Sony India announced the price of it’s next-generation (at least in India) console PlayStation 4 (PS4) in India today and as expected it was Rs 39,990. The device will be available in stores on January 6th 2014, and consumers can pre-order it online on all major e-commerce stores. It needs to be noted that many hardcore gamers have already imported the console from US or SE Asia and several others have already bought it from grey market it similar rates. The PS3 was also priced at Rs 39,990 when it launched in India.
Update: Those who are complaining about the price, do note that it is because of duties and taxes. Sony India also announced that PlayStation Camera aka Eye Toy and controller (for those who play split-screen games) will be priced at Rs 4,990 each.
Sony released PS4 in US in late November with a price tag of $399. It runs on a modified AMD APU with 8 cores that offers a theoretical peak performance of 1.8 TFLOPS and also has 8GB unified RAM, 500GB HDD (user upgradable), WiFi, blu-ray support among other features. The console also has a new redesigned its dualshock controller which is now bigger and more ergonomic as opposed to the ones that came with PS3 and earlier models.
Sony announced that it has sold over 2.1 million consoles as of December 3.
Costlier games: One factor that is going to put off a lot of people is the retail price of games. Publishers and distributors across the board have hiked the price of PS4 games in India. Games published by Sony will be priced at Rs3,999, those published by EA such as Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, NFS Rivals and NBA Live will cost Rs 4,499.
E-Xpress which is planning to distribute Assassins’ Creed 4: Black Flag, NBA 2K14, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Just Dance 2014 and Injustice: Gods Among Ultimate Edition has not yet announced the pricing.
MCVIndia reports that e-xpress games will be sold in India at much lower rates Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is priced Rs 3,499, NBA 2K14 and Just Dance 2014 will retail for Rs 2,999 and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition are priced at Rs 2,499.
However, it needs to be noted that Sony’s titles and some titles such as Assassins’ Creed 4: Black Flag are available for Rs 500 cheaper on PlayStation Network. The downside of that deal is the fact that these games can be as big as 40GB; so don’t bother if you don’t have a fast Internet connection.
Sony’s strategy: Since the launch of PS3 in India, Sony has followed a dual console strategy, through which they tried to target the price sensitive consumer with a cheaper PS2 which also had several small India themed games. PS3 on the other hand was priced closer to Rs 40,000 at launch, but its prices more or less halved over the years after the introduction of the slim model.
Bose had said that PS3 prices won’t drop rapidly any time soon, but we can expect a small cut in a year or so. That said, don’t expect it to be priced as low as PS2 which was selling at around Rs 8000 towards the end of its life this year. Sony discontinued manufacturing of PS2 this year, but a few models are still available in several stores across India.
Competition: Its competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox One is not expected to release in India till late 2014 as they are trying to partner with Indian television channels, studios and service providers to source local content. Microsoft was the first company to launch their console in India last generation when they brought Xbox 360 almost a year ahead of Sony. However, they lost their initial momentum and as per anecdotal evidence PS3 games outsell 360 ones 3 to 1. It needs to be noted Sony has sold 230,000 to 250,000 PS3 in India, while Microsoft hasn’t disclosed the exact number of consoles they have sold here over the years.