in Japan, and now it seems North America is in for the same pleasant surprise -- Sony's upcoming PSP successor, the Vita, will offers discounted pricing on games sold digitally versus those bought at retail. The news this time comes from Thrifty Nerd, by way of the Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, VA, where Sony is offering shoppers an early hands-on with the device.
A third-party Sony rep (read: not internal to Sony) confirmed to the site that Vita's digital game offerings would cost less than those sold at retail outlets, even ballparking the discrepancy at around 40 percent. We've reached out to Sony to confirm that price difference, as Japanese Vita games are showing a much more realistic price difference (around 20 percent). As Sony depends on retail to sell its hardware, it seems unlikely that the company would offer such a competitive discount as 40 percent -- without hardware sales at retail, that competitive difference in game pricing may not matter.
Folks interested in getting their hands on the Vita a bit early still have until December 30 to head to their local mall and check it out. If "your mall" is one of these five, of course.
Update: A Sony rep tells us, "We haven't announced pricing for PS Vita software, but we will do so in the near future."