Those hoping to save a few bucks on their next Sony console may want to brace for a letdown.
Last week, the rumor mill was churning hard when word began spreading that alleged price drops for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita could be announced as soon as E3.
An image appeared online from a Sony loyalty site listing the approximate retail value of a PS4 at $349 and the value of a PS Vita at $89. Not long after, US retailer Fry’s Electronics is reportedly now selling the non-bundled PS4 at the above price of $349.
However, despite what “leaks” and rumors have been circulating, Sony announcing the above price drops anytime soon would be frivolous, silly and just plain foolish. They won’t be happening and for good reasons.
The PlayStation 4 has sold incredible since its launch. It’s Sony’s fasting-selling console to date, selling 20.2 million units as of March 2015. The PS4 has sold as many units in its year and a half since launch as the PlayStation 3 took almost three years to accomplish. PS4 has outsold the Xbox One all but three months of this console generation. With one of those being most recently, is it finally time for Sony to drop the PS4’s price to be an equivalent of the Xbox One’s lower price point? Not quite.
The PS4 has had the appeal of appearing to both core and casual gamers and is selling tremendously because of that. Sony has won over gamers by claiming to put games first, placing more effort into online multiplayer capabilities and making the system a great hub for all aspects of entertainment for music, video streaming and more. Simultaneously, the company is grabbing casual gamers by becoming the marketing partner behind some of the biggest games that come from third party developers such as Destiny, Star Wars Battlefront and Batman: Arkham Knight. PS4 is now the console that has become associated with these games in this generation, which only helps sales in the end.
It’s no secret that the PS4 doesn’t have the strongest first party line up, which makes the sales of the console that much more perplexing. Until Bloodborne, it can be argued the console didn’t have a must-play first party title, so Sony dropping the price before it releases huge “system seller” exclusives for the console such as Uncharted and God of War would seem strange.
As for the Vita, the drop from its current price of $199 to $89 seems drastic. The next step after a price drop this big is for Sony to just hand players a Vita when they purchase a PS4 (and not just because that’s the only thing they market the handheld system for). Sure, the Vita isn’t selling like Sony ever would hope it would, but dropping it this low is the translation of giving up.
A drop to this price would indicate that Sony has no faith in the Vita or that another iteration of the system is on its way. At this point, those who are interested in owning a Vita probably have one, and dropping it to $89, which most likely would result in selling the system at a loss, doesn’t seem like it would yield that much for the company in the end. Dropping the price of Vita that much is also doing a disservice to those fans who have purchased it and supported it at its current price.
While crazier things have certainly happened, come Sony’s press conference on June 15, expecting a permanent price drop of either system seems highly unlikely. As of right now, you’re probably better off putting your hopes into a Last Guardian reveal.