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Our First Look at Vita Game Pricing in Japan

Not usually a crazy topic, but given the reaction to the 3DS, it’s worth noting.

Vita games, like most games, will be more expensive in Japan. Don't panic.

Sony’s plans for Vita outside Japan remain a mystery, besides knowing we won’t be buying a Vita until next year. Vita releases December 17 in Japan, however, which means details are beginning to get locked down left and right for that region, including game pricing.

The discussion of game prices has flared up since the rise of mobile and social games, fueled by Facebook and iOS devices, which largely feature free or very cheap games. It’s been speculated that both new fronts have deeply affected the popularity of Nintendo’s 3DS handheld.

Do keep in mind these prices are for the Japanese market and will very likely change for everyone else. Japan tends to skew expensive.

Andriasang reports Uncharted: Golden Abyss is listed for retail at ¥5,980 (roughly $78) and digital for ¥4,900 (roughly $64). In the Namco Bandai camp, Ridge Racer will hit retail for ¥3,980 (roughly $52) and download for ¥3,580 (roughly $47). The download version will be on sale for ¥2,980 (roughly $39) until March 31, 2012. Katamari Damacy is in a similar spot, with retail for ¥4,980 (roughly $65), download for ¥4,480 (roughly $58), and the same limited sale for ¥3,980 (roughly $52).

It’s not common for PSP games to be cheaper when sold digitally over here, but it’s not unusual in Japan. Sony Computer Entertainment America has not made any comments about Vita game prices in North America or Europe, but Uncharted: Global Abyss is listed as $39.99 on both GameStop and Amazon.

By comparison, on PSP, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd retailed for ¥5,800 (roughly $75) and Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy retailed for ¥6,090 (roughly $79) in Japan. The latter came over here for just $29.99.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Vita games, like most games, will be more expensive in Japan. Don't panic.

Sony’s plans for Vita outside Japan remain a mystery, besides knowing we won’t be buying a Vita until next year. Vita releases December 17 in Japan, however, which means details are beginning to get locked down left and right for that region, including game pricing.

The discussion of game prices has flared up since the rise of mobile and social games, fueled by Facebook and iOS devices, which largely feature free or very cheap games. It’s been speculated that both new fronts have deeply affected the popularity of Nintendo’s 3DS handheld.

Do keep in mind these prices are for the Japanese market and will very likely change for everyone else. Japan tends to skew expensive.

Andriasang reports Uncharted: Golden Abyss is listed for retail at ¥5,980 (roughly $78) and digital for ¥4,900 (roughly $64). In the Namco Bandai camp, Ridge Racer will hit retail for ¥3,980 (roughly $52) and download for ¥3,580 (roughly $47). The download version will be on sale for ¥2,980 (roughly $39) until March 31, 2012. Katamari Damacy is in a similar spot, with retail for ¥4,980 (roughly $65), download for ¥4,480 (roughly $58), and the same limited sale for ¥3,980 (roughly $52).

It’s not common for PSP games to be cheaper when sold digitally over here, but it’s not unusual in Japan. Sony Computer Entertainment America has not made any comments about Vita game prices in North America or Europe, but Uncharted: Global Abyss is listed as $39.99 on both GameStop and Amazon.

By comparison, on PSP, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd retailed for ¥5,800 (roughly $75) and Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy retailed for ¥6,090 (roughly $79) in Japan. The latter came over here for just $29.99.

Staff
Edited by Th3_James

I will pass.

Edit: My 3DS is money lost, and I remembered I don't play portable games anymore.

Online
Edited by MediumDave

Seems pricey, but I am a cheap bastard.

Posted by AxleBro

i.... i have a phone.... and a ps3..... and a wallet.... no room for this.... also when im out and about im not playing games lol. this stuff was cool to me when i was a kid but.... i don't see the point of this stuff anymore.

Posted by lordofultima

There is no unified pricing structure in Japan, which means they get to charge what the think the content is "worth." Keep in mind that games jumping over the pond usually end up selling quite a bit cheaper, still interesting to see the weird random prices Vita games will be going for in Japan. I've always thought digital versions should be cheaper as there is no manufacturing cost.

Posted by Cold_Wolven

I haven't really done any research on the Vita but will there be simultaneous retail and digital releases for all games released on the handheld?

Posted by MorkaiTheWolf

Hmm...I wasn't really sold on the idea of the PSP go forgoing their physical media as it's something I actually like. (I like being able to carry the games with me and look at the disc itself before playing)

I don't think this is gonna sell as good over here though. Maybe cause the storage on that card seems small (Seen it quoted as between 2-4GB) but I guess if it had a good amount of internal storage it could revolutionize the idea of portable gaming. But, I highly doubt that's the case.

Posted by notsonic

your sub heading is missing a or two

Posted by RE_Player1

If all digital versions are cheaper, even $5 cheaper, I will get the digital version every time as I don't have to pay taxes either, which is normally 13%. Games will be $39.99 in North America for stores, every major retailer has them listed at that price.

Posted by A_Deep_Mushroom

Too much money for a dying market. Pass.

Posted by blastershift

shurgs I have my IPAD 2 to play games on the road if I want to.

Posted by dragonzord

'The system's really cheap!'

'Everything else isn't!' You seen those japanese prices for memory cards? Even if it's scaled down for America, there's no way they take that big of a loss. Price is going to kill the handheld market.

Edited by 234r2we232

Cool title - it's a few words short of being coherent, though.

Do paying members of this site get Premium articles where the writer cares?

Posted by Scrumdidlyumptious
@Cold_Wolven said:

I haven't really done any research on the Vita but will there be simultaneous retail and digital releases for all games released on the handheld?

Yes, in theory.
Posted by onan

The money that would have been earmarked for a PSP Vita or 3DS ended up going toward an Android tablet for me, and I'm extremely happy with the purchase. Portable gaming seems like a waste of time these days and the few instances where I do feel like playing something more substantial than Angry Birds on my cell phone, I can easily just load up an emulator and play a few classics until the desire has passed. ScummVM's been ported to Android, and every console prior to the PS1 has been emulated almost perfectly. I'm set.

Posted by NewDust

Although it may seem pricey, remember that the Yen to Dollar rate currently so high that pricing on this scale is not a valid way to estimate pricing. My guess: Sony games $60 retail, $50 digital and $45 dollar for promotions. For third party there will probably be a $10 deduction. When there is no difference between retail and digital, prices will probably be $50 for Sony games and $40 for third parties.

Posted by NAP

This makes me much more disinterested in the Vita than before, especially after falling prey to the PSP.

Posted by Curufinwe

@AxleFGK said:

i.... i have a phone.... and a ps3..... and a wallet.... no room for this.... also when im out and about im not playing games lol. this stuff was cool to me when i was a kid but.... i don't see the point of this stuff anymore.

Lots of old people say the same thing about games in general.

Posted by Commisar123

Man I was thinking of getting one, but if those prices don't come down I don't think I can. Hopefully the price is just higher due to tax because I can't imagine paying $70 for a handheld game. Well, Persona 4 I would pay $infinite but nobody tell them that.

Posted by stinky

whole thing seems ridiculous.

Posted by leejunfan83

@blastershift: good luck with that

Posted by Veektarius

@sofacitysweetheart said:

Cool title - it's a few words short of being coherent, though.

Do paying members of this site get Premium articles where the writer cares?

Haha, there should probably be some sort of kiddy gate built into Patrick's post button where another editor needs to sign off for it to go up. You'd just end up with more people complaining that Giantbomb gets its news from the forums though.

Posted by Afroman269

Anything more than $40 a game and I'm not getting a Vita.

Posted by Scrumdidlyumptious
@Commisar123 said:

Man I was thinking of getting one, but if those prices don't come down I don't think I can. Hopefully the price is just higher due to tax because I can't imagine paying $70 for a handheld game. Well, Persona 4 I would pay $infinite but nobody tell them that.

It's the same price as handheld games from last gen. Games are just expensive in Japan, nothing to do with tax.
Edited by ultimatepunchrod

i'm just going to cover my ears to stop from hearing the naysayers. i want this thing. games will probably be $40 for big releases (uncharted etc) but priced like the app store for angry birds type games. also those games arent as good as what the 3DS and Vita are proposing. i wish people cared about portable games actually being legitimate games with production values instead of flash games.

Posted by Sammo21

@stinky: How so?

Posted by Addfwyn

The prices seem high, but realize a lot of that is due to the exchange rate at the moment. When you conver the price over, a more accurate estimator is using the older exchange rate (where 100 yen was about $1). So a 6,000 yen game would be $60, a 5,000 yen game $50 etc. That's still how prices tend to work when they release a game here in Japan vs the US. Since we get paid in yen, it's not such a big issue. Also, new releases here ARE naturally more expensive, but drop in price very very fast. It's just how the gaming market here works.

The only way you'd get totally screwed was if you planned to import a lot of games from Japan to another country, especially the US. That is when the exchange rate would really bite you. So really, there's no point panicking.

Posted by sloppyjoe

Also, keep in mind the yen is very strong against the Dollar right now. Like strongest-ever strong.

Posted by LoktarOgar

Do keep in mind these prices are for the Japanese market and will very likely change for everyone else. Japan tends to skew expensive.
 
More like the US is cheap compared to literally everywhere else.

Posted by Enigma777

Uncharted: Global Abyss 


 
Hah.
Posted by Vexxan

The US will probably get cheaper games...as usual it'll cost a fortune here in Sweden :<

Posted by laserbolts

78 bucks for a handheld game?? I thought the vita would fail but this confirms it.

Posted by BlatantNinja23

I'm sure vita games will be $40 or $50 here

Posted by TehJedicake

Wonder how long it'll take to hack the Vita, can't wait! ^_^

Posted by RE_Player1

@laserbolts said:

78 bucks for a handheld game?? I thought the vita would fail but this confirms it.

In Japan game prices vary. It will not cost that much in North America. The article even gives examples of how games are significantly cheaper when released in North America.

Posted by HatKing

System price drop six months post launch?

Posted by AndrewB

Counting down the time to when these big game publishers start making substantial mobile content for smartphones rather than handhelds. Biggest obstacle is the touchscreen, or rather, the lack of any physical controls. For some games that's a boon, for others it isn't.

Posted by mrcraggle

Do some people really not read before posting? Japanese prices =/= US or World wide prices.

Posted by RE_Player1

@mrcraggle said:

Do some people really not read before posting? Japanese prices =/= US or World wide prices.

I'm wondering that too.

Posted by PhilESkyline

Correct me if I'm wrong but Japanese games are most times high. I expect a $15 dollar slash for the US.

Edited by Scrumdidlyumptious
@mrcraggle said:

Do some people really not read before posting? Japanese prices =/= US or World wide prices.

Any forum thread or news story about handheld gaming is just an excuse to write another anecdote about why smartphones and tablets are the shit. Reading doesn't factor in.
Edited by MikkaQ

Must be some rich kids over in Japan, holy shit. Then again everything there is pointlessly expensive.

But even if that translates to like 50$ for the Uncharted game, uh yeah no go. I'm sorry but it's 2011, you shouldn't be asking for more than like 15$ for a portable game. Also they should stop making big budget portable games like this Uncharted, they're excessive and a little bit silly. I'd rather see really high quality XBLA\PSN style games.

Posted by effjay

I have a smart phone and I love it. The touch interface, processing power and graphics have taken mobile devices several steps beyond where they were (or at least what I had) previously. With that said, I can't stand playing any but the most simple games on my phone. I'll take a Vita or a 3DS any day of the week for games over my phone. In my opinion, the touch screen doesn't hold a candle to the traditional controls found on modern gaming handhelds. I hope this next generation of handhelds all succeed, but my money and my eye are both on the Vita, because it's just plain sexy!

Posted by tobygw

Yeah, I'd definitely say that 50 dollars in North America would be the hard limit. 40 would be my sweet-spot though for triple A titles.

Posted by jkuc316

@Commisar123: Everywhere I go I see Japanese versions of a game way more than the NA/Asia/EU versions, so I'm guessing it'll be cheaper when it comes to the West/Other parts of the East.

Posted by MSUSteve

@patrickklepek said:

Uncharted: Global Abyss is listed as $39.99 on both GameStop and Amazon.

I think you meant Golden Abyss. Not a big deal, but sometimes I wonder if anyone reads this stuff before hitting post.

Posted by Chemin

@Scrumdidlyumptious said:

@mrcraggle said:

Do some people really not read before posting? Japanese prices =/= US or World wide prices.

Any forum thread or news story about handheld gaming is just an excuse to write another anecdote about why smartphones and tablets are the shit. Reading doesn't factor in.

Heh, I second that.

Posted by RE_Player1

@effjay said:

I have a smart phone and I love it. The touch interface, processing power and graphics have taken mobile devices several steps beyond where they were (or at least what I had) previously. With that said, I can't stand playing any but the most simple games on my phone. I'll take a Vita or a 3DS any day of the week for games over my phone. In my opinion, the touch screen doesn't hold a candle to the traditional controls found on modern gaming handhelds. I hope this next generation of handhelds all succeed, but my money and my eye are both on the Vita, because it's just plain sexy!

These are the comments I like because they aren't the ones saying games like Angry Birds are good enough.

Posted by fattonyxxl

@Enigma777 said:

Uncharted: Global Abyss

Hah.

I blame Counter Strike

Posted by BiG_Weasel

I don't think the US market will bear more than $40 for hard copies, and $30 for digital. If they're more than that, the'll tank and bring the Vita down with it.

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