Sony India won’t start replicating PlayStation 4 (PS4) games in India as of now and will import the games. Atindriya Bose, Country Manager for PlayStation in India says that locally replicating games (making the CDs, packaging locally) will help reduce the taxes paid on a game, but not the exchange rate. “We will wait for PS4 install base to grow to a reasonable level and then start evaluating local replication,” Bose says. He also said that they are not looking into making cheaper region locked games for India at this point. Sony had announced that PS4 will be available in India on January 6 at a price of Rs 39,990 at a press conference in Delhi, couple of days back.
PS4 games are priced much higher than PS3 games in India now, games published by Sony will be priced at Rs 3,999 and those published by EA such as Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, NFS Rivals and NBA Live will cost Rs 4,499. Only games distributed by E-Xpress are priced reasonably: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is costs 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.
Sony had set up a facility in India to locally replicate the games a few years back, and it helped bring down the prices of first-party titles aka games published by Sony. Now the company is evaluating business models it can offer to third-party publishers so that they can reduce the price of PS3 games in the country.
For PS3 games, Sony wants to follow the strategy they had used for PS2. Sony will not reduce the price of the console as of now, but Bose believes that cheaper games will make the console more attractive to newer gamers in the country. It needs to be noted that the company reduced the price of PS2 consoles over time apart from offering it cheaper games. Due to the aggressive pricing strategy followed by Sony, PS2 ended up selling a little under a million consoles in India — this is without including the sale of consoles in the grey market over the years.
Don’t import from US: Several gamers had imported PS4 from US (where it costs $399, approximately Rs 25,000) anticipating a high price for the console here. Bose says that Sony India will not be able to support those consoles as they are not from PAL territory. Consoles bought from PAL territory such as Europe. Middle East and South East Asia will receive support from Sony India but no warranty. PS4 costs a little less than Rs 30,000 in Dubai, but in Europe it costs EUR 399 (Rs 34,000 approx.). In Singapore PS4 is priced at S$609 (a little less than Rs 30,000) and in Hong Kong it will cost you HK$3,380 (Rs 27,000).
Vita bundle: In several countries Sony is offering a bundle comprising PS4 and PS Vita handheld device, however in India there is no plan to introduce such a bundle as of now. Vita can be used as a controller for PS4 games and also stream PS4 games over a network. However, Robert Fisser, General Manager, PlayStation Division Sony Middle East and Africa FZE said that the company will introduce one later on if there is demand for it.