Sony America Boss Hopes PS4 Won’t Cost $600

tretton money

As Sony was unveiling the feature-rich, and still-as-yet un-photographed PlayStation 4 console last night, one question kept running through my mind: how much is this thing going to cost? The PlayStation 3 was pretty expensive at launch—infamously so, costing $500 at the most inexpensive level. As a result, it didn’t fare as well at retail in the United States as the competition.

So when they kept talking about touchpad-enabled controllers, teraflops, and gigsaram, I kept coming back to cost, wondering how much it would be, and smiling sadly to myself when the press conference came to a close with nary a price to be had. As it turns out, Sony America’s top dog, Jack Tretton, is wondering the same thing.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Tretton was asked, point blank, “will the new console cost $599 to start?”

His response of “I certainly hope not,” doesn’t fill me with hope.

Tretton continued:

“I think we’re very proud of what we delivered with the PlayStation 3 in terms of technology, and that we were able to enhance the features while still reducing the price to $249. But I think our goal with this is to debut at a more consumer-friendly price. But we haven’t made any final decisions about what the price will be at launch.”

Tretton was also asked about why Sony declined to reveal what the PlayStation 4 console actually looked like:

“I guess when I think about the console, you open it up, you look at it, you certainly look at it when you insert a disc, but for most people, it’s behind a cabinet or on a shelf somewhere and you spend all your time looking at the screen. And we wanted to show people the screen. There will be multiple opportunities to share the look of the console between now and the launch. We just didn’t choose this first event as the time to show it.

[…] we’re certainly capable of showing playable game content, but we don’t have a mass-production box that we can bring out and pull out. That’s still in development in terms of final specs and design.”

A fair point. After all, in the end, they’re all just little boxes that have wires that hook up to your TV. Still, the PS4 was conspicuous by its absence.

To backtrack to the original subject of this post though, I am a bit worried that Tretton himself, the head of Sony’s American game business, couldn’t give a slightly better answer than “I certainly hope not” regarding a potential $600 price tag. I do think it’s safe to say that it won’t cost that much…but the hardware sure did sound expensive.

Tretton’s inability to flatly deny the $600 tag, to me, is troubling. If they’re going for a “more consumer-friendly” price—and he knows that they’re going that way—shouldn’t it be in the company script to say, “yeah, it won’t be $600”?

At this point, we’ll have to wait and see. We didn’t get a price tag on the Wii U until about two months prior to its November 18 launch late last year. Don’t be surprised if we’re all still playing price-guessing games well into autumn 2013.

Via AllThingsD

  1. I think that 400 ~ 450 USD estimate the analysts gave will be somewhat accurate, for a bare bones edition, like the Xbox Arcade edition.

  2. If the GPU’s really going to be a 7970M, then 600USD would make sense.

    Which would make the 7970M a ridiculously stupid choice for a console.

  3. What i gathered from this was, sony announced a product that isnt finished yet. Kinda like a car company show casing a new car & only showing us the engine because the body isnt designed yet!? weird move if you ask me. But what would i know.

    • It makes sense, crazy, padded walls sense, but it does, moment they announced the PS4 is indeed coming out this year, regardless of showing, they potentially scared Microsoft into the wait and see game, also making sure less people buy an Xbox 360 this year hoping to save up for the launch day.

      You can say it also makes people less prone to buy a PS3, but since they announce the forth they no longer care for the third anyways, and people with plenty of money might even buy a Vita in anticipation for the announced integration features, for them is a win/win no matter what.

      • I can agree that there is some marketing sense in keeping the console hidden. But if you read the article. The sony dude goes on about how people don’t care about how the console look’s. I completely disagree with this and i think a lot of people do to. if this wasn’t the case then why do company’s like Sony release slim versions of the playstation and xbox the same and why do they release white versions and the many game theme consoles. If people didn’t care about how the console looks then there would be no market for these products and well all be happy with a plain box with a disc port and cable plug thing’s. Also whenever blizzcon is on. All the custom build pc’s that people have built get shown off. and all us nerds drool over them because they look pretty sweet. So i still mostly think its a weird move.

        And come on, We are all a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see this new console.

      • People don’t care about how it looks, If they make an spiral tower made of jagged pink glass, it will still sell regardless, Game Cube looked like a damn Easy Bake Owen, still sold millions. As for Lite versions, that’s not to appease people that don’t like the looks, it’s to use current technology to make cheaper consoles, if they happen to make a design that people like, that’s a plus, same as white and game versions, it’s not about the looks, it’s about the exclusivity.

        The people that do care for the looks of a PC or a console, are generally the ones that modify it themselves.

      • Well, so long as Sony doesn’t make it look like a dildo, I’m cool. Now, excuse me. I need to figure out how the PS Move works.

  4. My guess is that they are waiting for E3 to see what MS will roll out with. If MS suddenly beafs out the 720, Sony might tinker with the PS4 specs for the official holiday launch. Though, this is a bit of a stretch… It could be that they just have some legal issues to iron out, in terms of contracts on architecture, etc.

    Still, I’m hoping they can keep things under $400. Maybe… $399.99? Oh, hell! $399.95 and I’ll be drooling. Oh, that sexy nickel…

  5. It really matters what it looks like. I don’t want it to look like crap!!!! Hopefully but probably not it is going to be 275$. Hope the games are not 60$ hope they drop it to 50$ for new games.

  6. I just ranted yesterday on another article clarifying that Sony was only giving “an expected” release date.
    I’ve ranted many times in the face of Sonys hype how hard a time it will really have. And that WiiU will be a serious competitor.
    I said it all from the start, Sony is just hyping everything. They only gave the good news, now watch as the bad news trickles through. See every Playstation goer slump to grim spirits.
    The release date (at least in Euro territories) isnt so sure for 2013 anymore…
    Now articles are coming out suggesting the price may be in line with PS3, and even more when u think of the likely higher game prices and slew of new higher expense controllers.
    PS4 has not won next gen. PS4 will not deliver a 0 lag seamless cloud service where games run off the cloud on the fly by magic. The average bandwidth doesn’t support that dream idea.
    And come launch time, WiiU will be a half price system with more high profile games. And despite the lack of news, 720 wont stand down. M’soft will be in full force taking the PS4 head on in a titan clash. Not to mention Nintendo still mauls Sony in the handheld sector
    When is everyone (including journos) going to face the reality that Sonys systems are going to struggle come launch in the face of the current markets and its competition

    • We certainly haven’t declared any winners yet here at Inside Gaming.

      Yes the PS4 is enjoying a diplomatic lead at current, but that’s based only on rumors. As it is with rumors, people tend to glom on to the most negative ones they can find.

      Microsoft isn’t stupid and they’re very good at what they do. I expect they’ll change more than a few minds when the Durango is finally revealed.

  7. hi there my ps3 cost $600

  8. Oooohh poor america. 600 dollars :( in Australia were slugged with $899 for a ps4, all new games are $30-$50 dearer and our dollar is stronger. All because we have a smaller population

  9. hi there poor astrralians i thought $600 was high price on ps3 did not know that you pay $900

  10. Yeah except that their minimum wage is $15.96/hr so it’s proportionately priced

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