Unfortunately for potential buyers waiting to save some money on a new video game console, it doesn’t look as if Sony has any immediate plans for a PS4 price cut.
Sony Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida talked at length about the strategies that go into how its consoles are priced. He also talked a bit about how users at home are handling the PS3 to PS4 transition, and the bottom-line seems to be that shoppers shouldn’t expect a cheap PS4 to arrive any time soon.
Dual Shockers is reporting that Yoshida described Sony’s approach to adjusting console prices as “very cautious” during an earnings call held this week. Language like that seemingly rules out any drops in the price of PS4, which has been available at $399 since it launched back in 2013. The price of the PS4 has stayed steady, even as Microsoft has introduced an Xbox One console bundle that matched the cost of the PS4 then undercut the cost of the PS4 by a whopping $50.
Apparently, shoppers owe the lack of a PS4 price cut to their own adoption habits. Yoshida says that the company isn’t seeing the same extended life cycle from the PS3 that it did the PS2. In short, instead of buying Sony’s previous console shoppers are picking up its current console. That might sound normal, but it’s not for Sony’s hardware. The PS1 and PS2 had stable sales for years after their successors were announced.
Making it even less likely that we’ll see a PS4 price cut in the near future are the internals of the PS3 and PS4. The PS2 and PS1 had modest internals for their day, meaning Sony could acquire and build those consoles cheaply over time. Sony was able to boost interest in those old consoles by simply lowering the price to insane levels. For example, the PS2 had a price tag of $99 before Sony stopped making it, and the PS1 cost $49 until it left store shelves. The PS3 has fairly modern and expensive internals, meaning Sony can’t just arbitrarily cut the price of the console to boost sales. As for the PS4, Yoshida said it is, “very difficult to divide the market in terms of price range,” meaning it’s hard for Sony to adjust the price of the PS4 in a specific region without it having a domino effect in other regions.
All of these factors are contributing to that “cautious” outlook on PS4 price cuts. Though it is worth noting that Yoshida didn’t categorically rule out in changes in PS4 pricing, it makes sense that the company wouldn’t bother at this point. Sony announced a huge jump in financial health today. A big part of that jump in profit were sales of its camera sensors and cost-cutting measures. The other big part of that equation was the PS4.
Despite overtaking the PS4 in monthly console sales in the United States last year, the Xbox One remains firmly behind the PS4 in terms of overall console sales. Earlier this month we learned that Americans purchased more PS4s than Xbox Ones in March, despite Xbox One still being available at $349 and including free games like Assassin’s Creed Unity and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. If Sony is able to maintain that momentum with its higher price tag, it has no real reason to cut the PS4 price. In fact, it’d be smarter to leaving pricing alone to help it back to sound financials where profits could be used to finance more exclusive titles for PS4 that’ll boost sales in the future.
The next time we’re likely to hear about future plans for the PS4 is this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.