Well, It Looks Like We’re Happy Paying £40 For Vita Games

[drop2]Curious. It looks, from the Vita’s first week sales figures, that consumers are happy paying top whack for their portable games – despite analysts and commenters claiming that nobody would ever pay those sorts of prices for games on the go.

In a market ripped to pieces by expectations set in stone from years of rock-bottom App Store pricing, the Vita (and, of course, the 3DS) are fighting like crazy to get people parting with ‘regular’ amounts of cash for top tier mobile games.

Uncharted’s rightfully up there, of course, it’s brilliant and we’ve been saying so for months, and whilst FIFA’s not the most acclaiming title it’s proof at least that the big name brands still attract plenty of buyers, regardless of format.

Searching Vita on Amazon, for example, shows a similar picture – Uncharted and FIFA are both hugely popular, even though they’re discounted on there.

Reports coming through from Chart Track say that Drake’s latest accounted for 31% of all Vita game sales last week, and FIFA 18%. Naturally these are only physical copies – the story might be completely different with regards to PSN sales, where games like MotorStorm RC will no doubt be somewhere near the top of the charts.

Both Uncharted Golden Abyss and FIFA have an RRP of £45. I’ve seen this for myself, GAME at the weekend proudly proclaiming the fact on a massive sticker, as if it’s some kind of bargain. Of course, there’re reasons why GAME aren’t winning of late and we don’t know how many people bought games from that retailer, but the stats are there.

Should we be concerned about this, or is this precisely the data we needed to see: a sales chart that says essentially, price doesn’t really matter as long as the games are good enough?

It’s a healthy chart for the Vita’s first week all in – WipEout’s in third place when you just look at a single format, Rayman is up there in fourth (finally) and the likes of Virtua Tennis 4 and Everybody’s Golf are not far behind.

On the flip side, the decent price of Ridge Racer (about £18 retail) is having a positive effect on what’s essentially a cut down version of past games – it’s in fifth place despite some middling (and worse) reviews. Whether this is down to the Ridge brand or a smart RRP we’ll not know for a while.

Of course, this could just be a reflection of that age-old phenomenon of launch weeks – people will generally buy most things to keep their new hardware happy as long as the games are not a) prohibitively expensive and b) terrible. Heck, I even bought FIFA this weekend and I’m not exactly what you’d call a big football fan.

Would I (and everyone else) have done that a few months down the line?

We’ll see.

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36 Comments

  1. I think the key thing is tiered pricing. I’ll gladly pay £36 for Uncharted, but I wouldn’t for Little Deviants. The tiered pricing it vital and it could do wonders for the industry if expanded to the home consoles as well.

    Three pricing brackets. £40 (in stores) for top games, £30 for good but not top selling games and £20 for smaller games that are just too big for PSN/XBLA.

    • Couldn’t agree more, fella. Let’s see the full gamut of pricing so every game has a sensible RRP attached to it – from little iPhone-like titles to behemoth outings like Skyrim (irrespective of platform). It’s something Steam seems to do with aplomb but the console world still has a way to go.

      • I think you’re onto something there

      • Skyrim on Vita… nomnomnom…

  2. Early days yet, but the signs are looking good!

    Uncharted and FIFA in particular showing these analysts what the gamers knew all along- we want full games, not watered down echoes.

    One thing though- on the high street, was it even possible to get a bundle without either Uncharted, FIFA, or both?

    I got my 3G Vita, Uncharted and FIFA for €370 in Game. Bought Virtua Tennis off PSN, Rayman and Lumines at a price that is surely a loss for Amazon, and of course the likes of SSHD, Motorstorm and Escape Plan (do I have enough? :P).
    I’ll be getting Wipeout as soon as I top up the Vita by €20- Wipeout would be higher up if it were not for the fact that no 3G Vita user would buy it.
    Anyone else get a similar haul?

    • why have you got to top up 20, isn’t it £5 to get wipeout? also make sure you top up from online otherwise you wont get wipeout. You have to go on voda site & top up from there

      • It’s €20 in Ireland.
        A bit annoying.
        One thing- do you mean online on the Vita, or online on a PC?
        The wording is ambiguous at best…

    • Toys R Us do a well-priced Vita with Rayman bundle

  3. It’s good news for Sony, but I do think the last paragraph rings very true. I think people are happy to pay the premium in the 1st few weeks, that said, over time you’d expect prices to fall in line withe the expectation of the buyers, otherwise they wont sell. What those expectations will be is anyone’s guess but I reckon it’ll be around £15-£25

    • Agree, I got Fifa with my Vita, Wipeout via the 3G deal and very happy about it and has ordered Uncharted for 35£, but I don’t see my self buying anymore Vita games at the 35£ range. I want to get my hands on Rayman, Luminies and Virtua Tennis 4, but will wait to they are under 25£, which I think is a fair price range for these games.

  4. I bought one retail game and downloaded three from the PS store but they were all less than £6.

  5. I didn’t mind paying for U:GA, although i got it as part of a bundle so saved a few euro anyway. I can’t see anything else in the current line-up that i would pay that money for though. The only other game i’ve bought is Stardust Delta and i’ll probably pick up that Tales from Space game and Escape plan.

  6. Depends on the game, some games are worth £40, some aren’t

  7. i honestly don’t know why football games sell so much, they’re bloody boring. its £45 on the ps store and 12th top seller…

  8. btw has anyone played super stardust delta? is it worth it? I’ve already got the ps3 version (haven’t played in 2 years though lol) i might get the pack with the DLC for 8 quid

    • Judging by the demo it seems to be more of the same, but given how awesome Super Stardust is, that can only be a good thing :)

    • The extra mini games are great. The crush mode where you have to touch the screen and rear touch pad at the same time is inspired and quite difficult.

    • It’s amazing. Just as good as the PS3 game tbh.

  9. I do kind of feel guilty about this, but I paid £6 for Rayman (Should’ve paid much more), £6 for Lumines (This, I feel, isn’t too far off, really. Should have been the same price as Lumines PS3), £15 for Virtua Tennis 4 (Spot on. It’s an old game now, and shouldn’t be full price), and £5 for Wipeout 2048 (Part of the 3G deal. So, I really consider this to be around £20, really).

    Uncharted I would have paid £30 for, I think. Although that’s largely down to me toeing carefully around the overall cost of the Vita in these early days.

    Oh, and what game have I played by far the most? MotorStorm: RC, which was the cheapest title at launch.

    • Where did you buy Virtua tennis 4 from for £15?

  10. Personally I don’t think platform should have anything to do with a game’s pricing, rather the amount of content and overall quality. Uncharted:GA has PS3-quality production values (well, pretty much) and is of a decent length making it easily worth the £40 price tag in my opinion.
    Conversely, WipEout 2048 is a lot of fun but definitely not worth £40, making it’s £29.99 price tag much more sensible.
    I think Sony have got the right idea at the moment by having multiple pricing brackets.

    • Definitely agree with this. Don’t see why the platform should have any bearing on how much something costs.

      I actually got Uncharted for ~£30 thanks to Amazon fuck up, but i would have been happy paying £40 for it. It’s probably my favourite Uncharted game, and i see no reason why it should be really cheap simply because it’s portable

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