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PlayStation Vita price won't be dropped in North America

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Sony won't cut the price of the PlayStation Vita in North America to match the upcoming price drop in Japan, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said today during a roundtable interview.

When asked if the price cut would come to North America, Yoshida replied, "No it will not."

Yoshida said one explanation is a matter of economics — the current exchange rate is the reason Sony cut the price in Japan. "One answer could be when you compare the pricing on PS Vita across regions, because of the yen value. In Japan, the system had been priced the highest. We had been selling for 25,000 yen; that's more than $250 when you compare the exchange rates."

When pressed to confirm that parity was in fact the goal behind the Japanese price drop, Yoshida replied, "I wasn't saying one way to explain [the price drop]. It's a region-by-region-based decision, always."

Earlier this week, Sony announced a PS Vita price drop in Japan from 24,980 yen to 19,980 yen. That cut goes into effect Feb. 28.

Sony launched the PS Vita in North America for $249 a year ago; a second model with 3G connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi sells for $299.

[Update: Additional quotes added. Additional reporting by Christopher Grant.]