Sony offering Vita referral incentives to boost sales
The PSVita is currently my favorite console. Say what you will about Sony, but when it comes to hardware, they produce some of the best. Yet despite solid the Vita is itself, its sales have been… less than stellar, earning a spot on a 24/7 Wall St. list of Worst Product Flops of 2012.
With such poor performance, it’s only natural for Sony to take a lesson from Nintendo and perhaps cut the price of its beloved handheld just a little bit. Unfortunately, Sony’s behavior in regards to the Vita has been anything but logical, to put it nicely. This has culminated in Sony’s newest attempt to sell Vitas, get the people who have one to sell them! Just like used car salesmen desperately trying to make commission, Sony is hoping to use the allure $20 of PSN credit and 1000 Sony Reward Points to entice Vita owners into referring their friends to buy one. What’s more, the reward also extends to the referee as well as the referrer, a win-win situation.
Some might say the Vita isn’t selling because it lacks games, but that would be a fallacy, as it sports a pretty good selection for various tastes. Others might blame it on the rise of smartphone gaming, but if that were the case then the 3DS would be suffering. Any economist will tell you that in order to sell something, prices must meet consumer demand, and with that hefty $350 price tag it’s no wonder that consumers haven’t been flocking to pick one up. Sony – either oblivious to this fact or trying to pretend it isn’t true – is hoping that peer pressure and the promise of rewards will be enough to finally save the sinking handheld.
Ever since I got my Vita, I’ve been trying to convince my friends to pick one up just so I’d have people I could play with. Nobody did, mostly because they all said the price was too high. While it’s true that those who get referred also receive the $20 and 1000 points, I doubt the measly incentive will be able to move consumers.
In the end Sony could be wasting time and money, as those who are already going to buy one could just team up with a friend so they can both cash out on the reward, with little actual referring going on. If Sony’s willing to lose $20 plus some on every Vita referred, then why aren’t they willing to lose $100 on every Vita bought? Even if they lose money from that, at least they are moving consoles and keeping shareholders happy.
May 21, 2013 by David Arce
May 16, 2013 by Jonny Neeves