Pachter predicts $400 price tag for PS4

While "publishers will be reluctant to significantly increase their development budgets to maximise game frame rates"

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has predicted a $399 or $449 retail price for the PlayStation 4, and suggested the small jump in visual quality will mean only a small jump in development budgets.

"We remain confident that the new console will have a lower initial MSRP than the PS3, which had a lofty starting price of $599 that we believe negatively impacted its longterm popularity."

Price was just one of the details Sony skipped during its presentation, but a few UK sites have started accepting pre-orders at a speculative price of £400.

Pachter also noted that unlike the move from PS2 to PS3, which was a jump from standard definition to HD, the advance in visuals would not have a dramatic effect on development budgets.

"The smaller jump in graphics this cycle, coupled with a PC-based architecture, should result in a smaller incremental increase in game development spending by the publishers than in prior console cycles."

"Although the PS4 will likely be able to play games at higher frame rates than its predecessors, we believe publishers will be reluctant to significantly increase their development budgets to maximise game frame rates, as the improvement will be largely unnoticed by many gamers."

It's an opinion backed up by a man in the know, Hermen Hulst, MD at Guerilla Games. In a developer roundtable attended by GamesIndustry International he was ready to calm financial fears.

"It's not as scary as some people led you to believe."

Sony's presentation seemed to suggest it was working closely with developers to make sure the machine was an attractive proposition, with both indie representatives like Jonathan Blow and big studios like Blizzard putting in an appearance.

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Latest comments (3)

Adam Learmonth Studying BSc (Hons) Computer Game Applications Development, University of Abertay Dundee9 years ago
I hereby predict that the PS4 will cost either less than $400 or more than $450, and will see a large spike in development budgets.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 9 years ago
Not unrealistic. Im just hoping SONY can remain competitive in its price point.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 9 years ago
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see a decrease in development budgets for many multiplatform games.

Most multiplatform games that release on PC already are developing assets suitable for 1920x1080 displays, and these are typically pared back a bit for console releases to fit within their RAM and disk space limitations. So there's no extra cost there to using the high quality versions of these assets on the new generation of consoles, where, if anything, more RAM and disc space will be available than on many PCs (for the next couple of years, anyway).

Further, the change in architecture and increase in RAM, both to PC standards, drastically reduces the amount of code that needs to be written and tweaking and shoehorning that needs to be done in a couple of areas.

So from where, pray tell, are these extra costs going to come?
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