3D And Move: What Is The Appropriate Price For Gamers?
Sony put a big emphasis on the PlayStation Move and their new 3D technology at E3 this year, but there's one very relevant question that remains, and one I assume Sony is even asking themselves at this very moment: "what is the right price for such technology?"
Firstly, Sony did admit that Move and 3D are expected to have two very different lifecycles in terms of length, which makes sense. 3D needs time to catch on, and it won't really explode until the option is available on most HDTVs. This is simply because few people, even the most avid gamers, are expected to head right out and drop a significant chunk of change on a new TV right now. This is even less likely when that consumer has likely seen little or nothing of 3D gaming. The Move, on the other hand, is hoped to deliver within the year, and Sony wants to keep feeding it with great new software. It's likely that Microsoft puts Kinect on the same competitive footing with Move but the question is, what are gamers willing to pay to jump on board? Furthermore, when will they finally decide to take the plunge?
The full Move package, including the PlayStation Eye, will be priced at $99.99, although you can purchase the individual pieces for less. Retailers are saying Kinect will cost $150. First-party Move titles will go for $39.99 and we just have to assume the third-party ones will hold a $49.99 price tag (perhaps the same goes for Microsoft). Now, are these appropriate price points for such technologies? Is this acceptable to in-the-know gamers looking to embrace new ideas? Is it enough to lure Wii loyalists away to try an upgraded version of the motion sensing they know? Let's not forget that if you don't already own the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, you need the console, too, so... There was some grumbling going on about the Move's price and you can fully expect more grumbling over Kinect's price, which may be an indication of low initial sales.
But 3D is even more mysterious. I just saw a beautiful 40" Samsung 3D 1080p LED HDTV for "only" $1700 at Best Buy and while that's agreeable to some, it isn't to those who are plenty happy with their current HDTV, and aren't willing to make such a big investment. Besides, are people thinking the technology might get better with time, and they'll be screwed if they adopt early? Perhaps it would make sense for Sony to find a way to allow gamers to test 3D in the likes of Killzone 3 and Gran Turismo 5; perhaps something like this will be necessary. Personally, while I certainly could get that Samsung now, I too am inclined to wait. I've seen very little of everything they're promoting and so has most everyone else, and it's always difficult to promote a product that consumers never really got a chance to see. Move demo kiosks everywhere will be a must, as should 3D demos in various retailers, I expect.
But what do you think? This isn't about telling you what the appropriate price points are; it's about asking the gaming masses.
6/17/2010 9:29:35 PM Ben Dutka