Price cut for the PlayStation Vita. Worth it?

March 12, 2013 | 10:49 a.m.
Price drop on PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita, which the L.A. Times praised in its review, has struggled. The price was a factor for consumers. Now that the price has fallen, is it worth it? (Los Angeles Times)

The price of the PlayStation Vita has plunged at some Sony stores.

Joystiq reports a price of $199.97 for the 3G-compatible version, after the head of Sony Worldwide Studios said last month that such a drop was not in the works. The gamer blog has a list of eligible stores.

This might be a great bargain for those looking for a “gamer’s gaming console.”

The review last year on the Los Angeles Times’ Tech Now blog praised the device — saying that, with traditional controls combined with new smartphone-type technology, it provided “a gaming experience that is found on no other single device.”

Prices just a year ago stacked up this way:  The Vita was priced at $249 in a Wi-Fi-only version or $299 for a 3G/Wi-Fi model that ran on AT&T’s network. AT&T offered no-contract data plans for the Vita of $14.99 for 250 megabytes of data per month, or three gigabytes for $30. Games (on a new card format and not the UMDs found in the PSP) sold for about $9.99 to $49.99, according to Sony.

Despite the Vita’s rave reviews, the handheld console has suffered in sales, due in part to its relatively limited game lineup. Consumers balked at a $300 price tag, especially as mobile apps and games propagated.

But since a Feb. 28 price drop in Japan, sales reportedly have jumped fourfold, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Hiroshi Kawano.

A year later and 100 bucks cheaper, is the Vita a better buy?

– Amy Hubbard and Noelene Clark

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