Sony: PS4 price is a challenge to rise of smartphones

Jack Tretton dismisses the idea of console decline, discusses price advantage over Xbox One

Sony's Jack Tretton believes that the PlayStation 4's $399 price-point will help to eradicate the notion that consoles have been made irrelevant by smartphones and tablets.

Speaking to AllThingsD, Tretton described the idea that the console market would be severely harmed by the rise of new platforms as, "what people who aren't really into gaming think is happening."

"Turn to anyone, any of the gamers here in this crowd [at E3] and ask them if they're turning to smartphones and tablets over consoles," he said. "And then run."

For Tretton, this is partly down to staying competitive in terms of price, and Sony's $399 price-point is $100 cheaper than a current-generation iPad and, more significantly, the Xbox One. This is a reversal of the last generation, when the PlayStation 3 was significantly more expensive than the Xbox 360.

"You always like to be below your competition, as opposed to above it," Tretton said. "Frankly, we executed our strategy... and regardless of what Microsoft would have announced, our price was our price.

"Look, being at a price premium is a challenge, one that we certainly haven't enjoyed."

However, Tretton closed the interview with a reminder that launch prices have never been permanent. The conditions at the time of launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, in terms of both services and pricing, will inevitably change.

"As the install base grows and the manufacturing price comes down, the price comes down," he said. "And so, while I can't guarantee that's going to happen down the road, if it didn't that would be the first time that's happened. And at the same time, the machines progress. They actually get better than they are at day one."

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Latest comments (2)

Wesley Williams Quality Assurance 4 years ago
Tretton described the idea that the console market would be severely harmed by the rise of new platforms as, "what people who aren't really into gaming think is happening."

I'm into gaming, yet I regularly turn to my iPad for a gaming fix when I could be playing on the 360, Wii or PC that I own. Often that comes down to the addictive nature of some mobile games, but just as much of an issue is ease of use. This is an area Microsoft look to be addressing, but that Sony have been noticeably quiet on. Going from sat on the sofa to actually playing a console game needs to be quicker and easier. The current console barriers to playing may be low, but they're not mobile low and so they need to be lower.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development4 years ago
It's bullshit anyway.

It doesn't matter how much a smartphone costs because people are gonna get one no matter what, and most look upon them as "free" because they usually are to upgraders who've long got used to paying x a month for the connection already - it's not a new proposition.

The lack of convenient and good controllers on tablets and phones is defininitely a downside, but the boot time of a console, asking everyone else in the room if its ok, trying to schedule gaming time around the wife's big brother fix etc are all bigger ones imo.
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