What seemed like just one retailer offering an incentive to buy a Vita has spread quickly like wildfire. Before it’s launch, Target had offered consumers a few compelling reason to buy a Vita. You get a $20 gift card with the purchase of a system and you can buy 2 games and get 1 free. It’s a really nice deal and if I had the money, and time, I would totally go out and get one. Sadly, I have neither. Going back to the point though, Target isn’t the only one doing this though. According to a thread from NeoGAF, a large gaming forum, other retailers are also offering some really nice deals. Full Details at the link below. Best Buy is offering trade-in offers, Toys-R-Us are marking down games, and even the Sony Store is giving out a free game for its first 200 costumers. Is this perhaps a sign?
Let’s compare this to a recent portable system launch, the Nintendo 3DS. This hunk of technology launched at $250 dollars. That’s a lot of money. It had a steady sale but Nintendo didn’t think the base was large enough so it dropped the price to $170. People who bought it at its initial price received free games and it was a nice trade for what it was. Now, there were no incentives offered by retailers or anything of the sort, at least to the Vita’s magnitude. Does this speak something to Vita’s future? Perhaps. I think that the Vita is a very nice piece of technology and to be honest, the launch lineup is pretty good. Still, I believe that the system is doomed to fail and this is only the start of it. I’ve never seen, or at least to my memory, where an initial system launch offered so much goodies. It’s almost as if Sony is desperate to get the Vita out to the people. Maybe this is a marketing trick from Sony so that the install base is huge initially at launch. Still, this is very fishie.
Heck, even Amazon has joined in offering a screen protector with the purchase of a 3G model of the Vita. You also get to buy 2 games and get 1 free but from a larger selection than Target. Marketing, sales, and pre-orders speak a lot about the future of a product and I think while this aggressive stance that Sony has taken could work to their advantage, I can’t help but feel that perhaps this is a lack of faith that Sony has in their new handheld.
The Japanese have had the Vita for a while and many gamers and press have imported to test it out. There have been articles floating around gaming websites to Yahoo! about the Vita and while reception has been mostly positive, there have been some common gripes. Things such as a poor UI and the inability to multi-task and some unfriendly controls are something of problems that people faced. Perhaps Sony found out that the populace now knows a few of the Vita’s flaws and wanted to change their minds about buying the Vita. If I read that my $250 portable system was going to perhaps not work as nice as I’d like it to, it would change my mind. Still, if someone gave me free games and free stuff, I’m more inclined to buy it.
So, what does this all mean? Honestly, the pre-order incentives and the mass mayhem revolving around the Vita is something that seemed common. However, the magnitude of so many goodies before launch is unprecedented to me and it shocked me a little. Am I going to buy a Vita because of all these things? No. Are the general populace going to buy it? Maybe. The future looks a little uncertain for the Vita and to be honest, the incentives are a bit telling. To me, I read it as a lack of faith from Sony in trying to sell their product without a little handicap. After all, Sony thinks that its new kid needs training wheels to go forward.
LINK: NeoGAF PSV Deals