Source: A Kotaku story citing a survey conducted on behalf of Ubisoft.
What we heard: According to the report, Ubisoft commissioned online research firm Toluna to survey US adults about Sony's upcoming NGP handheld. Specifically, the survey asked about price points, stating that the 3G-enabled version of the system would sell for around $350, with a 3G-less counterpart on sale for $250. After presenting those numbers to respondents, the survey asked, "How likely would you be to purchase the Sony NGP now that you know this retail price?"
The first noteworthy point about the survey is that it suggests US gamers will be getting two different models of the NGP. Previously, it had been confirmed that Europe would get versions of the handheld with and without 3G, while all Japanese NGP systems would feature the mobile network capability.
While the $350 figure is in the ballpark previously proposed by one analyst, the idea of a $250 model of the NGP is a bit lower than expected and would put the system's cost on equal footing with that of its primary competitor, Nintendo's 3DS. That would also put the NGP's price in line with that of the original PSP, which debuted in March of 2005 in a $250 "Value Pack" with a memory stick, soft case, and UMD copy of the film Spider-Man 2.
However, the supposed $100 difference in price for the two is interesting for a few reasons, especially since Sony hasn't communicated exactly how core 3G will be to the NGP experience. Apple's recently launched iPad 2 also comes in models with and without 3G support, but the difference in cost between those is $130, and users are able to subscribe to data plans on a month-by-month basis with no contracts. In the NGP's case, it's unclear what sort of data plans would be allowed or required.
On the surface, it seems like a $100 surcharge for 3G might be unreasonable, but the Kotaku report (and presumably, the survey in question) makes no mention as to what else would come with that configuration of the system. If, like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the NGP launched with a premium version of the system, including a number of additional accessories, more storage space, or even pack-in games, the $350 package could still be attractive to consumers despite a budget alternative.
The official story: "That's purely speculative."--A Sony representative.
A North American Ubisoft representative was unable to confirm the authenticity of the survey as of press time and said the publisher would be unable to comment on the NGP price anyway.
Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus that anything is set in stone. It would be great if Sony could hit those price points, but a final determination on price and hardware configurations is likely yet to be made.
[CORRECTION]: This article originally reported the price difference between 3G-enabled iPads and standard models as $30. We regret the error.