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Sony: "350 is not considered huge any more"

Sony: "350 is not considered huge any more"

Fri 29 Nov 2013 9:16am GMT / 4:16am EST / 1:16am PST
BusinessRetail

Tech markets have changed perception of price and adoption, says Gara

Sony UK boss Fergal Gara has said that the price of hardware isn't the barrier to consumers that it once was, and that may be a factor in the high pre-orders and demand that has greeted the introduction of Sony's PlayStation 4.

Speaking to VG247, Gara noted that the rapid iteration of mobile technology such as Apple's iPhone or iPad is encouraging consumers to adopt new hardware at a quicker pace.

"You're touching on the Apple effect there... actually the biggest dynamic I might see from that tech sector is readiness to change technology more rapidly, and the appetite to jump into PS4 early seems to be there," he said.

"How much of that is the seven year wait, and how much of that is conditioning by other tech sectors in which a layout of 350 is not considered huge any more, I think there might be a bit of that going on."

The PlayStation 4 went on sale today in Europe priced 349 - considerably cheaper than the 429 asking price for Microsoft's Xbox One.

"We worked really hard to get to that price point and deliver the power that we have done in PS4. With PS4 we've delivered the magic balance between power and price," he added.

While Sony has promised that some retailers will have unallocated stock to offer customers before Christmas, orders from last week onwards are now unlikely to be in customer's hands until the new year.

And those early adopters who ordered the system months ago are still expected to be the loyal customer that has waited seven years since the PlayStation 3 was released, noted Gara.

"The people that come in over the next few days, weeks and months will be the hungriest, keenest early adopters. Also, there are those who may be ready for a new console more than others. Some people bought a PS3 last week, and I'm sure they're still enjoying that. Some people bought a PS3 six years ago, so they're really ready to move on."

20 Comments

Sam Brown
Programmer

237 163 0.7
Popular Comment
The cynic in me is thinking "Spoken like a man who doesn't have to worry about keeping the heating on."

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

82 28 0.3
No, it's considered unaffordable instead these days.

Posted:4 months ago

#2

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

178 880 4.9
Popular Comment
I agree with the Sony guy. Some mobile phones cost almost twice as much as PS4. The price of both new consoles is OK. The only difference is that Apple has a better marketing. You won't see people selling their livers on Ebay to afford a PS4.

Posted:4 months ago

#3

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 223 0.4
Popular Comment
350 is not much. If you are paid 150K per year.

Posted:4 months ago

#4
But for what its worth its cheaper than a ipad/smartphone...

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Stu Johnson
Technical Lead

9 26 2.9
It was considered huge back in the 80's when a BBC'B' was 399, C64 349, even a Speccy was (i think) 229 (Prices did drop over the years but we are talking about launch here), Hell, an Atari 400 was $799 on launch in the late 70's, all this back in the time when you could get a new family car and change out of 3K or house in the West Country for 10k.
Money was tighter then than it is now (it certianly was for me and my family)

The point is the 399 price tag has changed little over 30+ years, but relative income certainly has, the massive performance improvements are a natural evolution in all technology.

Caveat: prices quoted are based on my own aged memory, please don't shout if I have made an error, the principle still holds..

Posted:4 months ago

#6

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
I agree with the Sony guy. Some mobile phones cost almost twice as much as PS4. The price of both new consoles is OK. The only difference is that Apple has a better marketing. You won't see people selling their livers on Ebay to afford a PS4.
Sure, they do cost more. But most people I know would never buy them sim free, on contract however its another story for myself and many of my friends and family.

I do think its a lot of money. Not an unforgivable amount and not an amount that fails to fit the features, but I find it hard to buy the idea that in 2013, after a number of financial crises, falling spending power, rising costs and a continuation of rather typical launch pricing - that suddenly its not much money any more.

I don't think its a lot different but another trend we're seeing is the number of people buying launch consoles grow considerably each time, regardless.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 29th November 2013 2:52pm

Posted:4 months ago

#7

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

423 362 0.9
The only difference is that Apple has a better marketing. You won't see people selling their livers on Ebay to afford a PS4.
Many of those are on contracts so a lump payment is not required.

On top of that phones are also an important status symbol whereas a PS4 is not. Everyone is expected to have a phone too, so not having a phone strikes up so many ideas in people's minds, unlike not having the latest console.

So no, I don't think people's responses to phones will tell you anything about what they will spend on consoles. Mobile phones make every day life easier, consoles don't.

That being said 350 isn't that much more than the previous launch prices, but I'm just a little concerned about their rationale. Also add to that the fact that these are less impressive console iterations.

I guess we'll just have to see whether the majority wait for a price drop.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 29th November 2013 3:10pm

Posted:4 months ago

#8

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

178 880 4.9
@Keldon: I fully agree with you. What I wanted to say is that the price is relative. A more expensive device is more accepted because of marketing.
Selling subsidized consoles with a contract is not a bad idea. Microsoft was already trying something like that. It does not make much sense right now, because both Microsoft and Sony will be able to sell anything they are able to manufacture for at least a few months, but after the early adopters all got their console, selling consoles for 100$ + 10$ contract for two years isn't the worst of ideas.

Posted:4 months ago

#9
Now try that speech again in Brazil. I'm really sad PS4K is certainly going to sell more than zero units here

Posted:4 months ago

#10

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,200 318 0.3
At least one UK phone store has a combined Z1 PS4 Sony bundle, I'm sure that will see some takers.

Posted:4 months ago

#11

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

969 1,162 1.2
Popular Comment
Yeah personally I see a PS4 a much better use of my money than an iPad or similar tablet. Not only is it cheaper, it's guaranteed to be current for much longer. Consider that a first gen iPad is not even FOUR years old. How insane is that? That thing can't run anything anymore. Very few games developed these days will play on anything lower than an iPad 2 (some won't play on anything lower than an iPad 4). Next year the 2 will be obsolete as well.

It will also in the more visceral sense last longer. How many iPad Airs will still be running and charging in 5 or 6 years? No cracked screen, no problems at all? A lot fewer than there will be PS4s I reckon.

Posted:4 months ago

#12

Aristotel Digenis
Lead Audio Programmer

10 18 1.8
People are taking the quote out of context. 350 is not a huge amount for a *console*... at launch, especially with inflation. Before people start comparing it to heating/food, remember this is an optional/luxury item, not a necessity.

Posted:4 months ago

#13

Curt Sampson
Sofware Developer

564 278 0.5
Nicholas makes a really good point that had never occurred to me: even five years from now, you'll still be getting cutting-edge games on that console without any further hardware investment.

Sure, Uncharted 3 didn't look as good as the best that could be done on a standard gaming PC on the day it came out, but it had still made use of a lot of technology (software, technology, not hardware) that didn't exist when the PS3 came out, and looked very good for its day as a result, even when compared to a good gaming PC.

If you try to play the new Tomb Raider on a circa-2006 PC, I'd be surprised if it works at all.

Posted:4 months ago

#14

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
@Curt" *dingdingdingdingdimg!!!* BOOM! You just won the internet. PC gaming is superb and all (and YES, better than console on many fronts), but the costs per high end user (who can afford it and don't seem to care what they spend as long as they get the best results their eyeballs can see) put it out of range of the casual to core gamer who (guess what?) doesn't want to treat a primarily GAMING system like an automobile they've lovingly constructed into a dream machine that needs a new engine every few dozen miles.

Posted:4 months ago

#15

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

717 500 0.7
Tell that to your unemployed potential costumers in Greece or Spain... Didn't this man noticed that we recently had a quite bad debt crisis here?

I think those words are just too subjective for being used in a professional context.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 2nd December 2013 10:14am

Posted:4 months ago

#16

Aristotel Digenis
Lead Audio Programmer

10 18 1.8
Again you are taking it out of context... if one is unemployed, should they really be aiming to buy a brand new games console rather than worrying about the basic bills of the household?

Posted:4 months ago

#17

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

717 500 0.7
@Aristotel:

I can pay my bills and, objectively, that money is a big investment regardless of the context. So no; this man said "350 is not considered huge any more", not "compared to other luxury or previous console releases"

I think the one who failed in the context it's him.

Posted:4 months ago

#18

Aristotel Digenis
Lead Audio Programmer

10 18 1.8
"context
noun
1. the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood."

His circumstances/event/ideas are games specific.. not food, not bills. As if every sentence that comes out of your mouth, is followed by endless disclaimers about what your statement does and doesn't apply to.

Posted:4 months ago

#19

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

717 500 0.7
@Aristotel

Im sure you are a funny person and that your sarcasm works great in forums. But here its not making you any favors. Just so you know, we are all industry workers here.

For that you have Kotaku and gamespot, so try and be professional, please.

Posted:4 months ago

#20

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