Remember when the PlayStation 3 launched for $499 (20GB) and $599 (60GB)? Most pundits agree that those prices won’t fly in 2013. The Asahi Shimbun Digital reports that the PlayStation 4 (or whatever it’ll be called) will debut at 40,000 Yen, which converts to just under 428 USD. With that conversion in mind, it’s conceivable that Sony’s next console will launch in America for $399.
Charging big money for new consoles is old hat, but the consumer electronics market is going through some fascinating changes that could put a ceiling on launch prices. Hardware manufacturers are staying away from bleeding-edge silicon and emphasizing services. Smartphones, tablets, and streaming videogame systems (Ouya for $99!) have made $600 gaming systems an iffy proposition for many consumers.
With Nintendo leading this console generation with $299 and $349 systems, I expect Microsoft and Sony to sell for a little bit higher, but certainly not double. Of course the Wii U uses relatively old chips that are more inline with current consoles than the rumored silicon inside its competitors’ upcoming machines. Still, I would be surprised if a $600 console debuted this year. If it happens, it better wash and fold my laundry after I’m done playing games.
What do you think of the $400 PlayStation 4 rumor? Do you think that’s the right price for a new console in 2013? Or do you think we’ll see another $600 machine? How much would you be willing to pay for a new PlayStation or Xbox system?