Sony PlayStation 4′s True Cost of Ownership May Surprise Buyers

Later this year Sony will release its PlayStation 4 console for $399, but gamers will have to pay a bit more than that to get the most out of their console.

After the initial investment in the console gamers will have to buy games for their new PlayStation 4, controllers, and pay for services that were previously free on the PlayStation 3. Over time those expenses can add up to cost more than the console itself, though that shouldn’t surprise many gamers.

It’s hard to say exactly how long the PlayStation 4 will stay around as Sony’s video game console, so it’s difficult to say how much the console will cost throughout its life. For the purpose of determining the overall cost of the console we’ll see how much the PS4 could cost users over the first two years.

Read: Where To Pre-order the PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4

Games

On top of the $399 PlayStation 4 gamers will have to build their library of games from scratch as the console has no backwards compatibility. There are some free-to-play games announced for the console, such as DC Universe Online and Planetside 2, but many gamers will also want to buy a few games.

Like PS3 games, games for the PS4 will cost gamers $60 apiece. One $60 game may last long time, but it’s hard to say exactly how many. Using a 2008 Gamasutra study as a reference point, many gamers will buy about seven games over the course of two years.

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Seven disc-based games at $60 apiece will cost gamers a total of $420 over the course of two years. That’s just slightly more than the console itself.

PlayStation Plus

Many of the games announced for the PlayStation 4, like Destiny and Watch Dogs, will blend single and multiplayer modes. On the PlayStation 4 gamers will have to pay for a PlayStation Plus subscription in order to play their games online.

The good news is that a PlayStation Plus subscription also gives gamers free games every month, including a special version of Drive Club at the system’s launch.

Sony offers two payment plans for PlayStation Plus: gamers can either pay every three months or once a year. The cheapest option is to pay $50 once a year, which brings the total cost of the subscription up to $100 for two years.

Controllers

Playing online is great, but sometimes its more fun to play a game with a friend sitting next to you on the couch. To do so, gamers will need at least one extra DualShock 4 controller for their PlayStation 4. With it they’ll be able to play multiplayer games like Diablo 3 on their console.

PlayStation_4_DualShock_4_top_view

Each additional controller for the PlayStation 4 will cost $60; the same price as a game.

Without any option accessories, the true cost of the PlayStation 4 comes out to $980, which is about $120 less than the cost of the Xbox One over two years.

There are several accessories that gamers may want to make their PlayStation 4 experience even better, however, which will increase the price.

Optional Accessories

The most obvious optional accessory for the PlayStation 4 is the PlayStation Vita, the handheld that Sony calls the “perfect companion” to the PS4. The PlayStation Vita will enable remote play on the PS4, which means gamers can stream PS4 games to their Vita as long as they’re on the same Wi-Fi network.

The PlayStation Vita also has its own library of games available, many of which support cross-buy or cross-play on the current PS3, which lets gamers buy a game once and play it on both consoles. It’s not clear if that feature will extend to the PlayStation 4

A PlayStation Vita currently sells for $250, which is somewhat expensive, but arguably worth the price for the hardware and its interesting features.

The new PlayStation Eye comes with the PS4.

Like the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 will have motion controls through a camera, though Sony’s solution is optional. Gamers who want to use the PlayStation Move on the PS4 will have to pay an extra $60 for the PlayStation Eye for the console.

Some may also want to invest in a new router for the PlayStation 4. The console doesn’t need an Internet connection, but does benefit from having one. Some may want a new router that will extend to a bedroom so their kids can use the console online, or they may just want to upgrade to an 802.11ac Wi-Fi network which the PS4 supports. A high-quality router can cost about $100, with routers that support the new, faster 802.11ac spec costing much more (Apple’s new Airport Extreme, for example, costs $299).

Finally, gamers may want to invest in a headset for the new PlayStation 4 for better sound and a more personal game experience. The console will come with a chat headset packed in, but that doesn’t provide virtual or actual surround sound like some headsets can. Headsets made for the PlayStation 3 may work with the PS4, but there’s no guarantee. A good gaming headset will cost gamers another $100.

In total, with all of the optional accessories the PlayStation 4 will cost at least $1,490 over the course of two years.

Comments

  1. Praxiscat says

    Talk about a poorly researched article. You do realize playstation plus every month gives out a different set of free games. The entire calculation you are putting forth is a bit bunk.
    Additionally not everybody pays $60 per game, many games are purchased at a much lower price. Some people do in fact buy during the initial release window but six months later it is usually $20 or more lower. So a person may buy 7 games during a console life cycle, but it may amount to maybe $200 in purchases, additionally that playstation plus subscription will net them another 10-30 games during the first year alone. Somebody can just wait around while the subscription games roll in.
    To say the playstation plus games are bad as well would be a misnomer, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, Demons Souls, Saints Row III…These are some of the best titles in the library which are regularly passed on to subscribers.

    The vita, and the eye are OPTIONAL accessories, many people will opt out.

    • DarthDiggler says

      He totally forgot about the optional Street Fighter stick for $150. He forgot about the optional steering wheel with force feedback that runs about $250. He forgot the optional Ultra Force Feedback seat for gamers for $250. What true PlayStation fan can be without a Developer Unit for $2,500. He forgot about the optional diamond encrusted headset for $150,000.

    • wetnapr says

      No, you can’t say that just because they bundle some “free” games into the subscription cost that its a good deal. Its like if your isp suddenly raised their price 20 dollars and “gave” you 2 free cheapie games you never asked for or wanted, its not a deal, its something most won’t play or care about, its a forced buy of a game you wouldn’t have bought otherwise. That is not a good deal.

      • John Doe says

        You are the bane of Xbox fanboyism. Never, never, have I seen the words “cheapie” and “something most won’t play or care about” used for the excessive amount of AAA titles you get with playstation plus, not even from xbox fanboys. Your obvious desire to hate everything that is playstation negates any valid points (though I doubt your brain is capable of such a feat) you would ever have. Your wasteful and useless opinions only take up space on the internet, valuable space that could have been used by someone else that would have more to contribute. You have brought shame and disgrace to every xbox loving fanboy out there and they would do well to distance themselves from you like the plague you are.

        • DBG says

          I have to strongly disagree with you on one key point… the few bytes wasted by that post would have been wasted 2,000x over by some annoying person posting a “selfie” on Instragram that no one wanted to see =p. I actually like when an awesome game is released that I already have too (well assuming I didn’t just buy it; but that hasn’t happened yet). Case in point, Just Cause 2 was part of the IGC for a time, a game that I had pre-ordered. Since the digital versions are the same as/compatible with the disc versions, I was able to get some trade-in credit for the game but still had the DLC to play with that I received from pre-ordering it as well as the points on the Square Enix website for registering it (kind of like Nintendo Points, only with more side-boob).

          • Hates_This_Writer says

            So… let me get this straight… for $150 more than an XBOX… I can get ALL PS4 accessories, and a $250 valued VITA… Send this writer back to the traffic news.

  2. sumrandomguy says

    I woukdnt say hes a xbox fanboy, because he says its still 120 dollars less than xbox over 2 years. mathematically its stupid. because as previous comments have said, people buy preowned games, not everyone will buy an afditional controller and ps+ is worth 20x its value over a year.

  3. Edward says

    If I buy a PS4, I dont need a XDud fanboy to add up the cost of 2 extra games and a controller…. Go clean yourself with a Douche

  4. Josh Archaic says

    This article was completely pointless.

    Everyone knows that games cost money. They always have. And since 2006, they have cost $60 brand new. The only things have have changed between PS3 and PS4 are the controller costs and PS+ requirement for being online. Controllers cost 5 dollars more a piece and PS+ is 5 dollars per month.

    Let’s do the math here: You say the total cost of ownership for a PS4 is 980. That’s the system, 3 controllers, 2 years of PS plus, PS Eye, and 4 games. And if you don’t play online and don’t have many friends, you can cut that 980 down to 700 by not getting PS+ and only buying one extra controller.

    Let’s do your math with the PS3 launch (minus PS+ because it didn’t exist): Console (499), 3 controllers (152), PS Eye (40) and 4 games (240) = 931.

    Face it, it costs a good bit of money to buy a new console and games to play on it.

      • DBG says

        Yep, I have a Day 1 pre-order placed at Amazon and just re-upped my PS+ subscription last month for another year. There are just a lot of things wrong with this article and I don’t even know how I came across this website but lets just say the brightest editorial minds aren’t at work here. Also I like that Sony is making use of the existing Move unit for the PS4. Even without a camera of any kind, I’ve seen demos that offer some pretty fun and accurate movement (most recently, Octodad).

        Even though I probably have a dozen or so games that support it, I bought the two-part Move set (already had the camera) just for the PS3 version of No More Heroes (perhaps because it started on the Wii, the difference between using a controller and Move is amazingly different and much more fun+fluid with the 2nd option).

        Only kids (who wouldn’t care) and their uninformed parents (who end up footing the bill) would be surprised by the true cost of ownership and I don’t think any of them are reading your article.

  5. Anonymous says

    Lol this is hilarious. “buying things costs money”
    Why don’t you swap ‘PS4′ with ‘PS3′, ‘Xbox 360′, ‘Xbox One’, ‘PS2′ e.t.c? You’d end up with a load of other ‘stories’ too!

    • MWisBest says

      How is that? Smart people will pay little (buying things on sale on Steam) to nothing (pirating) for games on PC, plus not to mention the huge assortment of free to play games. If people make a smart and educated decision on what they get for a computer they won’t have any issues. I recently bought a laptop for $600, as I needed an extra one for taking to school (wasn’t going to risk the $700 one with 2 GPUs at school). Let’s say I paid $450 instead for a laptop, as that would be a bare minimum for doing stuff like reports. That $150 extra I spent lets me play any game I want with better graphics than you see on your PS3/Xbox360. So instead of $450 + the price of a PS4, I paid $600 and don’t have to worry about getting a PS4. That’s already saving me hundreds of dollars right there.

  6. Neal says

    Airport extreme actually runs $199, the older model is $179. Unless you meant to write about a time capsule then yes, a 2TB time capsule is $299. However that will not automatically back up a PS4, so I doubt many users will want to buy a time capsule.

  7. Silly_boy says

    Very dumb article. For me personally as an older gamer (31), and like many older gamers, we do not play games online. Us older gamers come from a time of campaign only games, so that’s what we’re used to and like. The 80′s, 90′s and early 2000′s there was no online gaming, so we don’t tend to play it today. It’s one of the many reasons campaigns in games still exists. I have over 50 Xbox 360 games and never once played any of them online. I will be buying the Playstation 4 console and a couple of games to start me off. Then i usually buy games around my birthday and Christmas time when i get time to game. Many games are given to me as gifts, so those are free, then i don’t tend to pay full price for a game unless it’s a must have title like a GTA game. I wait until the game is about half price before i purchase.

    Also Playstation plus is still much better value than Xbox Live as you only need Playstation Plus to play games online, you don’t need it to access any other features like Netflix etc. You also get rewarded with free games to choose from every single month just for buying Playstation Plus. With Xbox live you not only need it to play games online, you also need it to access ANY features. This means you have to pay TWICE just to use things like Netflix on Xbox Live. You get the game Drive Club free for buying Playstation Plus at launch.

    • budgell29 says

      I know you didnt come right out and say all older gamers play is campaign but you did make it seem like a majority of them only like campaign when in reality the majority of game purchasers are in their late 20′s to early 30′s and the top ten games are mostly games with online modes including cod at #1 and the last four cod titles in the top ten. Most cod players play online. Once the campaign is done whats left? Not much. Love the reply though as I am also a 30 year old gamer.

      • Threat says

        I am in my 30′s also. I agree that campaign is around mainly due to the older gamers because we still like to play campaign. I only say this because I know a lot of younger gamers mostly teenagers & they almost always never play the campaign & solely buy games to play online. I don’t agree that most older gamers don’t play online. I might know 2 older people that don’t play online, compared with 50 or more that do. The older gamers do play the campaign as well usually though. I love playing campaign either as single player or online with a friend; I also love playing multiplayer my favorites are #1 Battlefield 3 & #2 Killzone 3. I didn’t skip the campaign though, Killzone 3 is awesome when you play campaign with the gun supplied with move system.

    • Yuusuru says

      This doesn’t particularly relate to the article but but the comment about “older gamers” tending not to play online is such a load of rubbish.

      • DBG says

        Agreed, also “older gamer” is a mindset. If you don’t want to deal with annoying kids and hacks across popular COD and Battlefield titles, then go stand in the line of tweens that don’t want to deal with that junk either. What you are saying is that you prefer your gaming to be less social and that’s fine, but some (most?) of the best MMO squad/clan leaders out there in various titles are 30+ so careful with the broad generalizations based on personal preference. Also online play, in most cases, involves at least some time investment. Unless you are an avid gamer and make time for this, are unemployed and not looking for work, or have free time because you are a youth, then yeah, we get down to some of the real reasons why some gamers are offline-only players.

  8. spud says

    you forgot to add a cost for a 4K television and sound system that every PS4 owner would likely need to purchase.. based on your logic. so add another $8,000 to the cost. but then how about a couch to sit on while you play.. chocolates…

  9. Charlie says

    Don’t forget rent or house payment. Oh wait that guy probably lives in his moms basement.

  10. Lukos says

    That’s a stupid thing to say, you know that? I’m pretty sure everything that Shawn is complaining about ALSO applies to the Xbox One. Is he trying to imply that multiplayer on the Xbone will NOT require an additional controller? Is he trying to imply that games on the Xbone will NOT also cost $60? Plus he conveniently neglects to mention that XBL customers get no free games of worth as XBL subscribers. Hmm, what else are you getting for free from PS+ that you don’t get for free on XBL? Cloud game saves, auto updates, frequent discounts, etc? Add to the Xbone the continued cost of AA batteries and/or a battery pack, plus a headset, plus the 40 dollars extra that the camera costs, what’s the true cost of ownership now?

    And really? He’s including an optional, standalone console like the Vita in the cost to own the PS4? Sure, it has some connectivity features, but that’s like telling people they’ll have to buy a 3DS to enjoy their Wii U consoles.

    This is the worst article I have read yet about the next-gen consoles. Terrible. Poor research, clear and undeniable bias, and an extremely poor argument against the console. Shawn, do you really think your readers are dumb?

  11. [email protected] says

    xbox lover . ps4 rules

  12. Edmundo Romero says

    The stupid who wrote this article shows the ignorance of the humankind. The PSPlus services will allow us to download games for free (with values over $60), just as PS3 did, not to mention those people who already own a subscription for their PS3/Vita today, will remain their subscribtion on PS4, so there won’t be any need to buy another subscription for their new console. I own a PS3 and never wanted another controller, since most PS exclusives aren’t multiplayer, and those who are, do not allow split screens.

    Honestly, these kind of websites pick any stupid dumb ignorant and make it an editor.

  13. John Doe says

    Shawn, I’m going to give you a piece of advise here. There is a saying that goes “There’s no such thing as bad publicity’, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it. I’m here to tell you that saying does not apply to journalism. I have no idea why you wrote this article, maybe you were bored, maybe you ran out of ideas for a story, maybe you were just looking for attention or maybe you just wanted the publicity who knows. Regardless, a poorly researched, written, completely and utterly useless article will not gain you fans. All you have done is drive people away from taking you seriously as a journalist and have caused people like me to not ever want to visit this site again. You are not as big and established like the enquirer or world news where you can show an alien and a monkey getting married on the first page and still have people coming back for more. This is without doubt the worst article I have ever read and I know for a fact I am not alone in this. Please take your job and this website seriously and refrain from writing garbage like this. This article is a disgrace to gaming journalists everywhere.

  14. budgell29 says

    ive seen the math done a few times with some mistakes now lets do it right. Ps3 400,
    extra controller 60, 7 new games at release 420, ps+ 2 years 100. Total 980. Now take away the value of the current games released every month at 120 say 3 top name games at the reduced prices they are now. the new total becomes 120 x 12 x 2 = 2880 in value for those FREE GAMES on the PS+ for two years i do believe sonys actually giving us value to buy their system.

    Microsoft taken from the other article written by the same dude says 1100 for xbox one for the first 2 years now how the hell is xbox cheaper over two years??????????????

    Answer: IT’S NOT!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Shane Muellemann (@SHANE5231) says

    This was really a waste of time to write this article. Clearly biased towards the MS side trying to insinuate that the additional costs for games, controllers, headset and online fees are virtually the same. Yes I know there is more value with the PS+ but I am just talking straight cost. Then to make it sound like you have to spend $250 on the Vita, no you don’t and additionally the Eye which again is NOT a mandatory purchase.

    Here is a hint…..any extra controllers and games you purchase for the PS4 you would have to do the same for the XBOne. You are not getting anything extra other than the camera, which the PS4 does NOT require. But I like how you try to imply that you wouldn’t have to do this for the XBOne. /sarcasm

    So take $310 off of your total the XBOne will be $100+ more than the PS4 over 2 years.
    Stop trying to defend your precious and write articles that are not biased. IF you continue to show bias in your articles people will no longer read your articles.

  16. MWisBest says

    Any games I’d buy, I’d buy used. I can go buy Call of Duty: Black Ops or Modern Warfare 3 for $20 for PS3 at the local used game shop, or spend $10 on Modern Warfare 2 or $25 on Black Ops 2.

    Controllers have always required money to purchase. Again I’d probably buy an extra used… got a great DualShock3 controller (in camo!) for $30 at that same game shop.

    I’d probably even get the PS4 used after a few months. Let’s see, that’d probably be… $250 then.

    Look at how much money I’m saving by being a smart shopper? I’ve already slashed your cost of ownership in more than half.

  17. monsta says

    wow…so much hate on here,hes basically right and thanks for the info,like everyone else ill suck it up n pay for ps plus.lol.thanks mate

    • John Doe says

      The reason why there is hate for this article is because he is NOT basically right. This article is poorly written and researched and just seems like he had nothing to talk about so he just started to scribble false and irrelevant pointers. Why the hell would anyone need to get a new router for the new consoles??? Nothing is wrong with the routers we have now, why would any one need to get a new router just to play a ps4. The vita is not a requirement it’s and accessory that, even though it will be nice to use, most people can do without and not miss it. Millions of people only have 1 controller and have no problem playing multiplayer online, a true gamer would have known that split-screen is more of a hassle than anything else. And all those games he’s claiming you need to buy, let me tell you something, you can buy the ps+ service and never buy another game in your life due to the amount of free games you get with that every month. Most gamers already have headsets and the ps4 (unlike the xbox one) is compatible with all current gen headsets, so no one is going to run out and buy a new headset just for this. You probably didn’t know any better but as a journalist it is his duty to research his articles before he writes them and not just spew false bullshit to an unsuspecting public for views. This is the worse gaming article I have ever read.

  18. Mike says

    You guys realize that he said the ps4 is cheaper than Xbox and that ps+ gives free games every month right? Cause from some of the replies, it’s obvious a lot of posters only read the title.

    That being said, really pointless article. Think that new car you got is only15000 dollars? Now you have to worry bout gas, repairs, insurance. Think that new dog was free? Now you have vet bills, food,ect. Nice golf clubs. Only $200 on Craigslist? Not so fast! Now you have to pay for the round, balls, tees, beers(of course) ect, ect, ect. I’m sure you see the point. Having to pay extra for the things you like and need is perfectly normal.

  19. Guinan80 says

    If you don’t realise that a console is gonna cost you more than the console base price you are thick as pig s**t

    • chutulu mons says

      Lol I think the author of this shit article just found out unicorns were actually horses with a strap on dildo on its head so this whole time this dream world he has been living in has been crashing in all around him, seriously who doesn’t know games and controllers aren’t free?

  20. ed says

    Wow, you mean you have to pay for the games? I don’t think anyone knew that, what a new concept. This article stinks.

  21. joey1013 says

    oh my things cost money. article is dumb. xbox one will cost more if not too similar price wise.

  22. EyeSeaYou Lie says

    I am getting my Ps4 on when it first comes out. I already pre ordered it. And am willing to pay as much money as I can to get my hands on it. And it looks as if this stupid moron doesn’t realize that the Ps4 is worth a lot of money. It was designed and built to last and with the best graphics every gamer desires. So before you write an article, please take a closer look to the Ps4. I will not mention the Xbox One, because your brained wash article doesn’t talk about it too much, and I wonder why? Because you are an Xbox One fan boy I believe. So do your research next time and respect the Ps4 and it’s fans who are willing to pay whatever it takes to get their hands on it.
    Thanks for reading.

  23. chutulu mons says

    Titled
    “Sony PlayStation 4′s True Cost of Ownership May Surprise Buyers”

    “After the initial investment in the console gamers will have to buy games for their new PlayStation 4, controllers, and pay for services that were previously free on the PlayStation 3. Over time those expenses can add up to cost more than the console itself, though that shouldn’t surprise many gamers.”

    Did anyone else catch the last sentence in the second paragraph?

    It should say below his name that Shawn is a troll that spends his time masturbating in his mom’s closet thinking that’s the closest he has ever gotten to warm poonani

  24. littlejewboy says

    This fat F**k is so stupid. I’m pretty sure ps4 is backwards compatible, and the shit box isn’t. not to mention that middle part is ratchet af. You should be ashamed of your self.

    • Dominic Dymond says

      Not backwards compatible. Neither systems are. And for people like me who have the vita and want ps4 the remote play is a sweet icing. I also currently pay for ps+ for the savings. I have voted hundreds of games for vita and ps3. And I plan to keep both my ps3s far beyond having the ps4. I use one primarily for Netflix

  25. AceBunyon says

    This is such a dumb article. You forgot to add the T.V. to play the PS4 on, the electricity required to run it, and the couch you sit on while you play. The PS4 is at least $5,000.

  26. Cloudy says

    I’d have to say this is THE most bullshit article I have ever read.. actually it’s the first article I have read but really, complaining about how much it’s gonna cost you to buy games?

    If you buy a gaming console be prepared to fork out cash for games and accessories, geez I am pretty sure most gamers think this article is as stupid and as pointless as I do.

  27. Hates_This_Writer says

    Where does this guy get his math!?!?!?

    PS4: $399
    Games: $420
    Controller: $60
    Online: $100
    ———————-
    979$

    XBOX 1: $499
    Games: $420
    Controller: $60
    Online: $120
    ————————
    $1099

    PS4: LESS EXPENSIVE CONSOLE! LESS EXPENSIVE ONLINE PLAY…

    • DBG says

      You are ruining the very existence of this website with your “logic” and “common-sense”. Take your factual statements elsewhere as they are not welcomed here! =p – The whole thing is kind of moot to begin with (as people that want an Xbox experience will buy an Xbox One and those who want a PS experience will buy a PS4) an personally I’m hoping to find some law on the books that will allow us to file a class-action lawsuit for the time wasted with this nonsense as well as the braincells that took their lives trying to comprehend the article in general.

  28. johnny says

    Damn im a Xbox Fan boy hardcore lol but thats bs about the ps4 being that expensive you can tell this guy hates sony…

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