Now that the PlayStation 4 has officially been announced and we have some idea of what the specs are like, as well as how good the graphics can be for the console, but what we don't know is how expensive the console will be and exactly what sort of price point Sony has in mind. One analyst believes that hitting that magic $300 sweet spot would be perfect for Sony.
Gamespot spotted the quote from GameIndustry.biz, where analyst Billy Pidgeon from Inside Network makes some interesting points...
I'd like to see maybe two models, one under $300 and one under $400 would be ideal. $299 is the magic price point," .... "I think this current generation took way too long to get there. It has to be under $400 and honestly if they could subsidize it further and take more of a hit, it might be worth their while in the long run."
That's a good point. $400 right now will get you a decent PC these days that will play the latest and greatest with no problem. Beating that $400 mark would position Sony to sell the PS4 over PCs, which has really stepped it up as real competition for the home console market, especially with Valve moving to encroach on the space with Big Picture Mode and the Steam Box. Even Baird Equity Research's Colin Sebastian believes that pushing anything beyond $400 would be a hard sell.
Nevertheless, getting core and casuals to look at the PS4 will require a lot of price wrangling from Sony.
Pidgeon had a few more points to make, though, saying...
Uptake during the first year is going to be slower than people expect," ... "And to keep a viable business in terms of profit margins, they're going to have to do their best to keep their current-gen platforms viable as they're perhaps moving into next-gen more slowly than they did last time. Historically, we've seen generational transitions where the previous generation just dropped off a cliff when the new console came out, but that would really hurt either Sony or Microsoft if that happened."
To be honest, if the console arrives at more than $400 this holiday season then I can see only core gamers picking up a PlayStation 4. If the console launches for anything less than $400, then it opens up for a wide range of demographics.
The real question is this: What could Sony remove, replace or take out to drop the price of the PS4? A lot of the features seem either integrated into the system or part of the control scheme. The only thing I could see them taking out or altering is maybe a smaller hard drive and a lack of a sensor bar and they might be able to get it out at $349.99. But that's really, really pushing it.
Nevertheless, I'm sure Sony will be more than happy to talk price and availability at this year's E3.