The platform holder hopes to start making a profit after three years.
While technology gets cheaper and cheaper every day, it's not free and no one needs telling that more than Sony. After years spent clawing its way back to profitably due to the vast sums of money it spent making the PS3, it's set to potentially repeat the process with the PS Vita.
The Wi-Fi only Vita will retail for the same price as the 3DS - $250 - despite having a lot more crammed under the hood than its dual-screened rival. PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai said the mobile gaming market was expanding rapidly thanks to tablets and smart phones, and that that Sony expected to start making a profit on the Vita hardware within three years. He said that Sony was hopeful that the Vita would outsell its predecessor, the PSP, which has shipped 70 million units.
Sony has had some funny ideas about what an appropriate price for handheld devices is in the past - the PSP Go and its "premium" price point instantly spring to mind - but this seems a much more sensible, not to mention successful, strategy. Having a more competitive price point will help get the device into peoples' hands and, hopefully, buying games, which is where Sony will actually make its money on the Vita.
The PS Vita is scheduled for release by the end of the year, although Sony's US boss Jack Tretton said that it might be delayed in some territories.