FFD: Are next-gen consoles going to cost too much?
Sony’s set to unveil its new PlayStation pretty soon, apparently – but is that sucker going to cost way more than people will be willing to pay? Think of it this way; Nintendo’s getting a ton of heat at the moment because the perception is that its Wii U costs too much.
Thing is, it doesn’t – not in the US anyway. The premium bundle currently costs $350 – and for the first time ever, Nintendo’s not actually making any money on the hardware. In fact, they’re using it as a loss leader, and actually lose around $21 for each unit sold. It’s specced higher (fair enough – not by much, but it definitely is more powerful) than the current crop of consoles from Sony and Microsoft, and retails for just $50 more than a PS3 does at the moment. Remember, the PS3 launched at $600 with the Xbox 360 launching at $399.
Microsoft and Sony have two options when it comes to their next systems. Spec them low enough to make them affordable and lose less money with each unit, or make them graphical and computational powerhouses. If the rumoured specs we’ve seen for each system is to be believed, then the next gen consoles are going to have to sell for at least $600 (which, with the current exchange means you’ll pay at least R6000) – and if they come at that price, they’ll be doing so at a substantial loss.
Sony, for one, isn’t really in a financial position to take that kind of loss, especially seeing as its a Japanese company that’s currently in the red – and the Yen to Dollar exchange weighs heavily against it. That puts Microsoft in a better position to absorb the loss, and sell their next system cheaper – but even then it’s still going to cost a lot – probably a lot more than you’re anticipating.
Are you willing to pay R6000 for a next-gen console – or would you rather, as many suspect might happen, pump that money in to a PC?