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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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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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