To be clear, the report by Polygon only indicates that Sony is having a hard time keeping the accessory for its PS4 gaming console on store shelves. The PS4 Camera is sold out every where including Best Buy, Target and Amazon. About the only place users can still pick up one of the devices is GameStop, which has hiked up the price of the PS4 camera by an additional $10 to, presumably, make a bit extra on every sale.
A statement sent to the gaming website by Sony is actually what puts the entire situation into perspective. According to Sony, “Live broadcasting on PS4 is thriving, with more than 3.6 million live gameplay broadcasts streamed via Twitch and Ustream.” The company’s statement ends with it declaring that PS4’s broadcasting abilities are driving sales of the PS Camera.
The PS Camera allows users to control some built-in experiences with their voice or gestures, however it doesn’t integrate with third-party apps like Netflix.
If what Sony is saying is true than its current predicament contradicts what most gaming insiders have said about the value of the Xbox One’s Kinect 2 sensor. Every Xbox One comes with a Kinect 2 sensor included, avoiding shortages and putting every user on equal footing so that developers and services like Twitch have a consistent user footprint to build new experiences. It’s believed that Microsoft’s decision to include the sensor is what caused the wide pricing gap between the Xbox One and PS4, with the Xbox One coming in at $100 more at $499.
In short, if users are buying so many PS Cameras that Sony is having a hard time keeping them in stock, Microsoft’s decision to include the Kinect 2 with every console seems to be validated. The price of purchasing a PS4 with a PS Camera comes to about $460 before tax in the United States. That’s still lower than the Xbox One until you factor in the digital game that Xbox One consoles in the United States are being bundled with. Both Titanfall and Forza 5 now have their own bundles in the United States that costs the same $499 as the console did a few months ago without a game. That adds another $60 value to the Xbox One.
Buying a PS4, PS Camera and a single game would cost users $520, $20 more than what a Xbox One with an included Kinect 2 sensor and an included copy of Titanfall or Forza 5 would.
It’s also worth noting that the PS Camera may power Twitch on the PS4 but how Sony integrated it into the console’s software doesn’t come close to what’s available with the Xbox One and the Kinect 2.
Sony says it’s always working to keep up with demand for the PS4 Camera.