PlayStation 3. Latest on Software Pricing

Activision boss drops most telling hint

Posted by Staff
PlayStation 3. Latest on Software Pricing
Those bracing themselves in anticipation of shelling out big money for PlayStation 3 software received a welcome break over the weekend, with comments from Activision CEO Robert Kotick offering the closest glimpse at what third-party publishers are preparing to ask per unit.

"We have not seen a lot of consumer resistance at the higher price points, and we expect that all of our next-generation products will be launched at $60 price points," Kotick said, following on from news that the excellent Call of Duty for Xbox 360 just sold a million copies at $60 each.

Of course, you could read into this that a perceived weakness among consumers may open a window for higher pricing. "We have not seen a lot of consumer resistance at the higher price points," is Kotick telling a public forum (in this case the Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference) that games consumers will pay whatever is asked of them for the right games...

It's also worth pointing out that to make full use of the PlayStation 3's epic potential, higher priced software might end up being something we welcome. Would you pay double for the new Final Fantasy or Gran Turismo if it had double the development investment? Let us know...

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Comments

Rustman 18 Sep 2006 10:05
1/18
Yeah, let's pay double for games that are already costly. Way to expand that user base, not shrink it.

The main reason I haven't bought a 360 is because I refuse to pay £20 extra for a title that is identical (in those high-development cost areas) to the PC version. I picked up Blood Money for PC for £15 on the week of release thanks to a special offer in Game. That title is still £50 on the Xbox 360.

Personally, I will always go for the platform that gives me free or cheap software, every time.
SCiARA 18 Sep 2006 10:28
2/18
i understand what your saying but you can pick up blood money for £35 if you know where to look, also, you'll be paying more than the £280 premium 360 bundle for a PC that can match in terms of said games
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Joji 18 Sep 2006 13:14
3/18
I feel Sony are deluding themselves here. I absolutely refuse to buy a 360 game for £50, therefore I buy my game either second hand or cheaper and new on Ebay.

Fairplay, many will pay those pounds up but not me.

It should be interesting to see how those prices fair against the Wii game prices.
nolimit966 18 Sep 2006 14:39
4/18
i was going to get an xbox 360 becuase theyre pretty cheap at the mo but then i looked at the prices of the games! i dont really like paying £40 a game let alone £50 - 55
SCiARA 18 Sep 2006 14:42
5/18
i still remember the days of the snes and street fighter costing £65.....
Rustman 18 Sep 2006 14:51
6/18
SCiARA wrote:
i understand what your saying but you can pick up blood money for £35 if you know where to look, also, you'll be paying more than the £280 premium 360 bundle for a PC that can match in terms of said games


OK, Morrisons are selling the PC version at £15 (just been in and seen it) and the Xbox 360 version at £35 (let's just say, Morrison's aren't exactly the best game supplier are they?). Isn't that still more than double for what is essentially the same title with the same development?

As for the base unit cost argument, I just upgraded my core PC system with a Core 2 Duo for change from £300. That was Board, CPU, Memory and Hard Drive. And thanks to the scalability of the graphics I could use my two year old card. When games start pushing that to the max, I upgrade for a fraction of the cost of a next gen console. Basically because a PC is scalable to someone's needs, the console vs PC debate is a non-starter. You don't need a super £1000+ PC to run the latest games, I know that for a fact.

The argument remains. They are pleading escalating dev costs, when in fact they mean, perceived value that we can fleece the customer for. This would require a lot of PS3 exclusives to justify the purchase of games with such a huge uplift when the titles exist on other formats for a fraction of the cost.
Earl 18 Sep 2006 14:53
7/18
anyone paying £49.99 for 360 games needs the bumbs felt. loads of indies do them for less, peronally i dont but one out over 46.99 and as for used Hitman is around £27 (used) in any good store that does not rip you off!
soanso 18 Sep 2006 16:48
8/18
I still don't buy the old argument that high dev costs should mean high software prices.
It doesn't cost £50 to duplicate a dvd and selling at such a high price puts people off buying.

I'm sure when the PS1 games hit the £29.99 mark for the first time the sales skyrocketed and isn't that the ultimate point?
High software sales - High hardware sales
everybody is happy.
realvictory 18 Sep 2006 16:53
9/18
Rustman wrote:
As for the base unit cost argument, I just upgraded my core PC system with a Core 2 Duo for change from £300. That was Board, CPU, Memory and Hard Drive. And thanks to the scalability of the graphics I could use my two year old card. When games start pushing that to the max, I upgrade for a fraction of the cost of a next gen console. Basically because a PC is scalable to someone's needs, the console vs PC debate is a non-starter. You don't need a super £1000+ PC to run the latest games, I know that for a fact.

The argument remains. They are pleading escalating dev costs, when in fact they mean, perceived value that we can fleece the customer for. This would require a lot of PS3 exclusives to justify the purchase of games with such a huge uplift when the titles exist on other formats for a fraction of the cost.


I completely agree. In my opinion we should be out of the stage where games cost £60-70. This is supposed to be mainstream now.

You can charge whatever you like for a product, but people who pay lots of money are, in some ways, letting down the general population, by encouraging higher prices.

The solution is not to make games more expensive, nor to release s**t games - the solution is to stop releasing premature "next-generations"/sequels, and to simply find ways to more efficiently make games better, i.e. don't rely on technology to make games good - rely on talent.

Also, I agree with what I think Nintendo said a while ago (but don't seem to be doing) - make a game which is good enough and original enough in the first place, release it at launch, and it should remain valid throughout the life of the console/forever, not until there is a sequel made, for example, most Mario/Zelda games. This way, the price can be set at a "nice" amount - because it declines more slowly, it doesn't need to be priced so high in the first place.
SCiARA 18 Sep 2006 16:56
10/18
who's paying £60-£70 a game and for what?
realvictory 18 Sep 2006 17:57
11/18
SCiARA wrote:
who's paying £60-£70 a game and for what?


What I mean is, in the past, games have cost that much - £50 isn't quite so much, but it's still almost as much - and if people will pay £50, there's the chance that some games will cost £60 or £70 later on.

If you look at the price of other media - i.e. films, books, music (even board-games) - they cost nowhere near as much (in general), and they are much better-accepted forms of media, in general.

That's why I don't like the fact that people expect computer games to be expensive - they don't have to be, it's just that a lot of money is spent on them, when money isn't what necessarily makes a good game.
Rustman 18 Sep 2006 18:05
12/18
SCiARA wrote:
who's paying £60-£70 a game and for what?


SCiARA wrote:
i still remember the days of the snes and street fighter costing £65.....


Um.... without wishing to point the finger... you? Which side of the fence are you on? Do you believe high dev costs legitimise high shelf prices or do you think Sony are trying to take us for fools because if they don't get some money in quick the company is likely to have to start selling off assets next year?

Just curious.
horngreen 18 Sep 2006 19:33
13/18
I did quite a bit of research when games where $50 in the US and now that they are $60 I do hesitate that much more when buying one. It truly needs to be a great game that I will get my moneys worth out of. Looking back though, I can say I would have paid $100 for Halo 2 simply because of it's excellent replay value due to LIVE. That's easy to say with hind sight knowing how much I have enjoyed playing it over the past two years. Higher dev times/cost won't impress me if it's just more of the same over hundreds of different maps. Just adding content that is similar to what you've been playing will just start to bore me. I don't need a game that takes 2 months to complete. I think it is smart if PS3 games are $60 because the initial high price of the console will turn many away.
soanso 19 Sep 2006 00:26
14/18
The biggest problem I have with high sofftware prices is that it often has no relation to the dev costs.
Too often in the past there has been games released with stupid pricetags but nothing to justify it.
You'd have 2 games costing the same, one of which was made by a massive team and cost millions of dollars to produce, the other was developed by a man and his cat in a garden shed and cost whatever he ate in pot noodles and however many cups of tea he drank.


honest_jon 19 Sep 2006 09:29
15/18
and it's usually the shed developed game that's worth £50
SCiARA 19 Sep 2006 09:39
16/18
Rustman wrote:
SCiARA wrote:
who's paying £60-£70 a game and for what?


SCiARA wrote:
i still remember the days of the snes and street fighter costing £65.....


Um.... without wishing to point the finger... you? Which side of the fence are you on? Do you believe high dev costs legitimise high shelf prices or do you think Sony are trying to take us for fools because if they don't get some money in quick the company is likely to have to start selling off assets next year?

Just curious.


F**k that Iíve never paid more than £40 for a game, ever. I donít sit on either side, if I like a game Iíll shop around and get it for anything between £25 - £40 (x360 games). I'm happy to pay this and if that means the rich get richer well good luck and well done. I personally feel that if a team are going to spend anywhere between 2 - 4 years developing a game that I will like then its all good.
Rustman 19 Sep 2006 09:43
17/18
SCiARA wrote:
Rustman wrote:
SCiARA wrote:
who's paying £60-£70 a game and for what?


SCiARA wrote:
i still remember the days of the snes and street fighter costing £65.....


Um.... without wishing to point the finger... you? Which side of the fence are you on? Do you believe high dev costs legitimise high shelf prices or do you think Sony are trying to take us for fools because if they don't get some money in quick the company is likely to have to start selling off assets next year?

Just curious.



F**k that Iíve never paid more than £40 for a game, ever. I donít sit on either side, if I like a game Iíll shop around and get it for anything between £25 - £40 (x360 games). I'm happy to pay this and if that means the rich get richer well good luck and well done. I personally feel that if a team are going to spend anywhere between 2 - 4 years developing a game that I will like then its all good.


That cleared that up then. ;)
tg0006 19 Sep 2006 22:03
18/18
I dont think developers put more money into a game with the sole intent to sell it for more, but to sell more copies. one thing ive noticed that is becomeing more and more common is a special edition of the game comeing out with probably another $ for the shiny metal case, and a few more for the second dvd or the $.05 pewter figurines and charging more for it. This pulls alittle more prophit from the people attracted to prity shiny metal cases.
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