PS4's $1,840 price in Brazil bad for gamers, says Sony

Company blames import taxes for sticker shock, plans to begin manufacturing systems locally

The PlayStation 4 is expensive in Brazil. Ordinarily, that sort of subjective assessment might be left out of a news story, but it would appear to be fair game when the console will launch at R$3,999 (about $1,840 in US dollars) and the company releases an official statement explaining why it's so high, as Sony did late last night.

"We have read thousands of your comments and heard your frustration loud and clear about the PlayStation 4 retail price of R$3,999 in Brazil," Sony said in the statement. "We want to emphasize that it isn't in the interest of Sony Computer Entertainment America to sell PS4 units at this high retail price, as it's not good for our gamers and it's not good for the PlayStation brand. We have always maintained an open and honest dialogue with PlayStation Nation in Brazil, we want to be fully transparent as to what makes up this price, so gamers can be fully informed and make their own conclusion."

Sony goes on to explain that 63 percent of the price is accounted for by import taxes, with 15.5 percent going to retail and distributor margins, and only the remaining 21.5 percent made up by the console itself.

"Our primary focus right now is to ensure we are in full compliance with Brazilian import tax laws and look ahead [to] the opportunity to locally manufacturing [sic] the PS4, which will significantly reduce the retail price," the company said.

The company only began manufacturing PS3 systems in Brazil in May. Sony said the move "immediately made the PS3 more affordable" in Brazil, but some gamers still balked at the R$1,099 ($506) price tag for a system bundled with God of War: Ascension.

Until Sony can move its PS4 manufacturing into Brazil, it appears as if the console will be giving the competition a significant price advantage. The Xbox One currently has a suggested retail price of R$2,199 ($1,012) in Brazil.

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Latest comments (10)

André Gomes de Oliveira C++ Programmer, Funcate8 years ago
It is a sad reality that the taxes in my country are far beyond what anyone would deem reasonable.

Apparently, Sony didn't have much of a choice. Well, none other than delaying the launch of the console altogether until they could manufacture it here.

As for the Xbox One price, some evidence suggests it is manufactured here, so that would explain the huge difference.

I wish the government would apply reasonable taxes, the way it is I can import computers or even guns and pay a lot less taxes than I would on a console.
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Mario Tommadich Software QA Analyst, Indie Game Developer 8 years ago
From a certain angle it makes sense. Humanity cannot make China and India into the factories of the Earth and have absolutely everything manufactured over there in horrible working conditions of cheap labourers.
Each console manufactured in Brazil means jobs, money and more education for the population of Brazil. The only way for the brazilian government to enforce such a thing is by taking rediculously high import taxes.
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Tim Hull Co-Founder, Stuntpigs Ltd.8 years ago
Most people I know here would never consider purchasing an item like this via standard retail.

The importation taxes (impostos), are so high that you can literally take a flight to miami, enjoy the nightlife, buy your console and return for the same or less than national retail price !

It's amazing how anyone can actually run a legitimate business in Brazil with this pressure from the customs (aduana).

In 5 years I don't think I once saw a happy customer walk out of a Sony or Apple store from a shopping mall with a big bag under their arm. If I did I'd be thinking "more money than sense" :)

@mario Yeah I agree with what you say, but I've noticed that Brazil doesn't make it easy to setup business here either, though quite organised, there does seem to be a lot of complexity in the system.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Tim Hull on 23rd October 2013 5:25pm

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Ruben Monteiro Engineer 8 years ago
@Mario Tommadich
No, China and India shouldn't have to be the world's factories, but neither does Brazil. The problem is not the location of the factory, but the fact that we have humans doing repetitive boring work that should be done by robots. That shit gotta stop.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 8 years ago
Not that I agree with the taxes, but it's nice that some jobs are going to be created to produce local PS4's.
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Saehoon Lee Founder & CEO, Pixellore8 years ago
I smell black market and smuggling... anyone? But seriously... at least sony has some plan
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Shane Sweeney Academic 8 years ago
Well the PlayStation 2 launched in Brazil in 2009, but many people had them anyway.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
The funny thing is off an industry site full of people with brains, the internet has gone in some spots NUTS blaming Sony for this and a lot of that is from dopes in the US that don't understand all the financial nonsense that gets the console up to that outrageous price outside the US. We're kind of "entitled" in an oddball way, but whatever...
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago

Headline 1:
Sony's Console to cost $1200 in Brazil
Assuming the reader is no expert on Brazilian import taxes, the reader will make use of the knowledge he has. In this case, it is the firm belief that nobody but companies and retailers are to blame for prices. Reader will then assign blame, because he applies his reality (U.S and Europe) to the rest of the world.

Headline 2:
Brazilian Import Tax Causing PS4 to retail at $1200
Problem fixed. The attention is directed at the real culprit from the start avoiding misunderstandings based on ignorance.

Articles rather use headline type 1, to bait players into reading "the full story". Headline 1 has the advantage of setting up one corporation as the bad guy and a developing plot inside the story which turns the story on its head and suddenly Sony is not a greedy mogul, but poor victim of evil Brazilian taxes.

Headline 2 does not have that advantage, nobody needs to read the article behind that one. The headline covers all the basic questions and knowing the price of a PS4 ican be filed under pointless trivia.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
@Klaus and Andrew: You're both 100% right, but the manner in which some outlets "reported" this story was terrible and intentional to get hits and chatter on their forums. And of course, once the people who ONLY read the headlines and maybe the first few sentences of those articles had the "truth" the wanted, it was off to the races and once those folks get started, the conspiracies go flying around like mad...

That and yeah, a lot of people here in the US are dumb as rocks and think that taxes either shouldn't exist or don't grasp the purpose of them at all...
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