Stop us if you've heard this one before. Yes, we're back with another familiar article involving PlayStation 4 price points, console sales, and the exact kind of story that's seemingly become our lifeblood over the past few months. Before you dive into the comments to tell us to fix our broken record, though, hear us out: we're at an interesting point in the current generation's lifespan, and Microsoft's inconsistencies with its own box have given us plenty of article ammunition over the past few months.
We are, of course, referring to the Redmond manufacturer's decision to drop the Xbox One's price again today. As a Kotaku author comically pointed out on Twitter immediately after the news broke: the only thing that goes down more often is the PlayStation Network. Seriously, though, this is an interesting development, as while the Xbox maker stresses that this is another "special promotion", we have to assume that this is now a permanent adjustment. It follows two NPD wins for the firm, after it cut its console price for Christmas.
Those of you that haven't been keeping tabs on the guys in green may not be aware that it actually put the price of its box back up to $399.99 earlier this month, but it will now be going back down to $349.99 from 16th January. This was probably the plan all along, but one can't help but ponder whether the organisation eyed its competitor's recent 18.5 million unit milestone with jealousy, and decided to just bite the bullet. Either way, this puts the Japanese giant in a precarious position – especially in the all-important North American market.
Short of a miracle, we can assume that the PS4 more or less has Europe on lock at this point. The device is performing beyond expectations in regions like France and Germany, and has even managed to fight off Microsoft's advances in the UK over the holidays. This leaves the USA as the one true remaining battleground, and given the importance of the region for both mindshare and commercial purposes, it's one that Sony won't want to lose. It was on top for the majority of 2014, of course, but this move changes things.
The company's clearly already aware of this, as it's just introduced a bundle featuring The Last of Us Remastered for $399.99 in order to try and spur things on a little more in the post-Christmas period. However, the past few months have shown that, while the PlayStation maker's latest box is more than capable of holding its own on an even footing, it can't overcome its competitor's console at a lower price point. The solution, then, would be to fold, and play Microsoft at its own game. However, we want to know whether you think that the timing's right.
On paper, the next few months look good for the PS4. There are titles like The Order: 1886, MLB 15: The Show, and Bloodborne on the immediate horizon from a first-party perspective, while third-party releases like Battlefield: Hardline and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD are all due out before the end of March. Should the manufacturer choose to adjust in late February, for example, it's not like it would have a lack of software to make the move really matter. Furthermore, we assume that $50 wouldn't break the bank for the platform holder.
Of course, the consistent con is that the company doesn't really need to do a thing: the PS4's selling extremely well globally, and its parent needs the profit. We'd argue, however, that with a mid-term business plan that demands a massive install base of people to sell add-ons to, it should react. With network effects and even momentum meaning a lot in this modern age of social media, Sony simply can't be seen to be doing nothing while its main competitor makes a comeback – even if it is only in one region.
What do you think, though? Do you think that it's still too early for the Japanese giant to be cutting prices, or do you think that its hands have been well and truly forced? Would a matching $349.99 price drop even be enough at this point, and should Sony give up on chasing North America and continue courting Europe, where it's seeing the majority of its success? Talk it out in the comments section below – and don't forget to tell us to change the record.
Should Sony consider a $349.99 PS4 price promotion in USA? (69 votes)
- Yes, the company can’t sit still this time46%
- Hmm, I don’t really know10%
- No, its sales are still extremely strong43%
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