PlayStation 4 May Cost 30% Less Than PlayStation 3

The Times reports that Sony is considering a price of around £300 for its next-gen console

The PlayStation 4 may be cheaper on launch than the PlayStation 3 was, if The Times is to be believed. The newspaper has an article (behind a paywall) that states a much lower price of £300 is under consideration for the next-gen console, in the hope that more customers will be drawn in in its early stages:

When Sony unveils its new PlayStation device this week, it will be far cheaper than many experts had expected — a price tag that, it is hoped, will lure millions of customers into buying its latest video games console.

Industry sources and leaked internal documents suggest that Sony is considering pricing the new device at about £300, more than £100 cheaper than the starting cost of its predecessor, the PlayStation 3.

Obviously, we have no idea who these “industry sources” are, or whether the leaked documents The Times has managed to get hold of are valid (or old, or faked), but it's worth considering the implications of the possibility of this lower price.

It makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. Sony has been sticking blu-ray players in its consoles for years now, so that shouldn't be as much of an expense as it was back then. So while the PS4 will obviously improve on the PS3, it might be able to produce the console more cheaply. Most importantly, whether Sony sells at a loss or not, the high price of the PS4 was a huge barrier to entry. I've worked in a shop, and I know that a lot of customers stick to a self-enforced principle of “I'll buy it when it comes down in price.”

The 20GB PlayStation 3 cost £425 when it launched (late, due to a lack of components for the blu-ray player) in the U.K. So if the PlayStation 4 does cost only £300, that's around a 30% decrease on the price of its predecessor. If you apply the same drop to the U.S. price – and this is backed up by absolutely no facts or even rumours, since The Times only reports on the U.K. price – then you get around $349. Sound like a reasonable price to you?