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Comics On The PSP For Less Than One Dollar? Japan Gets All The Cool Stuff

We’ve covered the upcoming availability of comics on the PSP in Japan and the United States before, but Kotaku’s finally shed some light on just how much manga is going to fetch on Sony’s handheld starting today.

In Japan, single issue-style content will reportedly run from $0.55 – $1.70 in U.S. dollars, while collections will retail at around $4.70.

What does that mean for the upcoming U.S. availability of comics – particularly those from major publishers like Marvel? Well, nothing really. Our best pricing benchmark is probably content sold on the iPhone given its similar screen size and distribution method (an official online retailer branded to the device).

So right now a healthy wager is probably free previews, $1-2 single issues and $5-8 “trades.” Things might have gone differently and cost less if the iPhone hadn’t demonstrated the material could be so successful, which is a mixed blessing for fans who want to save some scratch with promotional pricing yet want the industry to thrive.

But that doesn’t mean the price is right. How much should mobile comics cost? What’s fair for a digital copy of something that costs $3-5 printed – especially when distribution and production costs have effectively been nullified?

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