Starting February 28, both the 3G/Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only models of the PlayStation Vita will be sold at retail stores all across Japan for the same price: 19,980 yen (~US$213 or ~S$264).
Sony Computer Entertinment Japan announced the price drop, which is 10,000 and 5,000 yen less than the current recommended retail prices for the 3G/Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi models respectively, via a special livestream held earlier today, just a few days shy of the group’s February 20 or 21 (depending on your time zone) unveil of what is likely to be the next-gen PlayStation home console.
Same price with or without 3G?
Why the same price for both the 3G/Wi-Fi and Wi-fi only versions? It may have something to do with the fact that the 3G/Wi-Fi model in Japan is SIM-locked — those sold outside of Japan are SIM-free.
I personally own one of those SIM-locked 3G/Wi-Fi models, which I got a friend to purchase for me on launch day in Japan. Although I had wanted the cheaper Wi-Fi only model, according to my friend it was sold out everywhere he looked, whereas the 3G/Wi-Fi SIM-locked model was in abundant supply.
For this reason alone, if Sony decides to announce a price drop for the Vita in the rest of the world, I believe that they will probably maintain some sort of price difference between the 3G/Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only models.
The price drop announced today will apply to all existing PS Vita standalone models in Japan, which comes in the following four colours: Crystal Black, Crystal White, Cosmic Red and Sapphire Blue.
Three PS Vita bundles will also get their prices adjusted in Japan from February 28.
A Starter Pack, which bundles a Crystal Black 3G/Wi-Fi PS Vita with a copy of Minna no Golf 6 and a 4GB memory card, will be sold at 19,980 yen in Japan from that day onwards.
Yes, this is the same price as a standalone Crystal Black Wi-Fi or 3G/Wi-Fi model, which does not come with a memory card. Supplies will be limited.
Gamers who need more storage space for their digitally-purchased titles can also pick up a Bonus Pack – Crystal Black 3G/Wi-FI PS Vita with 32GB memory card – for 24,980 yen.
The Soul Sacrifice Premium Edition package that Sony announced last year in December will now be priced at 24,980 yen instead of 29,980 when it comes out March 7.
On February 28, the Vita’s fifth colour – Ice Silver (which hits retail stores in Singapore March 4) – will also be released in Japan, but only in limited quantities.
That’s because the Ice Silver model – at least initially – will come in a special bundle that includes a copy of Phantasy Star Online 2 (it’s free-to-play; existing Vita owners can get it free from the Japan PlayStation store), and a code for 1,000 AC or Arkz Cash (PSO2′s paid content currency) for use in the game.
How will SCEJ’s PS Vita price drop announcement today affect the portable console’s price here in Singapore?
We’ll bring you word on the PS Vita’s updated pricing in our neck of the woods as soon as we hear anything. When? Could be as soon as later this week.