PS Vita games will run the gamut of games costing $10 for the downloadable titles to $40 for retail games. While some think that isn’t necessarily the best course of action in an age where people are paying little to nothing for games on their smartphones, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida thinks it’s all about value.
“We have a theory that if we create really compelling, engaging experiences that you can spend hours with, you’ll see the value of spending $40 against $1,” said Yoshida. “The good thing about $1 games is that people are not spending too much money on them. If you buy 40 of those, you might be spending $40, but still… Or many games are free Gamers love all kinds of games. I totally understand people who like games like Angry Birds, but if you’re a gamer, you’re also interested in trying different kinds of experiences, bigger games.”
“You saw Nintendo’s 3DS, it had many software hits last December, like Mario Kart,” Yoshida said. “That’s the theory. That’s what I’d like to see proven, after the launch of PS Vita. I can see, looking at the games in game stores, when you see games that you feel you can find on the iPod or iPad for five dollars, why should you spend $40 So software publishers will really have to think hard when they approach pricing their software. Is this the experience that will compel people to spend that much Or is this something they should provide for more accessible prices, so that people will try it ”
“For the past consoles, we had a pretty rigid price range we kept to. This is a full-price game, $60, this is a Greatest Hits, $30. Like that,” he continued. “But for PS Vita, you’ll see games that sell for $50, $40, $30. And on the digital, $45, $35, $23, $15, $10 and $5. A very wide variety of pricing. We’re looking at each title and the value and scope of the content, and trying to match people’s value perception with the pricing. We are not just focused on big-budget, triple-A, $40 titles. We’re big fans of the smaller experience as well.”
Sony is teaming up with cellphone carriers to provide bonuses in the West in order to push the 3G version of the PS Vita. “But we are coming to see more of a one-to-one kind of sell-through in Japan,” Yoshida revealed. “That’s how, in the U.S. and Europe, we’ve tweaked it a little bit to sweeten the deal for the 3G SKU. Instead of keeping on saying that 3G is good for you, we added some content that people can immediately see the value of, like adding the memory card, adding free game content to download. The hardware is a bit lower now, so they’re willing to try it.”