Sony Computer Entertainment is under "major pressure" to reduce the launch price of PlayStation Vita following a cost reduction announcement from Nintendo.
That's according to Tokyo-based Ace Securities analyst Hideki Yasuda, who told Bloomberg the PlayStation firm risks "major failure" if it doesn't price its upcoming handheld - which is due out in Japan this year and in US and Europe in 2012 - competitively.

"Gamers are increasingly anticipating Sony to lower prices, especially after the 3DS cut," Yasuda told Bloomberg. "Sony is under major pressure to cut the price of the Vita or risk a major failure."

When it does launch in the UK, Vita will set you back £229 for the Wi-Fi model and £279 for the 3G version.

Sony chairman Kazuo Hirai signalled yesterday that the company won't engage in a price war with the Nintendo 3DS, which is set to have its RRP slashed by a third later this month.

But not all Japanese analysts believe Sony should react to Nintendo's dramatic action. Nomura Holdings man Shiro Mikoshiba believes a higher price point for Vita fits with its target audience.

"The customers Sony is targeting with its Vita are those willing to spend a lot of money," he said. "That's a valid strategy even if the volume's low as long as it can sustain the higher price."