Can Sony Get Away With Another $600 Price Tag For PS4?
Yes, I know. The vast majority are just screaming the word "No!" right about now.
And for the most part, I agree with that majority. I probably wouldn't shell out $600 for a new console, either. But just to play devil's advocate here for a moment...
Sony has started to learn that when it comes to video game hardware, great software is an absolute necessity. In fact, it's #1 on the list. This is why they delayed the launch of the PlayStation Vita; they wanted to give this new unit the best start possible by giving us over 20 titles to choose from on launch day. And the result was the biggest and most diverse PlayStation software launch lineup ever. It still wasn't mind-bogglingly amazing, but it did give the Vita a decent start out of the gates.
Furthermore, two other things to consider- Besides Resistance: Fall of Man, there was virtually no reason to own the PS3 on launch day. That $600 price tag just didn't give you much; what it really gave you was a bagful of promises and although I would argue they delivered on those promises, one still had to wait. The software just wasn't there to justify such a large purchase. But what if the PS4 launched with a flat-out crazy lineup? What if we were looking at the likes of Killzone 4, Gran Turismo 6, and Uncharted 4 on the first day of the PS4's availability? What we're willing to pay goes up, yes? We have to admit that much, at least.
Secondly, the electronics industry doesn't really appear to be getting cheaper. The iPad 3 will cost what again...? Tablets and smartphones aren't cheap endeavors and it really seems like both are selling remarkably well; i.e., the world still has money to burn on purely luxury items. That means $600 isn't necessarily a hurdle for the majority of consumers out there - or at least a fair portion of them - and if that's the case, it simply means the product in question isn't appealing enough. If it were, the price tag wouldn't look quite so nasty. So if the PS4 released with enough positive hype and a monster software lineup, why couldn't it fly off the shelves with a $600 retail price? Inflation is always a consideration as well.
Of course, I'm not predicting anything and personally, I do believe the PS4 can't cost that much. I have my reasons for that but for the time being, I just wanted to argue the other side of the coin, if only to shed some light on the concept of "true product value" in the eyes of the consumer.
4/29/2012 8:52:52 PM Ben Dutka