The words of analysts are, more often than not, to be taken with a pinch of salt; especially in a technology industry where most supposition is based on little more than educated guesswork. Gamers will be hoping Michael Pachter has gotten his numbers muddled up somewhere, after the game financial analyst, of Wedbush Securities, suggested that games for the PlayStation 4 and unannounced next-gen Xbox console could tip the scales at a hefty $70. Speaking to a panel in Austin, Texas, he also foresees Microsoft coming out on top in the battle of the next-gen consoles, as it has done with the Xbox 360.
With better consoles come better games, and with developers needing to spend more time meticulously preparing a game, it seems natural for the prices to rise. The PlayStation 3 games came in at $60 for the latest and greatest, which was a $10 bump on the PlayStation 2 titles, so when one considers the rise is the same, it does not sound profoundly unreasonable.
However, one thing worth considering now, is the accessibility of games in general. The mobile market has changed dramatically since the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and with the latest generation of iPad offering better graphics performance than the PS Vita, perhaps consumers will sway from the console in favor of enjoying titles on their smartphones and tablets. $70 over at the App and Google Play Stores can get you a helluva lot in terms of entertainment, and while there are still plenty of physics-based puzzlers, high-enders like Dead Space and Real Racing make mobile gaming a really attractive proposition.
As with the last time, there’ll be an initial uproar with regards to the new pricing (should the $10 bump indeed ring true), but once gamers get used to the idea, things should settle down once more again.
Sony executive noted just after the announcement of the PlayStation 4 in February that PS4 games would have a maximum price of $60, so it will be interesting to see whether that remains the case when the console is released later this year. With every title being available to download, there’s potential for major savings in terms of marketing and distribution, so while I can see why there may be a rise in the threshold, it’s also more than possible that Sony, and indeed Microsoft, can (and perhaps should) stick to the sub-$60 price point.
What’re your thoughts? Is $70 a reasonable price to pay for a new game, or just too much? Share your thoughts via the usual channels below.