Vita price cut by a fifth in Japan

Sony’s announced a price cut for the PS Vita in Japan, raising hopes of a similar move in other countries.

Taking effect at the end of this month, the move will see the cost of the Wifi and 3G models fall from Y24,980 ($269) and Y29,980 ($323) to just Y19,980 ($215) each. It brings the price down to something more comparable with Nintendo’s 3DS XL.

Meanwhile, the company’s offering freebies to existing users: a week’s worth of PlayStation Plus access and half a dozen free games to play this month, including Valhalla Knights 3, a new Legend Of Heroes, Gundam Breaker, God Eater 2, and Toukiden.

It’s also launching a new ‘ice silver’ color model for the Japanese market, and promising new games including Phantasy Star Online, Soul Sacrifice and Tales of Hearts.

In Japan, the Vita has failed to outsell not only the Nintendo 3DS, but even the company’s own eight-year-old PSP. It shifted only around four million Vita units last year. Sony recently cut its console sales forecast for the year down from 16 million units to just seven million, largely due to the Vita’s poor take-up.

There’s no word on whether the price drop will be introduced in Europe or North America – although the chances must be pretty good. There’s a press conference scheduled to take place in New York on February 20, and although this looks likely to focus on the upcoming PlayStation 4, there might just be time for a Vita price cut announcement too.