Square Enix will temporarily cut the prices of its downloadable PlayStation Vita games, like Army Corps of Hell, in Japan next week. Image courtesy Square Enix
Square Enix is offering deep discounts on both of its PlayStation Vita games next week in Japan, reducing the prices of Army Corps of Hell and Lord of Apocalypse by 2000 yen (approximately $25) each. While the former is already available in the United States, the latter has yet to be announced for Western territories. Both titles debuted when the PlayStation Vita launched in Japan on December 17 last year.
All physical media PlayStation Vita software is also made available for download via the PlayStation Store. In Japan, the downloadable version costs as much as 1000 yen ($12) less than the suggested retail price of the card version. However, as retail prices fall, the digital price seldom responds. In this case, new copies of both games are widely available in Japanese retail stores for much less than the current PlayStation Store prices of 3990 yen ($49) and 4980 yen ($61). This sale, which runs from May 1 through 7, brings the digital copies’ prices lower than the physical ones. The U.S. version of Army Corps of Hell costs $40 on the PlayStation store, but a cartridge copy costs $30 on Amazon.
Wired’s sister site Ars Technica has written about the need for aggressive pricing on downloadable Vita games in order to compete with services like the iOS Apple Store and Steam. A 2000 yen discount is substantial, but is it enough of an incentive when physical copies are nearly as cheap and will continue to lower in price? With the Vita and its software struggling on the sales charts, perhaps permanent price drops are in order.