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What's a PS Vita game cost? Ask again tomorrow

The bean counters at Sony need to make up their minds on how they are pricing PS Vita games.

Hanging out with Nathan Drake sure is expensive. Sony Computer Entertainment

Several PlayStation Vita games are seeing preorder price cuts (and one disappointing price increase) before the launch of the next-generation handheld gaming device planned of February 22.

Little Deviants, Wipeout 2048, Modnation Racers: Road Trip, Reality Fighters, and Hot Shots Golf: World Invitation, which cost $39.99 previously, are currently available for $29.99 (via Amazon, GameStop and others).

Sadly, it seems that the highly anticipated Uncharted: Golden Abyss for Vita rose in price from $39.99 to $49.99. There's little doubt that the next game in the Nathan Drake saga will be stunning and sell moderately well, but I feel a $50 retail price will turn off many gamers.

There is a certain sweet spot at $29 that Sony will have difficulty ignoring as time passes. I cannot envision a sustainable business model selling $50 triple-A portable games, regardless of the visuals or experience.

Sony's core audience is different these days, especially in this era of endless smartphone and tablet games priced under $10. Sure, dedicated gaming buttons are nice, but people have gotten used to not having them to get a quick gaming fix. $29 is a stretch to many people, but $49 is a completely different ball game.

It is difficult to predict how the quad-core Vita with its buttons, joysticks, unique inputs, and expensive games will perform in 2012.

(Via NeoGAF)