This morning saw the announcement that much of the gaming community had been anticipating. Sony revealed that the PS Vita Slim would indeed be making it ways to the UK. In the most recent episode of Heroes of Handheld, me and Chris discussed what this would mean for Handheld gaming. After all, it’s always a big deal when a new console is released into wild. As the shows chief Vita correspondent (A title I gave myself) I awaited with excitement for the big reveal. As the event was not streamed, It was up to Twitter to inform me. The show began at 9am (GMT) but the official reveal didn’t happen until 10am.
So what did we get? Well he got what we expected. The PS Vita Slim. Surprisingly only the UK release date was revealed. Gamers on theses British isles can expect the PS Vita Slim on shop shelves on February 7th 2014. It seems that our friends from across the pond will have to wait a little while longer. Asides from the reveal, it seems that we will be only getting the black version of the handheld. You will remember that the Vita Slim was released in Japan in 6 different colours, including yellow, but there was no such luck for us. (A yellow Vita would have been quite a sight!)
Unlike the Nintendo 3DS/2DS consoles, this version of the Vita will not become the cheaper model. It will in fact become the only Vita model on the market. Sony announced that once all original Vita stock has been “exhausted”, it would be discontinued. So R.I.P OLED screen!
During episode 32 of the podcast, we all discussed potential price points for the PS Vita Slim. It’s common knowledge that the PS Vita has struggled to sell in the west, and I was hopeful of a price around £99.99, though I knew it would be unlikely. I then settled for £120, about the same price it is in Japan. Chris went for £130, but we both agreed it would be nearer £100 than £200.
Boy were we wrong. I believe that not only have Sony failed in their attempt to draw in new people to the handheld, but they have failed, once again, to fully expose the PS Vita, and show just how awesome it is.
Sony announced that the PS Vita Slim would retail at £180. Yes you read correct. This is not a joke.
The current PS Vita (Wi-fi) is currently priced at £160 on Amazon.co.uk, and on Play.com you can get a Vita and 4GB memory card for £175. Both cheaper than the new console.
What made this announcement even more insulting was the fact that no bundles were announced. Nothing. Just the console.
Of course from a business point of view this does make sense. Create a new model which is cheaper to manufacture, and then charge more for it. Its twisted, but good business. What really annoys me though, is that myself and other fellow Vita lovers were hoping this announcement would encourage more gamers to pick up a Vita and let them discover first hand jsut how amazing the little handheld actually is. Do Sony seriously think that making a cheaper made version more expensive will increase sales figures? I’m sorry but if Sony executives believe that, they are extremely misguided.
I can’t help but feel slightly hurt by all this. After all the struggles the PS Vita has been through to become noticed above mobile gaming and the Nintendo handhelds, It seems that Sony are once again trying to kill their sexiest handheld.
The most we can hope for now is an enticing bundle pack with the PS4. Perhaps Sony and leaning towards the view that only PS4 owners should own the Vita. But for me personally, I feel that Sony have failed once again with their pricing, and it will take a lot to encourage me otherwise.
Aside from this, there was no mention of the PS Vita TV, or a UK release of the 64GB memory cards, two things Vita owners were hoping for. Luckily it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
I will end on a more positive note. There was one bundle pack announced for Europe for the Vita. The Indie Bundle Pack will be coming to PS Vita in February. This will include 10 indie games and a 4GB memory card. There is also an option to buy the pack with the Vita Slim console. The games, which will come in the form of a download code, are:
- Alien Breed
- Thomas Was Alone
- Velocity Ultra
- Men’s Room Mayhem
- Coconut Dodge Revitalised
- Hotline Miami
- Total Recoil
- Superfrog HD
- Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD
Some great games there, and the price for Europe is €24.99, and with the PS Vita Slim, €199.99. The price for the UK will most likely be a bit higher.