After reports hit the internet, Sony has confirmed to us that retail games for the PlayStation Vita will be sold at an as yet unspecified discount when downloaded from the US PlayStation Store, just as they are in Japan. While this isn't a total surprise, it would be unprecedented for the US market — in the event that retail Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games are made available for download it's usually some time after the original release, at the MSRP, or both. All Vita games are available on the PlayStation Store day and date with their boxed versions, however, and it looks like the discount is being mandated by Sony.
That doesn't mean there aren't ways to get around it, though. In Japan, games are rarely sold for their MSRP in the first place, which means the digital discount is often a lot less significant than you'd think. Also, it looks like retailers will be selling discounted download codes alongside boxed copies, with Best Buy listing digital versions for 10 percent cheaper than their physical Vita card equivalents. It does look like the process of buying and selling games has become a little more complex with the Vita, but we'll have to wait for its February 22nd release date to see exactly how this all shakes out.