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Analyst: NGP Can't Be Over $400

The price tag of the Next Generation Portable will continue to be a hot topic of conversation, likely even after the cost to consumers has been announced.

Earlier, Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR) analyst Jesse Divnich was quoted as saying the unit could fall into the $299 - $349 range, which may sound pricey, but perhaps surprisingly affordable considering the level of technology. But we wanted more information from the analyst concerning Sony's flashy new portable device, and we asked Divnich if there might be a limit; i.e., we asked him to finish this sentence: "The NGP absolutely can't cost more than 'blank' when it launches." It's an important question.

"Anything above $400 would certainly be out of the price range of most gamers, even the early adopters."

That sounds about right, and you may notice he used the term "gamers." We just recently asked if the NGP would appeal more to hardcore gamers or gadget lovers, but according to Divnich, the answer is simple- "First and foremost, the NGP will be a gaming machine. Gaming will be the NGP's primary function." Well, despite all the other functions, we've always said Sony is all about the games.

For more from what Divnich had to say about the NGP, stay tuned to PSXE.

Tags: ngp, next generation portable, eedar, jesse divnich

1/28/2011 10:27:56 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (59 posts)

Temjin001
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:55:19 AM
Reply

I suspect it'll launch at no less than $299. It won't be less than the 3DS.
I actually wouldn't be surprised if it's offered as high as $349 or $399.

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:03:32 AM

Judging by Sony's conference meeting, they seem to be pretty confident of their product. They have a plan to go a completely separate path than the 3DS. The NGP seems to be targeting the teenager to adult ages that have been using their cell phones, while 3DS targets the 8 year olds that begs their parents for 3D movies.

I'm not surprised to see Sony not even try to compete in pricing with the 3DS. It could range $299 to $349.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:41:32 AM

@godsman

I wouldn't dismiss the type of consumer the DS line of handhelds gets. I'm willing to bet that Sony would love to have them. 8 years old or not.

That consumer consistently support the DS through every edition/revision. And that's why it's the market leader in almost every market.

It would be a mistake by Sony's part to simply target the 'otaku'/core gamer of a certain age. That simply has not worked wit their past and current systems. Sony knows that they need to BRANCH OUT and reach more mainstream gamers.

And that's exactly what they need to do with the NGP. Considering that at present, most popular handheld/portable gadgets are popular because CASUALS love' em. Not just the teen/young adult demographic.

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Swim_Irr
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:55:07 PM

Good points. And don't forget that there's going to be a full fledged Call of Duty game for the NGP (likely with full online capabilities). If that franchise still holds as much ground with the mainstream gamers, that could be a major system seller, especially if they advertise correctly. Genuine CoD on-the-go, can you imagine your co-workers?

I know CoD doesn't get a lot of love from the community here at PSXE, but it'd be very hard to deny what a proper CoD advertisement could do for NGP sales. Then once the NGP is in the hands of the consumers, let the games roll. Devs will have an established user-base of potential buyers. And that should be reason enough to produce great games for the NGP.

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:20:45 PM

@Swim_Ir

There's no denying that Call of Duty is the solid game. It's just that the power of advertisements really blinded a lot of gamers.

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Highlander
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:44:44 PM

Bonampack

Sony doesn't target the typical Otaku specifically. Unless the definition for that now includes geeky/techie folks.

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STAY3R
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:51:27 PM

it will have 249$ price tag, because it's still another 10-11 months to go, and sony will never put a bigger price tag than it's home console

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iwillbetheone
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 8:48:04 PM

@godsman

THe DS doesn't exactly target only the 8 year olds wanting to watch 3D movies. It also has some serious AAA titles scheduled for it like Metal Gear Solid, Ninja Gaiden, Resident Evil, Assassin's Creed, Final Fantasy, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, etc. The possibility to play such awesome games in 3D should itself lure many adult gamers, who can't afford a 3D TV. I think Sony will have a hard time catching up with the 3DS if it doesn't price the NGP well.

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Fane1024
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 2:03:02 AM

@STAY3R

IIRC the PS2 was $199 (maybe $229) when the PSP launched at $249.

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STAY3R
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 5:21:37 AM

@ Fane1024 : that's what i'm saying man, sony will never gonna do the same mistake again

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Fane1024
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 3:29:18 PM

The PSP sold well at launch. For a while, it was selling as well as the DS worldwide (it still sells as well in Japan). At one point, despite the head start of the DS, the PSP represented 40% of the handheld market (that has since slipped to around 30%).

Until the DS Lite was released, it looked like the PSP might actually sell more units than the DS.

In other words, I don't think that launching at a higher price point than the PS2 actually hurt the PSP at all.

Hardware sales of the PSP have been pretty strong; software sales, not so much.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 1/29/2011 3:30:35 PM

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:58:26 AM
Reply

As a gadget lover, it's just a smaller ipad and a more expensive ipod touch to me. I would still pay for it if it's $300 to $349, for watching videos.

As the gamer inside of me. This is for hardcore gaming, I'll be buying all these expensive $40-$45 cartridges. I'm not jumping in unless it's $200 - $249.

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Nlayer
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 3:47:26 PM

I totally agree with the gamer inside of you. If the games are going to be expansive, then I hope the handheld will be cheaper and around the $250 mark. It adds up!

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Looking Glass
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:01:53 AM
Reply

I'm assuming that Sony is serious about taking on the 3DS. So I'd guess either $249.99, $299.99, or $349.00 maximum.

But of course they are most likely going to have it two ways. It has been confirmed that the NGP is going to have two SKUs. One with 3G and one without 3G. One is most likely going to be cheaper than the other.

Consumer choice is always a plus.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 1/28/2011 11:03:43 AM

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:07:20 AM

Really? I didn't actually hear this part

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Looking Glass
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:12:30 AM

It's quite true. It came directly from the mouth of Andrew House, the President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:15:41 AM

That is tremendous news. Though in the end I really want the "always" connected option so I hope it doesn't add too much.

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Simcoe
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:24:28 PM

Yes, it's been reported that there will be one 3G sku plus "several" non-3G sku's. So probably models with varying amounts of internal memory, just like the ipod touch.

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telly
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:04:27 AM
Reply

This hardware has absolutely floored me. I had no idea the system was going to be THIS impressive. And the lineup will have everything you'd hope to see -- Killzone, Wipeout, Uncharted, etc. And goodness, how far along do you think their NGP God of War is right now (we all KNOW it's coming, right? ;) Because I hold these games so dear -- and because, incredibly, they're going to be pretty much every bit as sweet to play and look at as their PS3 cousins, this is something I'll just absolutely have to buy at some point.

But $400? Or even MORE? That's a serious price commitment for a portable system. I like my PSP a lot, but honestly, months go by when it sits in its case on the shelf. I'm not a huge portable gamer. Then again, this thing looks like it's just going to be so bloody FUN to mess around with -- the touch screen! dual analog sticks! PS3 caliber graphics IN YOUR HANDS! -- that maybe this would change my habits.

I'm not going to declare this a Day One purchase until I see the price -- and, for that matter, the launch date. But Sony, you have captured my imagination AGAIN. Well done :)

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:08:42 AM

There's only so much something should be worth that your carrying around like that in a mobile manner is my thinking exactly. I think 299 is the right entry level price. Realistic but still competitive.

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telly
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:31:39 AM

I hope you're right, but $299 sounds too good to be true right now. I mean the PSP Go was what, $250?? And that was just (basically) a new casing for the old PSP. This has some seriously sexy technology goin' on. Sony can and will sell it at a loss... but how much of a hit are they willing to take? Look at iPhones, for example -- Apple sells these things for like $199 when you sign up for a standard two-year contract. But the actual cost is what, $800? And it certainly looks from where I'm sitting that NGP is going to cost WAY more than, say, an iPhone 4. NGP has a touchscreen, major processing power, is capable of all sorts of nifty tricks, etc. It's not unreasonable to think these are going to cost Sony close to $1,000 per unit (in the early days, of course. The price always comes way down over the months and years.) Can Sony REALLY afford to sell it for "only" $400, when they don't even have the financial security offered by cell phone contracts to back it up??? Time will tell, but man, I'm a bit worried at how pricey this will be out of the gate.

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Fabi
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:05:24 AM
Reply

It will be a tough sell at $400, not that it's not worth it, but we as gamers have a price limit for certain things.

I want this thing even more than a PS3, and I would probably not drop anything more than $349 on it. $299 would be the magic number.

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:14:46 AM
Reply

I think the NGP is actually really cheap to manufacture. Think about it. The the original PSP has this finely crafted, delicate yet sturdy UMD door and the battery cover. Everything in NGP is sealed in a candy bar with no moving parts.

I have read somewhere that Ipods make a profit of 40-60% with each sold. For sony, I think the pricing comes down to, do they want to make a little profit? or a lot of money from the beginning.

Last edited by godsman on 1/28/2011 11:16:52 AM

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DemonNeno
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 3:09:24 PM

They'll continue their profit loss kick off until appeal is won over. This seems to be the way of Sony. Considering what cell phones and an ipad cost, this is definitely going to sell for more than 250... I don't see this competing with the 3ds in any form other than initial sales. Two different purposes are intended for these products.

While I wish I could say Sony will oust Nintendo in sales, I doubt that'll happen. Many adults will pass on the ngp until it fits their budgets whereas the less responsible cult of nintendo will nag their parents for an 3ds.

This device is packed with everything that'll make you flabbergasted! It's going to be an amazing system to own, especially if you're too busy for ps3 game time. I can't believe how powerful it is for its size... It'll only get better with time, too..

The second I looked at this unit, it screamed hardcore gamer to me. Sure, techies may be interested in what it can do, but that's quickly overshadowed by how it'll perform with high def games...

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Temjin001
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:18:10 AM
Reply

I'm still curious about the quality of software. I suspect we just won't see 25-50 million dollar productions on a handheld. And I doubt they'd sell games for this for more than $50. It just hasn't been the way of handhelds traditionally to attempt to outstrip the flagship console. Call me skeptical, but I do doubt that the handheld version of Uncharted won't match a PS3 version of Uncharted 2 & 3. Not just processing wise, but also developmental expense wise. I think when the dust settles we'll have a situation that looks pretty similar to the PSP to PS2 relationship we observed years ago.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/28/2011 11:18:25 AM

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:27:51 AM

I read that 3DS game development cost tops at $1.8 million dollar. Assume NGP is twice as much, about $4 million dollars.

For handhelds, I'm actually satisfied with PSP quality games. They just need to add more polygons to round off the objects in the game.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:31:48 AM

What we saw with the PSP was that it initially got a lot of PS2 ports/clones/rehashes.

If Sony takes that route with the NGP, then developing games for it could be quite expensive. If these games are going to have all the bells and whistles of a PS3 game, that is.

The thing about portable games, is that they need to be affordable for the devs and the consumer.

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TheAgingHipster
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:20:49 AM
Reply

I agree with the vast majority of the comments I've seen here, but I still remember the PSPgo being ridiculously priced for what was, essentially, just a new sliding case. I sincerely hope Sony is going to be reasonable with their pricing for the NGP, but those hopes can go only so high...

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Looking Glass
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:31:22 AM

Well, the word is that Sony is going to be selling the NGP at a loss initially. That's good sign. And I think we can safely assume that the failure of the PSP Go and the early struggles of the PS3 will serve as good teachers.

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:34:08 AM

@Looking Glass,

Where did you hear that? Last I checked they just said they'll sell it at an "affordable" price.

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Looking Glass
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:45:29 AM

Well, in one of the previous threads Simcoe mentioned that he/she read that Eurogamer said that a "source" told them that Sony expected to sell the NGP at a loss initially.

Then our esteemed comrade Ben Dutka mentioned that Sony sells everything at a loss initially.

Needless to say I think it's quite safe to assume that Sony will be selling the NGP at a loss initially. Which of course is good news as far as the price is concerned.



Last edited by Looking Glass on 1/28/2011 11:46:07 AM

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TheAgingHipster
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:54:11 PM

Looking Glass, I really hope you're right about this! If Sony wants the NPG to be appealing to the iPad/Pod crowd, they have to give it equivalent pricing to the Apple hardware, but also provide a stable of launch titles exciting enough to make the AppStore addicts actually want to jump ship. Anything more than $300 and I don't see that happening.

Not to mention that, with so many promising games and cool pieces of tech coming out this year, the cheaper it is, the better for me. :)

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:23:14 PM

That's right, if it's competing with ipod/ipad, it should be priced between the 8 gb and 32 gb ipods, that is $230 and $300. $249 should be the sweet spot.

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sha4dowknight05
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:25:24 AM
Reply

My guess is it will most likely be around $350 since it is brand new. And the technology that this thing is capable of really is worth $350, which means it is $100 over the 3ds. That is quite the bit over money over the psp, but the only 2 things that the ds might have advantage to the NGP is it's 3d without glasses, and some of it's games. Sony's gunna have to be very careful with this one.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:34:28 AM

I believe that Sony is not just thinking about the 3DS being a direct competitor. But it's actually thinking about Apple and their iPhone/iPad line of products.

So the price the NGP ends up getting, will probably be no more than the price of the best iPhone/iPad you can get on the market. The one with the best features.

Last edited by Bonampak on 1/28/2011 11:35:34 AM

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big6
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 11:47:05 AM
Reply

Sony is likely playing a wait-and-see with the pricing of NGP.

They're going to see what the crowd response is with the Nintendo 3DS and its price, and then price the NGP at $50-100 above that.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:12:11 PM

Sony cannot be so naive.

They know that Nintendo will price their hardware as high as possible INITIALLY in order to make a profit on the early adopters. Those crazy Nintendo fanboys that dress-up and get in line.

And after the 3DS launch window closes, Sony must be aware that Nintendo will probably consider dropping the price of the 3DS. To prepare themselves for the eventual NGP launch.

So this price issue will probably not be resolved in a while.

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big6
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:36:14 PM

Interesting point you make. However, I was just referring to Sony sitting to observe the _initial_ response to the 3DS' launch and pricing.

If the 3DS gets a good reception at, say, $300 and they are able to move lots (on hype and fanboys), then they might be able to garner a similar response on their launch of the NGP. (and price it $50-100 more than whatever the 3DS launches at)

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Highlander
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:46:29 PM

Bonampack, Nintendo didn't do that with the Wii.

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Bonampak
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 3:07:52 PM

@TheHighlander

If you're talking about lowering the price... You're right. Nintendo didn't lower the price of the Wii. But only because the console had been in constant demand. With such a demand, Nintendo had little reason to sell it for less.

This will only apply to the 3DS if it catches on like the Wii did. If it takes off and sales like crazy.

And if that happens, sure, you can forget about Nintendo even looking back at their competition.

However, if the 3DS price tag scares the DS traditional consumer and the system under performs, then they will lower the price of the handheld. I don't think they can afford to do anything else at that point.

Last edited by Bonampak on 1/28/2011 3:13:38 PM

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eLLeJuss
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:27:43 PM
Reply

Maybe it'll be like those cellphone with contracts. 200 with a 2 year 3g contract? I think thats a pretty good deal to me.. Around 400 without contract though

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Hezzron
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:30:44 PM
Reply

The NGP looks great on paper tech wise, but then again, so did the PSP at launch.

Price is very important. My guess is anything over $300 is going to be tough for the masses to accept.

Also important is what comes after in the way of games. So far I've seen a 3 year old PS3 game and Lost Planet 2. It's nice that it can run those, but it's going to need exclusively unique games to differentiate itself.

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White_Mocha
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 4:47:10 PM

the NGP will have exclusive games not seen on the PS3. we should already know this.

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Alienange
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 5:29:27 PM

Yeah, but what are they? All hardware news makes for dull news to someone who wants to see what he'll be playing.

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Highlander
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 12:44:46 PM
Reply

I don't think it will cost more than $299.99 at purchase, but the kicker will be the 3G access. I have no idea how Sony intends to handle that. If they host it and subcontract out with telcos, it would probably be a monthly fee, with an optional long term contract. But if we have to go directly to a mobile operator, we will more than likely be looking at a two year contract on a data plan.

As for the actual cost of the unit. I can't find costs for the chips or test boards anywhere. the closest I could find is an older Texas Instruments board with a single core ARM and GPU, the dev board for that runs $149.99. I also found a price on a Tegra2 development system, they run to about $400. Of course these are using pre-production engineering samples that are in short supply and cost a bomb. So production prices are likely to be lower.

On the one hand the price needs to be tolerable, especially if the consumer also has to find a 3G operator them self. That's why I' betting on it being no more than $299.99. But if 3G access is rolled into the price, it could be more. On the other hand, the actual build cost of the unit depends more on the cost of the motherboard and CPU/GPU combination than anything else. Even at launch the PS3's CellBE which was extremely difficult to make was running below $200. Although mobile processors are large, and a quad core beast is no exception, they are in a very cost conscious market. I can't see the CPU/GPU combination in the NGP/PSP costing more than a CellBE did back in 2006. If Sony was willing to take anything up to a 33% loss on the sales of the first wave of units, I think the price will be at $299.99 or less. That would allow a build cost of about $400 and only mean a 25% loss margin on the units sold. Sony might be able to compensate with data rates, and certainly game royalties will figure in to it as well. As volume ramps and production matures, the costs should drop dramatically. So Sony should have to endure a loss making device for long.

Of course, that's all 24 karat pure speculation, and in 10 months we'll know the truth.

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godsman
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:27:55 PM

I can imagine the data plans will turn down a lot of sales. Imagine the call of duty fanboys won't make the jump to the handheld because the community isn't large enough.

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DemonNeno
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 5:21:34 PM

Agreed highlander! I'm very curious to see what packages all this 3g will surface. At&t overcharges the bloody hell out of their 3g plans as of right now. 25 bones a month for 2gb cap is insane. I'm constantly shooting for wifi hotspots to avoid their dull services.

I only make mention of at&t because of sony ericsson' s relationship with them..

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DjEezzy
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:15:06 PM
Reply

I think it'll come in at a smooth $299 just like the ps3. I mean really even if it's more, it won't matter. Most smart phones are $400 and up and don't play games the way this will. Sure it can make calls but that doesn't matter. The point is people are willing to spend the money. I do believe $400 is a pretty steep price though. I'll probably still get it regardless. LOL.

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Amazingskillz
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 1:43:06 PM
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If the price is $350 or under I'm going to buy it anyway to honest with you. I'm a little disappointed that it cant make a phone call but I guess I can't have everything. It would be so cool if I could access playstation Home on it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 3:25:02 PM
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Either way I can't afford it. As such I'll ask that Santa Claus brings it at some point.

I was about 5 years late to the PSP, I shouldn't do that this time.

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kraygen
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 5:27:50 PM

Hey, me too. I only got my psp a little over 1 year ago.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 5:41:44 PM

Late adopter is better than a non adopter I guess.

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A2K78
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 5:10:50 PM
Reply

$400 might be too much for a the average gamer, but at the same time its a "MUST" that Sony turn a profit on the NGP as they cannot afford to run a business on a deficit.

With that mind there is no way realistically that Sony will turn a profit or break even on a sub $400-500 price as we've seen this before with the PS3, a console they are still losing money on.

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Alienange
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 5:34:31 PM
Reply

Here's the difference. If you're crazy and spend $250 on a 3DS, well, at least you know there's a crap load of games to play on it and the money isn't completely wasted.

The PSP2 on the other hand sure sounds good, but which devs will stand up and actually put development money into making these games that the PSP2 can apparently run? Did any devs make a fortune putting out PSP games? I'd imagine they're more than a little nervous. Therefore, gamers will be intrigued by the PSP2, but will they shell out over $300 for a system that has a fraction of the games a $250 system has?

I sure hope Sony thought long and hard about what that price will be before announcing it.

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Looking Glass
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 8:27:32 PM

Actually, developers are quite supportive of the NGP. So far at least 82 third party developers are officially confirmed to be throwing their support behind the NGP. I think we can indeed expect great things from Sony's new product.

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Alienange
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 9:03:05 PM

Keep dreaming. Personally I'll believe it when I see the games.

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Looking Glass
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 10:29:33 PM

Oh I am certainly not dreaming. Capcom, Konami, Epic Games, Activision, and Tecmo Koei have all presented demoes for the NGP already. And in addition to that the list of 82 I refer to is very real. And I think that you will be believing in time. Unless of course you choose to adamantly refuse to believe out of spite regardless of what you may see.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 1/28/2011 10:36:06 PM

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A2K78
Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 6:00:33 PM
Reply

"Price is very important. My guess is anything over $300 is going to be tough for the masses to accept."

It is going to be a must that gamers accept a high price point because in the end Sony just cannot afford to release a product and continually sell it a loss as it would ruin them. Look at the PS3 which is still unprofitable and you'll know what I mean.

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___________
Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 12:42:07 AM
Reply

if its 400 AUD sony are sunk!
no freaking way in hell people are paying the same price as a 360 for this thing!
i hope sony fix their AU pricing issues too, last time i checked 300 USD is a long, long, looooooooooooooooooooong way away from 500 AUD!
if anything it should be cheaper here!
we use the same power outputs, allot of formats as JP where its made so why is the country that requires all the changes getting it cheaper!?
they require more so they pay less?
WTF?
whoever thought up that logic deserves the Nobel prize!!!!!!!!!!!!

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It's awesome! Can't wait for September!
It's only good, but I'm having fun.
Eh, it's okay, but I expected more.
It sucks, period.

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