by Anton Shilov
02/07/2013 | 07:50 PM
Sony PlayStation 4 may end-up being pretty expensive piece of hardware despite some optimistic expectations otherwise by some financial analysts. According to a recent publication in a Japanese news-paper, Sony PlayStation 4 will cost between $399 and $499 when it becomes available later this year. At present it is unknown how many versions of the PS4 are going to hit the market.
“Yesterday (on February 6), it became clear that Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) will reveal its new game system, PlayStation 4, which will release within the year. This is the first new model since PS3 was released in 2006, and it is expected that there will be a rush to meet year-end sales demands between Japan and America. The price is expected to exceed ¥40000,” reads an article in Japanese Asahi news-paper (partly translated by Gematsu web-site).
When PlayStation 3 was launched in Japan in November 2006, its entry-level model cost ¥50000 ($425 back then as the Japanese yen was relatively weak) on the domestic market, but retailed for $499 in the U.S. Nowadays the Japanese yen is extremely strong and ¥40000 is approximately $426. In case Sony follows the same price-setting strategy as it used for the PS3, then the PlayStation 4 “Orbis” will end-up at $499 in the U.S. and maybe €499 in Europe.
However, since the Japanese yen is extremely strong, Sony tends to sell its consoles at lower price-points in the U.S. than in Japan. For example, PlayStation Vita costs ¥24980/$266 (Wi-Fi only) or ¥29980/$320 (Wi-Fi+3G) in Japan, but is sold for $249 or $299 in the U.S. and €199 or €229 in Europe. In case Sony follows the recent price-setting strategy, then the PlayStation 4 “Orbis” will retail starting at $399 in the U.S. and €299 in Europe.
Sony has clearly stated that it was not going to make another console with $599/€599 price-tag (the launch price of premium PlayStation 3), so it is unlikely that the PlayStation 4 “Orbis” will be too expensive. However, given the fact that Sony’s manufacturing costs are in dollars and the company will not be very flexible early in the life-cycle of the home console in terms of slashing costs, the PS4 may still be a little more expensive than optimistic predictors believe. Nonetheless, given that the PlayStation 4 is supposed to heavily rely on PC architectures, it is likely that Sony will gain pricing flexibility pretty shortly after the launch.
Sony PlayStation 4, which is believed to be formally unveiled on February 20, 2013, is expected to be based on eight-core system-on-chip with eight AMD Jaguar x86 cores as well as custom AMD Radeon HD graphics processing unit. The new PlayStation will also feature a hard disk drive as well as Blu-ray disc optical disc drive. The new PlayStation is expected to be capable of running video games in stereo-3D mode in full-HD (1920*1080) resolution and upscale video content to 4K-class resolutions (3840*2160)
To maintain compatibility with previous-generation video games, Sony will use its Gaikai video game streaming service that will render those titles remotely and deliver the images using video streaming over the Internet.
Sony PS4 is also expected to feature a new controller that will replace the legendary Dual Shock. The design and features of the new controller will remain similar to the traditional PS controllers – expect face buttons, two thumbsticks, shoulder triggers, haptic feedback and motion sensing – but with one significant addition: a capacitive touchpad that can recognize two-point multi-touch. The controller is also projected to feature “share” button, which may have something to do with social capabilities of the new gaming platform. In theory, capacitive touchpad can be installed not only on the front side of the controller, but also on the backside, just like on the PlayStation Vita, which should theoretically allow PS4 owners to play at least some of the games for the portable console.
Sony did not comment on the news-story.