Nintendo's sudden and dramatic price drop on the 3DS will undoubtedly affect Sony's upcoming handheld, the PlayStation Vita. While the system garnered a great deal of enthusiasm at E3 for its $250 price point, it now carries an $80 premium over the 3DS. Analysts offered their input on the situation, with many agreeing that it will be "tough."
"This price cut does put the Vita in a tough position," Jesse Divnich of EEDAR said.
"It is very unlike Nintendo to be willing to take such a loss. I think what it says is that they really feel the heat from the Sony Vita," David Cole of DFC Intelligence told Industry Gamers. Sony's high-tech successor to the PSP may not feature a 3D screen, but it sports a much higher-resolution screen, and graphics that are closer to the current generation of console hardware. Still, "the price difference is tough," Cole admitted.
While Sony will have to be smart about its messaging around the Vita, at least one analyst believes the price drop won't affect Vita's performance when it launches. "I am not sure whether Sony will find it necessary to lower the Vita price," RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said. Commenting on the current state of the 3DS library, Sebastian notes that "if game publishers had been able to make really compelling content for the 3DS with appeal to millions of gamers, then the story might have played out differently."
The 3DS has seen a number of high-profile delays and cancellations as of late. Most recently, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D was pushed to 2012. Other noteworthy misses include Cave Story 3D, two Sega titles, and the cancelation of Mega Man Legends 3.
The community, for the most part, seems to think the Vita is still the better bargain at $250. Zondaro told us the "better online" functionality of the Vita and its multimedia capabilities makes it the leader. Via the GameFly app, bulldog4555 told us the Vita has a "game lineup that is for the real gaming fans."
Finally, baltmatrix reminds us that the battle is far larger than Vita versus 3DS, claiming the unannounced iPhone 5 will be the best deal of them all.