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Talking Point: Will the PS4 Get a Price Drop at E3 2014?

Posted by Sammy Barker

The million dollar question

No convention is complete without some speculation regarding hardware prices. It’s hard to believe that this time last year, the PlayStation 4’s recommended retail price was very much still up in the air, with many expecting Sony to plump up for a more costly figure than its nearest competitor. As it happens, the Japanese giant actually undercut Microsoft, announcing that its next-gen system would sell for $100 less than the Xbox One. Seeing its system slip behind in global sales, the Redmond-based firm has since adjusted the asking fee for its format, announcing a $399.99 model that ships without the Kinect camera included. But does the PlayStation maker need to adjust to this announcement?

There’s no doubt that a lot of the PS4’s early success has stemmed from its more attractive price point. While many contend that the company had intended to bundle the PlayStation Camera with its device, it’s actually found a lot of success by keeping it separate; the optional peripheral has gone on to sell out in parts of North America, while the system itself has already surpassed seven million units globally. That number is likely to have increased to eight million at the time of typing, with an updated figure almost certain to be shared at E3 next week. Alas, with next-gen price parity now achieved, many are pondering whether the platform holder may need to reduce the cost of its console in order to maintain its current trajectory.

With the cheaper Xbox One set to go on sale on 9th June, it would definitely be a huge coup for Sony if it were to announce a PS4 price reduction on the same day. However, while this scenario is certain to get forum fanboys frothing at the mouth, we’re not convinced that such a move would make good business sense. For starters, there are currently no signs that its next-gen system’s momentum is going to slow, and it will want to analyse its competitor’s numbers before making any sweeping changes. Moreover, price drops tend to provide much bigger boosts during the holiday shopping season, so we’re not convinced that the company would even consider making a change so early in the year.

Indeed, this is where being the current industry leader is advantageous. While it’s true that the generation won’t be won in its first year, the Japanese giant has the breathing room to bide its time. Much like Microsoft did with the Xbox 360, the PlayStation maker can simply wait to see what kind of impact the reduced Xbox One has on its business over the summer. If it sees the momentum of its machine start to slow significantly, then it’ll be able to respond ahead of the holiday season, and make the kind of changes required to give it the advantage heading into Christmas again. As a result, we’re not convinced that a price drop of any kind is likely, but we can see more cost effective bundles becoming an option.

Specifically, value added packages certainly seem possible, with bundle candidates including Knack, Resogun, or even the DLC heavy Killzone: Shadow Fall. Popping download codes for any of these titles in its console’s box wouldn’t cost the company much, but would give it an advantage over the similarly priced Xbox One. Given the existing momentum of the machine, this may convince fence sitters to stump up for the PS4 ahead of Microsoft’s alternative option. Other possibilities could comprise temporary subscriptions to PlayStation Plus, with Sony seemingly eager to lock players into its online ecosystem moving forwards. Three months would certainly be enough to get adopters invested in the Instant Game Collection, and accustomed to other subscription exclusive benefits.

Whatever happens, though, we think that it’s important to remember that Sony will adjust the price if it feels that such a move is necessary – but it absolutely won’t panic while it’s in the driving seat. Armchair analysts are all too eager to point to the Japanese giant’s dismal financials, but seeing as it’s already profiting from its next-gen system’s hardware, it has the option to make a change if the timing’s right. We reckon that it will see out the summer first, so you’re probably not going to hear anything at E3 next week. Either way, Microsoft’s pseudo-price cut means that the next-gen war is certain to remain fiercely competitive for the foreseeable future. And, in honesty, that can only be a good thing for consumers.


Do you think that the PS4 will get a price drop at E3? Is it too early for any changes, or do Sony need to react to Microsoft’s recent Xbox One adjustments? Share your battle strategy in the comments section below.

Will the PS4 get a price drop at E3 2014? (66 votes)

Yes, Sony needs to maintain the machine’s momentum

14%

Hmm, I’m not sure

12%

No, there’s no need to change anything at the minute

74%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (39)

ztpayne7

#1

ztpayne7 said:

I clicked there's no need to change, but I don't believe that's 100% true - my option just wasn't in the poll. I think it may be wise to bundle a game or 3-6 months of ps+ with the systems.

FullbringIchigo

#2

FullbringIchigo said:

it seems a bit soon to give it a price drop to be honest and unlike the xb1 the ps4 isn't failing so I don't think it needs it, yet

Demi_God

#4

Demi_God said:

Sony doesn't need to drop the price, they are still sailing at a strong and steady pace. I think if people are wanting a price drop, it's mainly because they just want it at a cheaper price. Right now, Sony is doing really good and for a business standpoint it would make no sense to drop the price. Microsoft on the other hand has completely dorked it with the Xbox One, it's not Sony's fault, therefor there is no need for a price drop.

N711

#5

N711 said:

I read somewhere there's a new PS4 model coming. Might an announcement s its a bit mysterious and could add some extra value

AeroZeppelin

#6

AeroZeppelin said:

@FullbringIchigo Exactly PS4 isn't even a full year old yet and PS4s momentum is still going strong there's no need to change anything right now this question should be asked next year more likely we're see a price drop for PS3 and PSVita this year

adf86

#7

adf86 said:

They will most certainly announce a PS4-Vita bundle but as Sammy points out, why lower the price of your product that's selling well as it is

MoleZandor

#9

MoleZandor said:

I have been quite happy with the momentum of the whole thing to be honest. Can't expect everything to be perfect straight away, can't magically have hundreds of first and third party games straight away, these things take time. Especially with new hardware. I have been happy with the trickling of new games to play. There are obviously things I would like to see, improvements and such. But working in game and software development, i know that not everything can be done at once and testing takes soooo long and is very difficult to pick up everything. Then the next day a dev could have an update and everything needs to be tested again to be sure that change didn't affect something completely random. keep at it as you are Sony, people just need more patience. Plenty of other things going on in the world to do.

zeldagaymer93

#10

zeldagaymer93 said:

I don't think they need to drop their price nor do I think that they will. However, I can definitely see them bundling in a game with the system.

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#11

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

Not needed. If cheap is what you want then just buy second hand. Argos were selling refurb ps4 consoles for £250 the other day.

get2sammybAdmin

#12

get2sammyb said:

@ztpayne7 I really must word these polls better! ;)

Having said that, I totally agree - I think bundles and stuff are much more likely at this stage in the game. Just throw in a copy of Knack and Killzone, call it the 'Player's Pack', and be done with it. Instant added value.

rjejr

#13

rjejr said:

Million $ question? It shouldn't even be a question, it makes no sense. The system is selling well meanwhile several of the top games have been pushed back to 2015 and yet it continues to sell. If anything Sony should announce a new AAA game for it and raise the price. ;-)

And besides, nobody drops prices anymore, just add in a game or the PS Eye or a bigger HDD, an actual price drop is at least a year out and only if it sells poorly this holiday.

And besides, dropping the price now will just annoy current PS4 owners when PS5 comes out. Why PO 7 million people?

Vita w/ no OLED and $199 is bad though.

SuperKMxAdmin

#14

SuperKMx said:

Absolutely not a chance of a price drop at E3. It would make no sense for Sony to cut the price at this point. There's far more likelihood of Sony announcing new game bundles, or even a bundle that includes a year's PS Plus or something.

Mrskinner

#15

Mrskinner said:

No price drop needed, why change an already winning formula. Once sales start to go south, then look at a change.

SecondServing

#16

SecondServing said:

I honestly don't know...if X1 gets insane momentum after E3 they might need to, but if it doesn't then don't need to change anything.

TasukiStaff

#17

Tasuki said:

I would be really surprised if they announced a price drop on the PS4. I think that a Vita/PS4 bundle is more likely to be announced before a pricedrop. Still even if there is a price drop I am still glad that I bought it on launch day.

MinecraftGreek

#18

MinecraftGreek said:

I imagine if they felt they needed a price drop, MS would match them $$ for $$ every step of the way. I think the unbundling of Kinect shows a commitment to that end.

charlesnarles

#19

charlesnarles said:

It's $40 cheaper to buy a ps4 with a camera than an xbone bundle. And if no camera, ps4 has better hardware. PS4 w/out camera > xbone with camera, anyhow

hardrockr79

#20

hardrockr79 said:

I don't think they need a price drop, PS4 is still better than X1. Time will tell if their numbers start falling to X1, and if so, address the issue then.

FATHASUN

#21

FATHASUN said:

There is no immediate need for a price cut. Bundles and incentives are the way to go. That said, IF Sony did lower the price of the PS4 I would see it as a take no prisoners, go for the jugular type of move. Imagine lowering to $379.99. Only a slight cut AND include a one month Plus Sub, a Month of Music Unlimited and maybe even a $10 PSStore voucher. The same that was included on launch units. Moves such as these would put Sony in what I call Dragon Mode. Breathing fire on the competition.

PS Announce Uncharted 4, God of War 4 The Last Guardian, Heavenly Sword 2 and a spanking New Crash all with Morpheus support and the internet would BURN!!!

General_Spiller

#23

General_Spiller said:

I'd imagine a PS3 price drop is probably odds on. Cant see PS4 price cut just yet I'm expecting a Knack/Killzone to PS Plus announcement too. Perhaps a GTA 5/PS4 bundle? That might turn a few heads

CanisWolfred

#24

CanisWolfred said:

They're bleeding a lot of money already, and the PS4 is selling well at its current price point. I don't think now's the time to race to the bottom, either. Maybe another Black Friday deal will happen, but I don't think there's much hope for anything more than that.

ReigningSemtex

#25

ReigningSemtex said:

Cutting the price is always good for us consumers but I think the ps4 is in a strong enough position to keep the current price tag and be successful

DoublezZ01

#26

DoublezZ01 said:

Not to be rude but this is the dumbest question of the month. .... no freakin way! Point blank! The machine is only approaching is first birthday! =/

JaxonH

#27

JaxonH said:

@rjejr They actually DID raise the price. In Canada anyways. Increased the system price from $400 to like, I think $450? Something like that. AND they increased the cost of games to $70. Needless to say, most people were NOT impressed lol...

Carl-G

#29

Carl-G said:

SONY just need to show some killer New PS4 Exclusives really at E3 & have a very soon date for PS Now(for the USA) & say a not to far date for PS Now for Europe to & that is all they have to do(no price cut needed yet) Oh & maybe roll out a MP3/DLNA/Folders blah blah blah(why is it taking so f-in long for?!?!) Firmware update next week to...oh DAM i said i wasn't going to ask for anything again & get annoyed about it again... :D

Zombie_Barioth

#31

Zombie_Barioth said:

Its not really needed, they'd be better of taking whatever money they'd lose and spend it fixing the Vita's problems. A bundle is good enough, especially if its completely digital. They could also use it to get people to try PS Now when its ready. Just give people a few free rentals or something.

iSolipsistJudas

#35

iSolipsistJudas said:

It is way too early for a price drop. The PS4 is still selling well(besides in Japan) so keep the price the way it is.

P.S. What happened to still putting life in the PS3? A price drop on the PS4 will surely take away the rest of the life cycle in the PS3.

hydeks

#36

hydeks said:

....really? is this even really a topic that should be discussed yet, the freakin system hasnt even been on the market for a year people lol

sinalefa

#37

sinalefa said:

I would not mind if they do, but I don't think they will.

Well, maybe in Japan, judging by their weekly sales reports.

Knux

#38

Knux said:

I highly doubt it, and don't really see a reason why Sony should do so. Now a PS4 and Vita bundle on the other hand...

PorkinsUK

#39

PorkinsUK said:

Whilst a price-drop to undercut MS, who have already been forced to start stripping away at their package would make me laugh heartily, I think the most hilarious business move would be to put the PS camera in the box - at no extra cost. Christ almighty, the internet would melt.

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