Analyst: $299 is magic price point for PS4

Inside Network analyst says new platform "has to be" under $400 and may release in two models.

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Sony's PlayStation 4 will hit retailers this holiday season, but what will it cost? While Sony is not yet talking price point specifics, Inside Network analyst Billy Pidgeon told GamesIndustry International that a "magic" price point for the platform is $299.

"I'd like to see maybe two models, one under $300 and one under $400 would be ideal. $299 is the magic price point," Pidgeon said. "I think this current generation took way too long to get there. It has to be under $400 and honestly if they could subsidize it further and take more of a hit, it might be worth their while in the long run."

A report from earlier this week suggested the PS4 would launch in November beginning at $430. A second model would also be available at $530, though these price points are not confirmed.

Pidgeon added that he believes both the PS4 and Xbox 720 will see slower initial sales during the first year due to the way in which consumers now take in entertainment from a host of sources. This means, according to Pidgeon, that Sony and Microsoft will continue to look to current-generation systems as viable platforms.

"Uptake during the first year is going to be slower than people expect," he said. "And to keep a viable business in terms of profit margins, they're going to have to do their best to keep their current-gen platforms viable as they're perhaps moving into next-gen more slowly than they did last time. Historically, we've seen generational transitions where the previous generation just dropped off a cliff when the new console came out, but that would really hurt either Sony or Microsoft if that happened."

Reports vary on when Microsoft may announce the Xbox 720. Some say the company will reveal the platform in March, while others believe April is more likely. The analyst consensus, though, is that the machine will be available at retailers this holiday season alongside the PS4.

Discussion

450 comments
Jibroni
Jibroni

The unit will struggle at a high price. Also the gaming industry is different now with iPhones and iPads. They would be smart to get there consoles in ppls homes for cheaters and make up the money somewhere ele.

Years ago I couldn't wait for a new system to come out. Now I can.

enoslives7
enoslives7

This is ''do or die'' for Sony. The PSP, PSP go, Vita, and PS3 have all been relative failures. I hope they bring out a 299. system to get them headed back in the right direction. They can't keep affording to lose billions.

TheThoughtless1
TheThoughtless1

I thought I saw something right after the reveal that said $450-$550, with prices depending on version, though a bit high, I think that's a more logical price range.

tigertaru
tigertaru

$299 would be epic and probably day1 for me, but I don't think there's a chance in hell of that happening. 

Triton
Triton

Get Real! -  $299.00 for maybe a handheld version.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Tough economy and a kiddy friendly Nintendo system could not even sell well for $349 so uh Sony and MS you might want to change plans about releasing a new system anytime soon.

rarson
rarson

I don't see how Sony could possibly sell a system that contains 8GB of GDDR5 for $299. We'll be lucky if it comes in under $400.

Since I skipped this generation, I'll probably buy one if it's $400 or less.

firstclassgamer
firstclassgamer

$299.....................................>.> yeah riiiiiight.

craigprime
craigprime

 $299? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Oh Pidgeon, you're a funny guy.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Goddamn, if you can't afford $500 over 10 years, what the hell are you doing calling yourself a gamer?! You should be studying so you can get a better job! That's the equivalent of buying one new game a YEAR - if you can't afford that, you obviously can't afford this hobby.

There's 10 months left to the holidays, save $50 a month and you're sorted.

Seriously, I wouldn't mind if they upped the specs a bit more (CPU & GFX), just to guarantee that it can run ANY game at full 1080p without framerate drops. Make it $600 and $500 and create something a bit closer to "current gen" PC systems.

experience_fade
experience_fade

I've always hated how console pricing so majorly affects it's longevity and financial success. It seems like it should, I know, but a console is a long term investment. Is $400 (or $500) really that expensive when you look at how long you'll have the console? This next generation will last *at least* 5 years... $500 just doesn't seem that expensive when you look at it from this perspective. 

I'm aware that sometimes consoles break or fail, but honestly, in the end it just doesn't matter. This is the next generation of gaming. If an extra $100 keeps one from experiencing it, then I would call into question their love of gaming. Save up, starting now. We all know it will be >$300. 


Kelleyb4947
Kelleyb4947

You should be willing to pay $700 for over 2 teraflops of raw speed, you'd still be getting a better deal, than the people producing what you bought.. People are saying the console cycle is supposed to last 10 years, but how can that be possible when 1.23 (speculated xbox 720 specs) teraflops will be outdated by 2014? Hell, it's already outdated now, there are graphics cards available with over 5 teraflops; I realize a lot more goes into what makes something work and work well, but teraflops is a good base measurement, and I just can't see anything less than 2 teraflops getting shit done a decade from now. With how fast technology is changing, and how much money people are willing to invest for the entertainment and the profit in the video game industry, one can't expect anything but faster growth in the future; 10 teraflop reality-identical graphics before 2020 on a commercial level. Maybe the steam box will be better than these speculated console fails, hopefully, or I may just have to start reading or something.. yikes. #feedbackula

Kelleyb4947
Kelleyb4947

You guys want a terrabyte of hardrive space, but are willing to have year-old mid-level graphics? What the hell is wrong with you people...

soulless4now
soulless4now

It'll be $299 someday but not for release. $399 does seem more likely. 

alchie11
alchie11

Considering the market today and the fact that people don't want to pay the same kind of prices as when the PS3 originally came out, I personally think $499 and $399 are good prices. It's fair, competitive, and Sony won't lose too much money per console. I remember spending $400 on a PSP-1000 (white and Asian imported), so why is everyone cringing over the price?

If Sony includes 1 TB hard drive model, then $499 (750 GB) and $599 (1 TB) is fair as well. For the average Joe, more hard drive capacity is a big enough reason to justify the high price. That is how Apple has sold their products for the last decade.

AlexFili
AlexFili

Let's hope they don't make it TOO cheap and we get 'red rings' or 'BSOD's

AudishoM
AudishoM

Amazon.com has 2 PS4s in stock for $595 each. Hmm... very interesting...

aniforprez
aniforprez

completely off topic but what the hell is the point of that damn touchpad? it's one of the stupidest designs ever to put it in the middle of the controller BEHIND the sticks. how are you going to reach the damn thing with your thumbs? who's going to free a hand to get to it and use such a puny thing? if you want my analysis on the pricing just scroll down...

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@DeViLzzz  No, a lack of solid AAA first-party and third-party games for that Nintendo system is what's causing it not to sell well.

mark_unix
mark_unix

@rarson the production costs of that ram is around $20, what you pay in a store are patents and packaging/shipping/design and in some cases R&D.

sony has been in the RAM production for over 20 years now, their cost vs for example what microsoft has to pay is 50% less.

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@Daemoroth  And I don't know about you, but if you've managed to save $500 over these past economically-rough 10 years, all without needing to dip into it for unexpected needs, good on ya', man.  You have either fewer woes in life or better discipline about saving than I do.  xD

MacroManJr
MacroManJr

@Daemoroth  It would be unwise to invest so much money into something so early that has yet to prove itself in practice yet.  I think you might be greatly underestimating the rising costs of game development.  It's been a growing concern in the industry for quite some time now.

Basically, it's most likely that MOST of the PS4's games will only look like slightly-better and larger PS3 games running at 1080p, with only select titles sporting visuals closer to current PC systems.  Budgets are a very high concern with developers today.

There's just no way one can keep on spending $60 million or so on every game they make for PS4, and the nature of multi-platform releases will undoubtedly ensure that most PS4 games stay just a bit better than PS3 games.   People are getting their hopes WAY up about PS4 totally blowing away the PS3.

It CAN significantly outshine the PS3--but simple economics will prevent MOST from doing that often.  I've seen only a couple PS4 games that looked significantly different than PS3--most of the other titles previewed didn't seem to feature much to justify (me, at least) dropping $500 to $600 dollars on it.  If most games won't meet that greater potential of the PS4, what's the true value in buying PS4?

And ESPECIALLY since Sony has yet to fully address the issue with used games or whether their games will cost more now or not.  It'd make no sense to buy a PS4 if you couldn't game affordably on it, after all.  They're still avoiding the issue directly, presumably to drop the news on gamers at E3 2013 or even last minute before launch.

If one can't play used games on PS4, and if new major-title PS4-exclusive games do cost more than PS3 games, you'll be stuck with a very expensive way to enjoy gaming.  You might just be cheaper buy a cheap gaming rig and just hit sales on Steam, and have a more valuable buy.

It makes no sense to save and spend that much on something that has yet to prove its value yet.  And frankly, most of the time, I don't see how anyone's going to get a significantly different value than what PS3 already offers.

rarson
rarson

@Daemoroth 

"Seriously, I wouldn't mind if they upped the specs a bit more (CPU & GFX), just to guarantee that it can run ANY game at full 1080p without framerate drops."

GCE (gross conceptual error)

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

@Daemoroth you're right, let's pay more because the price should be determined by what we can pay, not what we should pay (or what a product is worth).

rarson
rarson

@experience_fade  

The big problem with $500 consoles is that the hardware itself doesn't seem to last 5 years anymore. If my $500 console breaks 3 years after I buy it, I'll have to spend another $500 to replace it. That's a lot of money for a game system.

rarson
rarson

@Kelleyb4947  

That's a great argument, except for the fact that teraflops don't mean shit when it comes to consoles. I mean, sure, specs on paper might be meaningful to an idiot who only cares about that kind of shit, but to anyone with a brain, they're probably going to care a bit more about the actual software it runs.

By the way, this isn't Twitter, so no need to make yourself look like an idiot by posting useless hash tags.

rarson
rarson

@alchie11  

You would be stupid to spend an additional $100 for 250 more GB of hard drive space. You could buy an extra drive for that much.

I'd love to see them sell one without a hard drive. Then I could go buy my own. But I doubt they will.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@alchie11 I hope sony price point is competitive like the ps2 and not like the ps3 as well. Whatever their final price is, they need to focus on early penetration, esp in markets where they will have the highest tie rate (game to console ratio). They need to get their machine into the western markets asap, where MS has shown a dominance.  Then need to quickly get their machine into europe, asian, south america markets also. Focus on western developers and american sales asap. Because us fat ass, rich americans do one thing well - we buy alot of games and that is where console makers will make their money back the fastest even with a large loss up front. 

Sony last gen launch concentrated on the early adopters with disposable cash, they felt their brand name alone elevated their product to where they could take a small loss on their 'razor' and get more profits from its sales of 'blades'. Yes they had manufacturing issues where it was hard for them to sell at a loss close to that of ps2 but alot of it was pure corporate greed. 

This time sony needs to get one in the hands of the rich and middle income asap.  

digi-demon
digi-demon

 @AlexFili ....too late for that now sony-sheep cheapskates :P

rarson
rarson

@aniforprez  

Well, for starters, it could be used for navigating the system UI, which would be extremely welcome in my opinion. By far the worst thing about the current consoles is the non-gaming user experience.

ZomDie420
ZomDie420

@aniforprez its there to piss us sony fanboys off from what i can tell, or its there attempted at nintendo's touchscreen thats what i think

rarson
rarson

@mark_unix

No offense, but I don't think you know what you're talking about. GDDR5 is significantly more expensive than DDR3, and Sony doesn't manufacture RAM chips, so they're probably paying whatever everyone else is for them. Sony manufactures modules, not the chips themselves.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@MacroManJr @Daemoroth I appreciate your post, and I do tend to agree, though I'm not fixating on the graphical improvements (I care about fidelity and frames way more, so 1080p@60fps is what I'm hoping for). I'm more excited about the potential for increased complexity in the next-gen games.

More processing power means larger worlds, more (And more complex) AI, whether allies or enemies, more dynamic interaction with the world, etc.

With the big architectural shift to PC components, it would actually be easier to develop for the next Xbox, PS4 and PC than it would to develop for the PS4 and support the PS3, so from a business perspective, once a decent amount of market-share has gone to next-gen, it makes more sense to completely abandon PS3/360 and focus on a single game engine with 3 different configurations, as opposed to 3 different engines.

History also points to their price not being completely out there. The PS3 was more expensive at launch and didn't struggle too much.

I've been lucky and very disciplined with my savings, first thing that happens when my paycheck comes in is an automatic transaction that moves my savings amount into a separate account.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@rarson @Daemoroth Are you struggling with the concept? Currently all the consoles brag about "full HD resolutions", yet every game I have plays at 720p or lower (And the more recent games are having frame rate issues) - the only thing running at 1080p is the UI.

If the hardware is powerful enough to run "pretty much whatever is thrown at it" (Within reason for a great looking game with a large world and plenty of AI running around) at 1080p resolution with, say, 60 fps, that would make me a happy camper. If that means it costs a bit more then I'll be ok with it.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@CountZurich @Daemoroth Hmm, let's see... This generation has lasted almost 10 years (8 years), so $500 over 10 years is "about" $50 a year, so that's correct. CoD BO2 is $40 at Amazon, so that fits into the $50 a year, so that's correct for the "game a year" comparison.

This month is February, holidays would mean around December, so that's 10 months to go. If the rumored prices of $400 and $500 are correct, then saving $50 would allow you to buy it on launch, so no issue there.

The rest is my preference, so clueless doesn't apply there.

If you can't afford spending $50 a year on your hobby, then you should probably find an alternative, cheaper hobby. If you're playing games you can't afford, you're obviously not improving your work-related skills, which means you won't progress as fast in your career, which means you will continue to barely afford your hobby.

So if you want to afford the hobby, improve your work-related skills (Studying) and open up better employment opportunities so that you can afford it. Don't see the problem with that logic.

Care to elaborate on your idiotic statement?

Kelleyb4947
Kelleyb4947

@rarson @Kelleyb4947 You're right this is gamespot, not Twitter, and not tomshardware, anandtech, or any other forums with deep tech-based inquiries. I decided to keep the tech talk on a rudimentary level and use basic concepts for those of us who, let's say just, like to troll at 1:30 in the morning on one screen, and ROFL from cat memes with TMI because their lives are FUBAR

Kelleyb4947
Kelleyb4947

@rarson @Kelleyb4947 If you could tell me how a base measurement of performance that producers themselves use, and have been quoting saying is a reasonable but not absolute measurement for quality, is not a useful thing to include in a review of system specs then please tell me what is.. And, maybe I'm looking for feedback, so I put the "feedbackula" thing up there because I'm not going to tweet about a videogame console, but the writers here on Gamespot will look at the comments and maybe bring one up if it's good, or contraversial, like this one...

Kelleyb4947
Kelleyb4947

@SkaiNett @Kelleyb4947 Please enlighten me with your vast knowledge, Mr. or Mrs. wannabe SkyNet, I'd love to hear your thoughts about how a terrabye of hardrive will stop the machines from taking over..

hadlee73
hadlee73

@ZomDie420 @aniforprez It'll probably be used for secondary inputs (eg. shortcuts for special moves in  Street Fighter type games). Its really down to the developers to work out how to use it in an interesting way. Have you considered that it may have actually been one of the things requested by developers when Sony approached them to ask for feedback?

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@rarson @Daemoroth Hence the "within reason for a great looking game" part - I'm well aware of the problems of hardware capabilities vs software requirements (And that software will grow to take advantage of the hardware capabilities).

Being primarily a PC gamer for the past 15 years, I am also very much aware of the problems when software is ahead of the hardware capabilities (Think back to late 90s/early 2000s when you had to upgrade at least annually to keep playing PC games), where now the hardware is a bit ahead of software (Only need to upgrade every couple of years if you want to play on max graphics).

If the hardware can cater for complex games that look great, that's all I want. If that means upping the spec (And as a result, the price) a tad more, I'm fine with that. For instance, if the next consoles can run the Unreal 4 engine at 60 fps in a game like Battlefield for PC (Destruction, huge maps), that would be pretty darn spectacular at 1080p on a 60" TV.

rarson
rarson

@Daemoroth

Are you familiar with how graphics processing works? There are games that run on the current console hardware in 1080p, because they are graphically simple. You'll never be able to run "ANY" game in 1080p because games can always become more complex. Yes, all the games on PS4 will run in 1080p.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@CountZurich The thing is, gaming is a hobby, not a right. And you are making some major assumptions about the gaming demographic in terms of what they can and cannot accomplish financially.

And I never said that they're a shitty worker, it could be someone in a shitty job, but time is precious, and if you're struggling to make ends meet but you're spending your free time playing games, well, then chances are your CV isn't improving, which lowers your chances of improving your employment prospects. If you want to improve your quality of life, some self-investment is required.

Gaming is already a very cheap in relation to other forms of entertainment - go out on a Friday night and try to spend less than $60 on drinks/dinner/entry - you'll be drinking water for most of it. A trip to the cinema can easily run $60 if you take your GF along and get popcorn and drinks. Meanwhile, a $60 game can provide weeks of entertainment.

CountZurich
CountZurich

@Daemoroth @CountZurich I'm not questioning your math here, but this pretty much alienates anybody that can't do what you're saying, that would rather put that $50 a month towards food or rent or bills and whatnot. That's a sizable chunk of people that Sony would lose. And who says this can't be a cheaper hobby? And I have a real problem with your belief that if somebody can't afford a $500 entertainment console, they're a shitty worker. Money doesn't come to everyone who works for it, and gaming doesn't have to be that expensive anyways.

rarson
rarson

@Kelleyb4947  

Huh? Go back and read what you wrote. You claim that raw computing power is valuable and gamers should be willing to pay for it. I'm just pointing out what an asinine thing that is to say. And I guess you don't understand that hash tags only serve a purpose on Twitter. There's absolutely no reason to use them here. Stop being an idiot.