PS Vita launch lineup 17% more expensive from PSN than retail

Despite claims from Sony that “there will be a discount on the downloadable PS Vita titles from PSN”, it seems that comparing the recently revealed PSN prices for PS Vita games for UK customers are actually on average 17% more expensive than the retail equivalent prices.

Everybody’s Golf – £29.99 on PSN, £27.95 at The Hut.
Little Deviants – £19.99 on PSN, £17.99 at Play.com.
Modnation Racers: Road Trip £29.99 on PSN, £27.95 at Zavvi.
Reality Fighters – £19.99 on PSN, £17.99 at Play.com.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss – £39.99 on PSN, £34.85 at Shopto.
Wipeout 2048 – £29.99 on PSN, £28.95 at Zavvi.
Army Corps Of Hell – £34.99 on PSN, £19.85 at Shopto.
Virtua Tennis 4 – £34.99 on PSN, £24.85 at Shopto.
Asphalt: Injection – £19.99 on PSN, £17.99 at Play.com.
Lumines Electronic Symphony – £29.99 on PSN, £22.97 at Coolshop.
Rayman Origins – £29.99 on PSN, £23.98 at Coolshop.
FIFA 2012 – £44.99 on PSN, £34.95 at The Hut.
Shinobido 2 – £34.99 on PSN, £24.95 at The Hut.
Touch My Katamari – £24.99 on PSN, £19.95 at Zavvi.
Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend – £34.99 on PSN, £25.85 at Zavvi.
Michael Jackson The Experience HD – £24.99 on PSN, £17.99 at Amazon.
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 – £39.99 on PSN, £29.95 at The Game Collection.
Dynasty Warriors Next – £29.99 on PSN, £29.95 at Zavvi.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus – £29.99 on PSN, £24.99 at Sainsbury’s.
Ridge Racer – £16.99 on PSN, £14.95 at Zavvi.
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance – £29.99 on PSN, £29.86 at Shopto.
F1 2011 – £44.99 on PSN, £29.86 at Shopto.

This is only comparing prices at release, clearly the retail versions prices will drop over time in conjunction with market forces, whereas the PSN prices will only drop when Sony and/or the publishers decide it is time for them to drop.

What do you reckon to that? It seems crazy to me that they are making the download versions (which are better for the environment, encourage people to buy more of Sony’s expensive needlessly proprietary memory cards, and can’t be traded in) more expensive than the version that come in a plastic box, particularly after their claims that PSN versions would be cheaper.

It seems to me that Sony are more interested in keeping retailers happy than letting their customers access games in the most convenient way without compromising on value.

Will this impact your plans regarding getting a PS Vita?

22 Comments Leave yours

  1. Chad Sexington #

    Er, 10% cheaper than RRP. Moreover, you’re comparing online prices.

    Why do you insist on making so many mountains out of molehills?

    • What mountain? The SavyGamer site seems dedicated to helping people find the best price, this info is important for that. And reflection on why Sony would be more interested in fighting the digital tide with needlessly inflated prices is hardly a dramatic over-reaction.

    • menhel #

      Is it not fair to compare PSN price prices (online) with those that are online also?

      Furthermore, I plan to buy a Vita in the medium to long term. Most probably after the first price drop and/or the next hardware revision. By that time retail prices will have dropped further, and a pre-owned market well established. If Sony wants us to transition to a truly digital age, they must undercut any store by at least 10%, as well as enticing us with steam-like sales whereby it would be criminal not to purchase any content. I do not understand the problem from Sony’s perspective in just having low prices. Even if they sever the links with retailers, what does it affect them? I imagine they believe by doing so they may run the risk of retailers not displaying or selling the hardware itself. I fear we will never know.

  2. ran93r #

    I was holding out to see what happened with pricing overall but if Sony don’t sort this out there will be plenty of shouting.

  3. NiK #

    @Chad

    Why are you at Savygamer if you do not want to find the cheapest place to find games?

  4. Steve #

    What about vs. the US PSN store?

  5. anon #

    Digital distribution on closed platforms has little hope of actually being good for consumers IMO.

  6. Toothball #

    Bit of pedantry, but they renamed PSN to SEN remember?

    Otherwise, I’ll still be going all digital despite the price. I came to greatly appreciate not having to carry around UMDs when I got a PSP Go, even with the same pricing issues. Your theory of it being that way to appease retailers sounds likely.

    Still, they do have those weekly sales on SEN. It’d be nice to think that Vita games will begin to circulate among the rest of the deals. I don’t really see it happening any time soon though

  7. Anonanon #

    Op forgot about one price purchase, like if you buy wipeout you can use that to play on ps3 and psv, so pretty much 2 games for one price. If you buy it on retail its only for psv.
    http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2012/02/16/try-ps-vitaps3-cross-play-content-for-one-price/

    • General Frags #

      Sadly thats DLC only for Wipeout HD not the full game same with Marvel Vs Capcom too, it allows you to share the DLC not the full game.

      • Anonanon #

        If you look through the comment it says full game

        • Anonanon #

          nvm yeah it depend on the game

  8. General Frags #

    I’m still kicking myself for missing the PS Vita games for £6 :(

  9. Delusibeta #

    Correction corner: ShopTo has Blazblue Vita for £25.85, and you might actually get it this week (I’ve already got mine. Before Amazon has even dispatched my Vita [/facepalm]). Indeed from what I’ve seen the SEN price is £5 *above* RRP for the vanilla edition.

    • Lewie Procter #

      Tah, I missed that one.

  10. General Frags #

    Guys buy the Uncharted GA DLC now from the PSN Store on the PS3 when you do you get the full game for 79p.

  11. Jon #

    Good info, thanks. Even less reason to buy a big memory card.

  12. Osmolski #

    “It seems to me that Sony are more interested in keeping retailers happy than letting their customers access games in the most convenient way without compromising on value.”

    Sony are entirely dependent on retailers in order to sell their brand new hardware. They cannot afford to piss them off no matter how idiotic it looks to the end user. Right now they need to get that hardware on shelves and in mindshare and retail are the folks that do that for them.

    • Jaec #

      Exactly. Sony are in the uneviable position of being both a retailer to the retailers and to the end customer. Whatever happens in the price battle for the end customer, Sony’s cost price that they sell to retailers will effectively remain the same. If sony sets an RRP of £40 for a game like Uncharted, but then sells it themselves for £34, the retailers basically have little choice but to reduce their margins or risk loosing a huge number of sales, especially where the digital store is tightly integrated into the platform – £34 becomes the new RRP. By reducing the price, Sony forces the lower margin on the retailer, and sales or further reductions on this price by Sony will only frustrate the retailers and there’s only so much they’ll take before they dump Sony as it’s not worth their time and effort to sell.

      Further down the line in a products lifecycle (6 months – 1 year) is when Sony will find it okay reduce their digital pricing.

      The solution of course is to do a Valve, where your digital store is just another independent retailer, but to do that, they can’t be selling to the retailers as well. Or they could let Amazon or Game etc. run digital Vita stores on the platform.

  13. Paul #

    At first glance I suspect this is a VAT issue. Sony will have to charge VAT on its digital downloads as part of EU rules, but Zavvi/The Hut and any other online retailer that channels its products via the Channel Islands still benefits from VAT-free imports. They have said they’ll finally lock down this loophole but it’s going to be months yet.

    • Lewie Procter #

      That only applies to purchases of £18 or under though, so most physical games listed here will be including VAT too.

  14. Valzi #

    The release of the Vita has dropped the eBay price of the PSP enough for me to get a PSP. Ordered it yesterday.

    As for digital copies of games being more expensive than disc copies, that’s always been the case with PSP, so I didn’t find the news at all surprising. It is fairly idiotic, from a common-sense standpoint. From a business standpoint, however, you’re paying extra for 1. Convenience of not needing a disc and 2. Not having to go to the store.

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