Did Sony Lose Out by Pricing the PS4 at $400? David D. Nelson August 1, 2013 Next to Sony’s announcement that they would not be including digital rights management in their Playstation 4 plans the $400 price tag was probably the biggest applause line. So the idea that this price point could be a mistake probably seems patently absurd. We aren’t biased towards one console or another, but looking at the sales of both consoles, with Ebay, Gamestop and Amazon all shutting down pre-orders for both systems, you have to wonder if Sony is wondering the same thing we are. Hold on a minute though, sometimes it helps to step outside of ourselves and take a look at the bigger picture. It’s true that the $600 debut of Playstation 3 was quite the stumbling block for the system early on, but a number of things have changed. The Playstation 2 generation was of a normal length while the current generation has been abnormally long. We know that the public is champing at the bit to get their hands on new console hardware and that means a willingness on the part of consumers to pay the entry fee. Secondly, when you take seven years of inflation into account a $500 tag on the Playstation 4 really wouldn’t be that bad. “But we get the more powerful system for less money,” you say. True, but that may only be good for Sony fans in the short run. We know that originally Sony had considered charging $500 for the system while including the camera, not unlike the built in Kinect situation for Xbox One. Instead the camera will be sold separately for $60, and I think this raises some interesting considerations. If the camera is worth $60 then the original plan would have netted an extra $40 for Sony per console. In stark contrast to Nintendo and Microsoft, Sony has a lot of first party studios they need to fund in order to keep those unparalleled exclusives coming (at least sixteen studios last time I checked). I mean we do want to see games like The Last Guardian come to light at some point don’t we? There is also the Playstation Network to account for – sure we have to pay for PS Plus to play online now but the service still has a lot of expanding to do to deliver the promises Sony has made and a little extra investment never hurt anybody. Having that money available right on launch could mean the console hitting its stride a bit faster and so opening a wider consumer base. There is the argument that of course the Playstation 4 will sell more consoles for $400 but I’m not so certain this is true. Aside from the public’s general appetite for a new generation, we have some recent indications that the Xbox One isn’t having many problems with the $500 price point. Even after a lot of bad press it looks like all the Xbox One pre-orders are being filled. This is so even though industry analyst Colin Sebastian believes the Xbox One will have two to three times as many units available than Playstation 4 this fall. Now I don’t want to be naïve here, I’m well aware that the truth surrounding product availability doesn’t always line up with what corporations tell people, but we can only work with the evidence we have. Whether Sony or Microsoft plans to hold back is up for debate. We also have the camera issue to address. Sony definitely wants you interested in their camera, the console will even come with The Playroom augmented reality title to pique your interest. That camera will probably be useful for all the new social bells and whistles as well, possibly enough that if it were part of the package it would help the overall word of mouth marketing campaign. I must admit I am behind the times when it comes to cameras and social functions, I simply don’t care. I don’t want them, don’t need them, I can’t figure out why anybody would. And yet, there they are. They seem to hypnotize family and casual gamers so I don’t want to underestimate this stuff. Playstation 3 started the last generation out in a rocky position and with a high price, but that price came down and it eventually outsold the Xbox 360 despite coming out a year later. $500 and a lot of gamer rage hasn’t slowed Microsoft down much this time around. As great as a $400 price is for gamers, the Playstation 4’s overall full-generation experience could conceivably be better faster if it was to launch at the same price as Xbox One in my opinion. Just so we’re clear though, I don’t want to spend $500 on a console any more than you do. The $400 price point is good for us, but maybe not so much for Sony following the Xbox One’s sale success. What do you think, would you have been put off of the Playstation 4 if it was to debut at the same cost as the Xbox One? Would that camera have made a difference whether present or not? Would you be willing to sacrifice the extra money for your console to “hit its stride” faster? Let us know in the comments below, and again, we aren’t trying to bash Sony or Microsoft by any means. andy Could you please prove that Sony were going to bundle the camera with the PS4? Everybody always says it but backs it up with absolutely nothing. Oh that IGN article, oh now its proof lol. They had all the Point of Sale ready to go at E3 with no camera on the packaging anywhere. Meanwhile it took Microsoft a whole 5 weeks AFTER the U Turn to finally start sending out their Point of Sale and Sale Sheets to media and retail sources. Sony would have had the same issue had they changed anything last second BUT they didn’t. That is my proof. John Joe Silver well to me it would be during the reveal they were pretty heavy on how the eyetoy has evolved and even did that little song and dance for it… then they explained it’s benefits when used with the new revamped controller and how the lightbar would make use of it… all of a sudden that has been quietened down and not such a major selling point for the new light bar that has been reduced to “it, maybe, will flash when you’re getting hit in a game” also there is the inclusion of the playroom in every box that requires the camera to be used… bit of a silly thing to include if u didn’t intend on every console having the camera Millan Singh What happened was Sony came into E3 with a bunch of options already made and prepped (you might be surprised what these huge companies can do), and then they simply picked the option that would trump MS the hardest. E3 was the first round of what is sure to be a long, bloody battle between both consoles, and I think Sony was too focused on winning that singular battle that it lost track of the long term. In other words, E3 2013 may have actually ended up a Pyrrhic Victory for Sony, but only time will really tell (that and these companies both have so many resources that they can bounce back from pretty much anything). Now, with all that said, while the consoles duke it out, us mighty PC gods are standing above the whole thing and laughing at how pathetic both of them are. My GPU alone is nearly 3.3 Terraflops of computational power. The PS4’s is 1.8, and the Xbone’s is equal to or less than that. If my GPU allocated 0.5 TFLOPS to my OS, then we would be even, but it doesn’t allocate nearly that much. Right now, the only thing the consoles have that beats me is their 8GB of RAM, and I am going to be buying 8GB of RAM (on top of the 2GB already in my GPU) before the consoles come out anyways. And regardless, I have 4GB now (plus the GPU), and I have never run into gaming problems where I ran out. Geermena Dude, nobody cares… Antonio C. R. Murray The EYE was revealed along the the DUALSHOCK 4 at the February PlayStation 2013 reveal.. It was advertised and demoed as a necessity to a complete PS4 experience. If it were a peripheral, it would have been revealed at a later date along side the Stand, etc yet Playroom comes with every PS4 instead of the EYE itself unlike the PS3’s Eye which you had to download EyeCreate. extermin8or2 Ummm all the evidence points to Sony having more stock available at launch and thing is selling 100 units with a $50 profit or selling 2000 with a $20 profit… I know what I’d prefer. Plus it could have harmed sony’s sales significantly to price at $500 I doubt it but you never know… Leon. Smart man. Mario Porfírio Souza MOD EDIT: Keep it civil please. This is Bullshit!!!! “There is the argument that of course the Playstation 4 will sell more consoles for $400 but I’m not so certain this is true. Aside from the public’s general appetite for a new generation, we have some recent indications that the Xbox One isn’t having many problems with the $500 price point. Even after a lot of bad press it looks like all the Xbox One pre-orders are being filled. This is so even though industry analyst Colin Sebastian believes the Xbox One will have two to three times as many units available than Playstation 4 this fall. Now I don’t want to be naïve here, I’m well aware that the truth surrounding product availability doesn’t always line up with what corporations tell people, but we can only work with the evidence we have. Whether Sony or Microsoft plans to hold back is up for debate.” Dann0 “There is the argument that of course the Playstation 4 will sell more consoles for $400 but I’m not so certain this is true.” Of course this is true, a lot of 360 fans have jumped ship simply because of the price of the XBO compared to PS4. This means a bigger installed base which in turn means more consoles sold. heavenshitman1 The PS4s price is almost too good to be true. Sony as a whole is selling assets to survive financially, and PS4 having the highest spec hardware would suggest it’s very plausible PS4 is selling at a major loss. Think Kinect 2 inclusion will boost XB1, as devs can actually programme for it, unlike a PS camera most consumers wont have. And I disagree about the general populace desire for a new gen system. Most ppl only bought their PS3s in the last couple years. These are 10s of millions that wont go for PS4 too soon Millan Singh Most people are not early adopters of new console tech though…so your argument that people aren’t ready for a new gen is total shit. The next gen is overdue. Hell, this has been holding glorious PC gaming back due to shitty ports. heavenshitman1 Think ur stating a relatvely personal sentiment. You’re ready for the next gen. But as stats show, theres a large chunk of consumers still only buying PS3s/360s (and even Wiis) today. Mainly because they probably couldnt afford it till now. They simply aren’t going to buy next gen anytime soon. But we’ll all see, give it till Christmas 2014. Then we’ll know Millan Singh But I am saying that is how it happens every generation leap. Few people are actually early adopters – it will take 2-3 years before the consoles have a large install base. datdude Some people are just plain dumb. They complain when it’s overpriced, they complain when it’s priced well. Just stfu already. Morons. Nick Calandra Nobody’s complaining here. Craig I’d take this article more seriously if it actually made any sense. It doesn’t help that the author can’t spell “PlayStation” properly either. Vlada Radnicki CHIDORI! Deric I think they should’ve priced it at $500 for two reasons: 1. Personally I am going to purchase the PS4 regardless and I feel that most Playstation users would have done the same. 2. Pricing it lower than the X-Box One gives the idea(to people that don’t really know any better) that the One is a better console because it cost more. Either Way I’m glad it is going to be priced at $400, because like I said I will purchase it as soon as possible. Billy Beefcaked The fact that Xbox Live will give games an MMO feel and eliminate load times, gives Xbox One the edge in my living room. After putting 200+ hours into Skyrim and spending 30 of those hours on load screens, I would gladly pay an extra $100 to have a network that is going to save some time in my life. jctejada It’s called competition… that’s why Sony Priced their PS4 at the $400 price point. They made a lot of mistakes during their last console generation launch and I think it’s safe to say that Sony has learned from those mistakes. Would had Sony made more money if they priced their PS4 at $500, probably! But its more about punching Microsoft in the face this time around just like Microsoft punched Sony in the face the last time around by launching their Xbox 360 earlier and cheaper. Competition = Gamers Win! So let the Next-Gen Console wars continue!