Importing PlayStation Vita: A Very Expensive Decision
Unless you have tons of holiday cash to burn, it's best to wait until the system's February 22 U.S. and European launches.
In September 2001, I imported a GameCube from Japan. The system was set to debut in the U.S. in November, but I couldn't wait two months.
The result? A little over $600 for the console (sans AV cables...that still blows my mind), Luigi's Mansion 2, Wave Race: Blue Storm and Super Monkey Ball.
The weekend it arrived was filled with joy. Well, mostly. I was the only person in the area with the machine, but the cost of this exclusivity far outweighed the happiness I initially felt, especially when the U.S. system appeared and I couldn't play American games.
Thankfully, you don't have to worry about compatibility with PlayStation Vita. Sony's upcoming handheld, which arrives in Japan December 17, will play games from both Japanese and U.S. territories.
That said, and similar to my GameCube experience, importing isn't cheap.
Here's the breakdown for the system:
-Vita Wi-Fi: $525
-Vita Wi-Fi and 3G: $575
-Vita Wi-Fi: $479
-Vita Wi-Fi and 3G: $549
To put this in perspective, the U.S. Vita costs $249.99 and $299.99.
Now let's look at those infamous memory cards:
U.S. prices, on the other hand, currently sit at $24.99 (4GB), $39.99 (8GB), $69.99 (16GB) and $119.99 (32GB).
As for games, we still don't know how much they'll cost in the U.S. Regardless, you'll have to pay between $48 and $89 to import just one title.
If you're dead set on having Vita before everyone else, then by all means. I can't force you to spend or save money. Considering my experience with GameCube, though, I'll wait until February 22.