Japanese Stores Can’t Move Ridge Racer Vita

January 3, 2012Written by Heath Hindman

The newest Ridge Racer is an underwhelming game, incredibly light on out-of-the-box content in return for being a lot cheaper than other Vita titles. In Japan, the digital version goes for 2,990 yen on the PSN Store while the suggested price of the physical version is 3,980 yen. The PlayStation Vita has only been on the street less than three weeks, but it seems game stores are having trouble getting copies of Ridge Racer out the door, even despite its favorable price tag.

After seeing new copies of Namco Bandai’s racer discounted 500 yen below the suggested price (so 3,480 for those keeping score at home) at one store, it was time for some digging. In five different places that sell video games, I didn’t see one selling for higher than the above, and one independent location had it going for even lower, at 3,280. These are all new copies, mind you. All of the prices for every single other Vita game was exactly as it was on launch day. Not all games are selling for the same amount that Sony suggests (stores selling a game for less than the SRP is common), but Ridge Racer is the only one that I’ve seen actually take a drop in the shops these last two weeks.

One might point to the lower digital prices, but all Vita games have lower digital prices, yet this is the only one getting price cuts, and nearly all PSP games have also been cheaper digitally than physically for the last four years. That’s not a major factor, if any.

I snapped this shot with my crappy phone:

You can see the original price tag below the discounted one. At Magical, just as at Yamada Denki and a few mom-n-pop type vendors, Ridge Racer was the only game whose price had dropped from the store’s original figure.

On the North American end, Namco Bandai originally had Ridge Racer listed as a launch title, but then apparently moved it back. Are low sales, poor reviews, and negative word of mouth affecting things in the shops and in the board rooms? We may never know for certain, but this experiment is looking to have mixed results at best.