How Much Will Next-Gen Games Cost?
It remains a hot topic everywhere: the next generation of consoles.
And while hardware price is always a major issue, we also can't forget about the all-important cost of software.
Many think $60 is too much for games this generation (which I don't agree with at all), but the overall cost of development is ever on the rise.
Historically, games on the PlayStation side have gone up $10 with each new generation. During the PS1 era, new games were $40; for the PS2, they were $50, and now for the PS3, they're $60. So is it safe to assume that PS4 games will be $70? Is that properly taking into account inflation and the rising cost of game creation, from the drawing board to the production line? And how much are gamers ultimately willing to spend on a routine basis?
The other question involves shifting formats; from physical to digital. A lot of people think digital copies of games should be cheaper than their physical counterparts, as it costs the publisher less (theoretically). However, we haven't really seen that yet; might we see it in the new generation? Maybe that will accelerate the death of game discs. If a new title launches simultaneously on store shelves and on the PSN, for instance, what if the digital copy is $10 cheaper? Then what? Will that drastically increase sales of one version over the other?
I'm a little tired of all the complainers, who clearly weren't around when SNES cartridges cost $50-$70 nearly 20 years ago. We should all be thanking our lucky stars that games today don't cost $100 apiece; by all rights, maybe they should. But things need to remain accessible and affordable; after all, the industry has experienced several down years, here. So maybe a big price hike in the software department next generation isn't a good idea. Maybe it should just stay at $60...if that's even feasible.
1/13/2012 Ben Dutka