Activision Still Calls Console Hardware Prices "Prohibitive"
When the PlayStation 3 launched with a $600 price tag for the full 60GB version, many began to question if the price of video game hardware had suddenly gotten a bit out of control. Now, though, the $400 price tag for the PS3 and 360 is far more agreeable, and the Wii retails for an even cheaper price. Recently, we've seen plenty of evidence to indicate that consumers are having less difficulty with the price of consoles (especially the PS3), but Activision still thinks it's all too expensive.
According to a Times Online interview with Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, one of the world's leading game publishers holds firm to the belief that console price cuts are essential, especially in this economy. He did admit to seeing a "real demographic expansion with the industry's customer base," but at the same time, the cost for running out and picking up a game console is still "prohibitive." Kotick does add, however, that the game industry tends to do very well in slower economies for the simple fact that more people tend to stay home (it just gets too expensive to go out). This much, the NPD has all but proven in recent months, and games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots have helped to spur hardware sales.
But you'll still find plenty of gamers who are still holding off on buying a new system just because of the relatively high cost. In terms of inflation, if you remember the PS2 costing $300 at launch, $400 and even $500 isn't crazy high, but hey...gas wasn't $4.50/gallon then, either.
7/1/2008 Ben Dutka