Gamers worried that PlayStation 4 games will see a price hike like last generation can relax. SCEA CEO Jack Tretton told CNBC that that the plan is for PlayStation 4 titles to max out at $60, the same cost ceiling as existing PlayStation 3 games.
"I think people are willing to pay if they see value there and I think there's more choice than ever before for consumers. We're going to welcome free-to-play models; games from 99 cents up to those $60 games," Tretton said. "But if you really see where the heat is for the true gamer on the console it's still that big-form experience that typically runs upwards of $50 million to develop and will justify that $60 price point and will give people hours and hours of gameplay on a daily basis for months and years to come."
Tretton also fielded a question about whether or not the rise of smartphone and tablet games will cut into the PS4 market. The executive described these titles are "additive experiences," noting that in the end, big-budget, blockbuster games are here to stay.
"I think those are additive experiences," Tretton said. "They demystify gaming; they bring people in with a bite-sized gaming experience. But ultimately, I think people migrate up the food chain. Conversely, if you're somebody who considers themself a true gamer and wants to play the most powerful devices and the most deep and rich gaming experiences, you're not going to find yourself migrating down the food chain other than to maybe kill some time or to complement that core gaming experience."
The PS4 is due out this holiday season. A recent report suggested the system will be available in two models at launch, the first of which may begin at $430. Inside Network analyst Billy Pidgeon believes $299 is a "magic" price point for the system.