Sony is aiming for a ceiling price of $60 for headline PS4 releases, but will also allow developers to charge as little as $0.99, according to SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton.
Speaking to CNBC, Tretton said: “People are willing to pay if they see the value there and I think there’s more choice than ever before for consumers. We’re going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $0.99 up to those $60 games.”
Tretton goes on say he believes that the “true gamer” still favours consoles and “big-form” experiences, stressing that games priced at the higher end of that scale will justify their price point with “hours and hours of gameplay on a daily basis for months and years to come”.
His comments came in response the question of whether there was still a market for full-priced games in the face of free-to-play and cheap mobile games. But Tretton sees mobile games as an “additive experience” that can build on console games, and act as an attractor that will encourage players to “migrate up the food chain” to more expensive releases”.
It’s a line we’ve heard before, of course, but one that lacks weight. There’s little empirical evidence to show this supposed migration in action (at least not on a mass scale), and is further dented by the fact that more and more big-budget developers – Valve, CCP and Crytek to name just three – turn to free-to-play over full-priced releases.
Still, the promise that PS4 titles will (for now) not rise in price over current generation games is encouraging and goes some way to assuage fears that next-gen games would arrive with $70 price tags. And Sony’s continued belief in, and support for, “true gamers” is to be commended. In many ways, of course, it’s simply hedging its bets, but the upshot is more choice for gamers – of any label – which can only be a good thing.