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2013 is set to serve as the arena for the next-gen console battles, and although we’re still at relative rumor stage and thus can only make assumptions, a report from Japan suggests the PlayStation 4 will arrive with a price point of around $430, which coincides with one of the previous reports published back in January. Japanese site the AsahiShimbun seems convinced the console will cost around 40,000 Yen, which equates to about $428 at the current exchange, and although the cost is more an indication than a guarantee, suggests Sony will be pricing its next-gen console much reasonably than it did its current one.

The launch of the PlayStation 3 back in 2006 was a year following the Xbox 360, and it’s fair to say Sony priced itself out the market considerably with its 60,000 Yen initial cost. As a result, gamers poured to Microsoft’s offering, and a combination of the pricing and other factors has since seen the Xbox 360 overtake its rival to the summit of the console market.

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In a sense, this is the first real inkling we have as to how much the PlayStation 4 might cost. At $428 or thereabouts, consumer are more likely to make the purchase, and with Microsoft also purportedly bringing the Xbox 720 at some point this year, it’s vitally important for Sony to give current PlayStation users a reason to remain loyal when they decide to upgrade their hardware.

The cheapest PlayStation 3 variant now coats 24,980 Yen in Japan and $269 in the US, and although age (and the imminent arrival of its successor) are both contributing factors to its current low price, it’s fair to say a ~$400 cost at launch for a PlayStation 4 would be gratefully received.

Further to the Japanese report, other reports have also chimed into the PS4 debate by claiming the announcement of the next-gen PlayStation console. The reports suggest an announcement of the PlayStation 4 on February 20th, and although it’s certainly not the first report to suggest this month will see the showcasing of the console, it only serves to corroborate such a notion.

In addition to offering an ETA, it is also being said that Sony will team up with Gaikai to infuse cloud technology into its next-gen entertainment system. The gaming service, which Sony paid a cool $380 million for last year, could be a key component in the PlayStation 4′s introduction into the gaming world, and we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any updates on this story.

(via TheVerge)

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