Sony's next-generation handheld gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, goes on sale next Thursday (February 23). But who is offering the cheapest pre-order deals? Planhacker has crunched the numbers and found there's not much in the way of discounting going on.
In large part, that's because, as our colleagues over at Kotaku reported yesterday, the device is being effectively ignored by major chains. Big W, Kmart and Target will not be stocking it. That means less pressure to offer a cheap price amongst the specialist gaming retailers who are selling it.
If you want the 3G-equipped version with a SIM card from Vodafone, there's essentially no choice price-wise. As we've noted earlier, you can either pay $419 up-front for a prepaid version, including 200MB of data with a 30-day expiry, or pay $55 a month for a 12-month contract with 1.5GB of data a month. That adds up to a total of $660. If you aren't in a good Vodafone reception area, that's a fairly unappealing deal
If you want the Wi-Fi model (which seems likely to be more popular), the official RRP is $349.95. Most retailers are rounding that down to $348, offering free delivery and not much else:
- JB Hi-Fi has the Wi-Fi model for $348, including a starter pack with a console case, game case, screen protector, cleaning cloth and wrist protector. Free delivery.
- Game is only offering pre-orders on the 3G model for $419.95, but is including a copy of Ridge Racer. Free delivery, but if you order online, the SIM isn't shipped; you have to pick it up at a store.
- Dick Smith has the Wi-Fi model for $349, and the 3G version for $419. It also offers a free download of Wipeout 2048, but only after you recharge the SIM. Free delivery for both.
- EB Games is selling the console for $348. It also has the 3G version for $418. Free delivery for both.
- Harvey Norman matches that, with Wi-Fi at $348 and 3G at $418. Free delivery for both.
Given that effective lack of competition, supporting a retailer you like (or the one that's nearest) seems as sensible a choice as any. JB is the only substantive bonus offer, but a cheap case is not uber-compelling. If you want the 3G model, Game's free Ridge Racer is the best bonus.
Spotted another good Vita deal? Tell us in the comments. (Note we haven't covered importing the Vita from overseas, largely because I figure anyone that keen on the device will have done so already and wouldn't have had price as a key consideration.)
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