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Sony cuts PS Vita price in Japan

Shaves £35 off the cost of the handheld, but "nothing to announce" for Europe at this time

Sony has cut the PS Vita price in Japan in a bid to boost sales.

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As of February 28, both the Wi-Fi and 3G models will retail for 19,980 yen (£139 / $215), down from 24,980 yen (£174 / $269) and 29,980 yen (£208 / $323) respectively, the company said today.

In Japan, Vita has consistently been outsold by Nintendo's 3DS and even its predecessor PSP, which launched over eight years ago in December 2004.

Last May, Sony said it expected to sell 16 million portable consoles in the current business year ending March 31. But earlier this month, the platform holder cut its annual forecast for handheld sales to seven million units, largely due to "slow penetration of the Vita".

Following the move, Sony EVP and chief financial officer Masaru Kato told analysts: "Now one thing clear for us that in terms of profitability, we have to do a better job in promoting the PlayStation Vita mobile product.

"How do we do that? Well, gaming business software is the name of the game. So as a fundamental measure, we are putting all - a lot of resources, not just first party, but also asking third parties to put out more attractive software."

Kato added: "The other thing, well, marketing, pricing of the product, et cetera, I cannot talk about pricing of this platform, but those are the things that we are looking into to improve our profitability in the mobile handheld gaming business."

Vita celebrated its first birthday in Japan before Christmas, having launched in Sony's home country on December 17, 2011. For a thorough analysis of the handheld's first year performance, check out our feature, A second look at PS Vita.

Asked whether a similar Vita price cut is planned outside of Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment UK told us this morning: "The price cut announced today is for the SCE Japan region only and we have nothing to announce at this time regarding pricing within the our own region."

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