The original £200+ price for PlayStation Vita "was a tough ask" for consumers given the booming smartphone and tablet market, Sony UK MD Fergal Gara has said, claiming that the price cut announced during Gamescom could help the console "come into its prime".
"Price is part of the equation but I think the landscape it entered is vastly different to that which maybe was imagined when the design process for the device started, in particular the tablet and smartphone and freemium-type models," Gara told VideoGamer.com last week when asked whether he believed price was the main factor holding Vita back.
"To bring a console out at £200+ and have software at £30, £40, £50 was a tough ask, even if it offered full controls and a superior gameplay experience.
"So what's happening now is, you're getting the price of the console coming down, you've got tremendous value offerings around the software – we talked about Mega Packs [last week], we talked about PlayStation Plus and what that does for PlayStation Vita, and now you've got Remote Play as well. So in short, I think it could well be about to come into its prime and prove its distinctive worth, whereas it maybe struggled a little bit alongside the burgeoning tablet revolution."
Sony announced a price cut for PlayStation Vita last week, dropping the price of the console from $249 to $199. A 3G Vita can be picked up in the UK for around £169: £100 cheaper than the SKU's original £279.99 price point.
The console has struggled to find an audience in the 18 months since launch, with Sony admitting earlier this month that PS Vita is "not performing that well". But that could change with a price cut, Fergal believes.
"Now I think it might well demonstrate that it's cheaper than many of those devices so it's tremendous value as a device itself, but content is now available at a much greater value," he continued. "And of course, it's now a brilliant device for PlayStation 4."
Gara also says that Sony is working on making the price of Vita software as appealing as possible, and claims that there are "loads" of Vita games already available at a similar price to those on the iOS App Store.
"There are loads of games in those kind of price points already," he said, "but I think [with] high-end software we're doing our very best to make that as keenly priced as we possibly can.
"Certainly as a first-party we're doing our best to bring down the tightest possible price points and also rolling games into PlayStation Plus means it isn't hugely expensive to get hold of great quality software for PlayStation Vita."
Sony's Christmas line-up for PlayStation Vita includes FPS Killzone Mercenary and cutesy Media Molecule platformer Tearaway.