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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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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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