Digital platforms – particularly the Playstation Network – have been faulted for offering little incentive beyond convenience for digital versions of games. Usually the same price – if not more expensive – than a physical copy, such a dynamic was one of the biggest complaints lobbied at the all-digital PSPGo! upon release. Sony looks to be trying to rectify this pattern (at least in Japan) with the Vita.
Japanese price listings for several high profile Vita games should noticeable differences between physical and digital copies. According to Andriasang, Uncharted: Golden Abyss will cost ¥5,980 ($78) at retail, and ¥4,900 ($64) online. Similarly, a physical copy of Hot Shots Golf 6 will cost ¥4,980 ($65), while a digital copy will come cheaper at ¥3,980 ($52). Andriasang also reports a retailer claiming that Vita owners with UMD copies of certain PSP games will be able to buy a digital version for their Vita at a steep discount.
Specific publishers have taken the initiative themselves and offered digital discounts for some of their handheld games. Square Enix is selling Army Corps. of Hell for ¥4,980 ($65) at retail, and ¥3,990 ($52) on PSN. Namco Bandai offers price SKUs on both Ride Racer (¥3,980 or $52 retail, ¥3,580 or $47 digital) and Katamari Damacy (¥4,980 or $65 retail, ¥4,480 or $58 digital). Both games are also getting temporary digital reductions on top of the reduced cost.
Needless to say this is all taking place in Japan, with Sony offering no word on the price differentials at all, let alone any plans to bring such a policy to the West.
Would multiple price points help you decide where/how to buy your Vita games, EGs? Should such a differential be calculated on an individual game basis, or should it be standardized? Give us your thoughts down below!