Online retailer Snapdeal has listed PS4 for pre-order with a price tag of Rs 40,000 ($632) and release date of December. The page claims that the product will be shipped on the release date itself. The company had earlier listed the product up for pre-order with a token deposit of Rs 1,999 in July.
Game4u, the e-commerce wing of Milestone Interactive, has been offering the console for pre-order by charging a token amount of Rs 3,000 for a while now. Before the Rupee crashed a few months back, we heard that the console might be priced around Rs 30,000. The valuation then was Rs 55 per dollar, which meant that the console would be selling at a price of $545 and now things are still murky despite the currency getting stronger. RBI Governor yesterday said that Rupee might crash to Rs 78 per dollar in 6 months over fears that the US Federal Reserve would start winding down its stimulus as early as next month, after strong jobs report.
Sony had decided to wait for the currency to stabilise before announcing the console price here. PlayStation’s regional head for the Middle East, India and Turkey, Robert Fisser had told MCVIndia that the company was waiting till as late as possible before confirming the price, because of the volatile Rupee. Then in September Sony mentioned on their official PlayStation 4 page that the console will release here in 2013, but they took it off very soon.
Rumours… rumours… rumours
Rumour #1: PS4 is launching in India on December 15.
This date has not been officially confirmed yet. However, from what we hear, Sony will announce the price and launch date of the console in December. The console itself might ship only in the first week of January. The delay has been attributed to customs procedures and other red tapes.
Rumour #2: PS4 games will cost Rs 4,429 at launch.
This exact price point has not been confirmed by any of my sources, but there is a very high likelihood of PS4 games being priced above Rs 4,000 price point.
From what I have heard, publishers are trying to charge Indians $65-70 as they want to keep the price point of next-gen titles a little above current generation games. Some of these titles (especially those from EA and Activision) are priced in the $55-$65 price range in India. For example, FIFA 14 costs Rs 3,499 ($55) on consoles while Call of Duty: Ghosts is priced at Rs 4,299 ($68). EA had hiked the price of games in India which was soon followed by online protests by gamers. However, EA refused to change the pricing and responded with silence.
Considering these factors, we can expect developers to play the ‘but it’s costlier to develop these titles’ card to substantiate the higher price tag. In short, don’t be surprised if third-party PS4 games come with a Rs 4,000 price tag.
Update: Game4U has officially announced pre-orders for Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, NFS Rivals and NBA Live priced at Rs 4,499. That being the case we can expect Sony to lower the price of first party games a little to Rs 3,000-3,500 range to soften the blow on gamers in India.
Rumour #3: PS4 will be sold at Rs 40,000
Though Snapdeal has listed such a price, it is likely that the default SKU will be priced lower at around Rs 35,000- Rs 38,000 mark.
We believe this is because Sony was planning to charge the equivalent of $545 in India after including taxes and duties, which came up to Rs 30,000 at a valuation of Rs 55 per dollar a few months back. However now the Rupee stands at Rs 63.2 to a dollar, which brings the price of the console of a little less than Rs 34,500 (63*545). That being the case, there is a chance of the currency going back to the valuation of Rs 70 per dollar, which brings us to a little more than Rs 38,000 (70*545). So at what point can the console cost Rs 40,000? For that to happen, value of Indian Rupee need to exceed Rs 73 per dollar.
It is not feasible for a company like Sony to keep changing the price of its console in such a short duration depending on the value of Indian Rupee. So it is understandable if they want to play it safe and price the console closer to Rs 40,000. Microsoft is not expected to release its next generation console Xbox One in India any time soon, so Sony can afford to take this risk; this leaves them with the option of slashing prices when Xbox One launches here. All said, there is a high chance of Sony launching the console at Rs 38,000 and a bundle (Killzone or Knack) for Rs 40,000.
For those who haven’t been following console gaming scene long enough here’s a small stat for you: The original PS3 was priced at Rs 39,990 when it was launched in India back in 2007.