Sony wakes up, offers great Vita and PS3 deals for Black Friday
The lack of a Vita price drop for the holiday season was a mistake, and Sony is getting pounded by sub-par big-name franchises on the Vita, but it looks like the company is finally waking up and joining the fight this holiday season. As a special black Friday deal, you’ll be able to get either the Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, or Lego Batman 2 Vita bundles for only $199.99 on November 23 and 24. This isn’t a retail-specific deal, this is pricing set by Sony itself, so it should be a price you can find at any retailer, on a bundle that should be in ample supply. That’s great news for players on the fence about the system, as these bundles are a pretty fabulous deal.
You’ll also be able to pick up the new 250GB PlayStation 3 system with the Uncharted Dual Pack that comes with the first two games and the inFamous collection that comes with the two games in that series plus the “Festival of Blood” DLC. You’ll also get 30 days of PlayStation Plus for free, all for $199.99. That’s a strong price for that package, and again, this is pricing from Sony, so most, if not all, retailers should be participating.
A little guidance from your friends at PAR: The Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation bundle is the best deal on the Vita side of things, as it comes with a decent game as well as a 4GB memory stick. The Vita Call of Duty is horrid, and the Lego Batman 2 package does not come with a memory card. The 4GB memory card carries a retail price of $25 alone, so getting one packed-in at no extra cost definitely adds value.
This is the sort of aggressive move Sony needs to be making: these deals pack in software with the latest version of the hardware, and basically amount to a two-day price cut on both systems. This deal would do much more to spur sales if it was extended through New Years, or even made permanent, but at this point seeing any evidence that Sony understands how important it is to compete on price is good news.
Sony’s past explanation for a lack of a price cut was incredibly tone deaf. “There’s no price drop formally, but the thing that’s been happening in the market over the last year or so is that there’s been so many retail price promotions, and so many different gift card offers and all those things, being done by all of us (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony), that we’ve heard from our consumer, ‘Enough with all these weird price moves. What we really want is content and games and value,” Sony’s John Koller told Engadget.
The market doesn’t seem to agree, and Sony has been getting beaten by its competitors in terms of hardware sales in the US. The Vita is floundering in terms of sales worldwide. Now Sony is going to have four bundles at $200 that offer great value, at a time when Nintendo is going to struggle getting enough Wii U systems into the channel to satisfy holiday demand. Sony’s bundles also compare favorable to Microsoft’s 360 pricing, and beat the $200 Xbox 360 in terms of games, storage, and features. That’s a great place to be when shoppers begin to compare systems, and during Black Friday shoppers are especially susceptible to a lower price point. Sony is in position to really move the needle in terms of sales with these bundles.
This is a good move; let’s hope we see something similar later in December. One last down note: it’s possible the Vita is going to struggle to get developer support moving forward due to its lack of sales. I understand saying that creates a Catch-22 when Sony is trying to fix that issue with temporary price cuts, but keep it in mind when making a purchasing decision.