Insiders suggest Sony’s PlayStation 4 will be more competitively priced out of the gate than its PS3 predecessor, with the company reportedly aiming at knocking a quarter off the console’s original selling price. Leaked internal documents supposedly obtained by The Times (subscription required) indicate the PS4 will be sold at around £300 when it launches, £100 less than demanded for the PS3 at its launch back in 2006.
US pricing isn’t suggested by the newspaper, but a similarly trimmer cost is likely to follow. At its release, the PS3 was priced at $499 for the entry-level, 20GB model, which if the UK price whispers are true suggests a starting point more along the lines of $399.
That would leave the PS4 still more expensive than the Wii U, the only other next-gen console on the market today, though with what are tipped to be considerably more impressive specifications. The device – believed to be code named “Orbis” internally – is expected to be more powerful and more graphically capable than its Nintendo counterpart, with recent leaks suggesting Sony will include Gaikai-powered game streaming.
Arguably, the days when Sony could charge what it liked for a new PlayStation are behind it. Although the console was praised at launch, the Xbox 360 has comprehensively clung to the top sales spot for months on end, and Sony’s financial results in gaming have been left hurting as a result.
Meanwhile, more casual gaming systems, such as Kickstarter success OUYA, have opened the door to more affordable consoles, borrowing mainstream chips more commonly found in smartphones and tablets to keep prices low. Sony is expected to detail the PlayStation 4 more thoroughly at an event in New York on Wednesday.