't exactly been flocking to support the machine and the words 'price cut' seem to have been on everyone's lips pretty much since launch. Everyone's lips, that is, except for Sony, who have been pretty quiet about the situation. Until now!
Looks like a price cut will be coming in 2013, according to Sony UK boss, Fergal Gara. He told Eurogamer: "We always aim to establish price cuts. So the question is not so much if, but when. We won't have an across the board price down this Christmas. But what you will see us doing is work very hard with our retail partners to add value to the product to make it more compelling. Even this week there are some tremendously attractive bundles out there, for example wi-fi Vita plus LittleBigPlanet Vita at the £200 price point.
"There's the wi-fi product again plus FIFA 13 plus Uncharted: Golden Abyss plus LittleBigPlanet at not much above the £200 price point. We will be working that very hard over the coming weeks as more and more software arrives."
He was then asked whether a price cut will have to wait until next year then, to which he replied "Yes". But the timing on that is "still under discussion".
Above: A PS Vita. Surely a Call of Duty game is going to shift some units? Er... guys?
It probably wasn't meant to be an admission that a price cut is coming next year, but it does look that way. Perhaps not the cleverest thing to admit when the company is desperate to capture some of the Christmas gift market. But hey - at least it's on the cards.
A greater line-up of software would surely help Sony sell some units. It needs to break the vicious circle of 'no new games means no new customers, which means no new games'. Admitting the problem's been bigger than expected, Sony's Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida had this to say to Gamasutra:
"One thing that was surprising and disappointing to us was the [lower] number of third parties to come out [in support] after launch. In retrospect, there are so many options for publishers now that we cannot take it for granted that our new platform would be supported by third parties, like [it would've been] many years ago.
"We've been working harder with our third party relations department to secure more content for PS Vita, we are confident that we have the right hardware platform that we have with PS Vita."