The big debate surrounding the PlayStation 4’s launch in India is about the rather high price of the new console. Priced at Rs 39,990, users may have to end up spending over Rs 50,000 to get a fully-outfitted PS4 with multiple controllers and the motion controller accessory. Gamers will also have to shell out more between Rs 2500 and Rs 5000 for PS4 games.
Most commenters on our site also scoffed at the notion of paying so much for the new console.You can see some of them below. The hike in price of new-generation games will especially pinch.
Harsh comments about the PS4's price
Regardless of the negative reactions from the gaming community, Sony India is quite confident that gamers will embrace the PS4 in spite of the exorbitant spending involved.
Speaking to FirstPost’s Shruti Dhapola, PlayStation India Head Atindriya Bose said the company had to decide whether its core target audience will accept the price. “I think for gamers it (the price) was within the range of their expectations, so we are quite confident of this price. It could have gone way above,” he told the website, post the launch event in Delhi yesterday.
As to why the price is so high in comparison to the international price of $399, Sony says the present tax structure in India did not allow for more aggressive pricing. “I think we've managed to keep the right price within the current tax structure. We can't make the direct conversion from the US price into the Indian price. You have to realise that those conversions are happening sans any tax structures. We have 36 to 37 percent taxes to pay between our import taxes and VAT.”
Bose also said that the company expects to sell as many PS4s in the first quarter as they did in the second or third year of the PS3 in India. “In terms of sell-through, in about a week's time, we shall see 90 percent sales in the hands of consumers. We are expecting almost 50 to 55 percent pre-bookings in India and the rest will be people lining up to buy the device.” He went to say that the PS4 install base will be much bigger than the existing PS2 and PS3 user base, which together add up to 1.25 million in India alone.
Expensive or the right price?
Those are tall claims but Bose says the market is ripe for such growth. “We have to understand that when we launched PS2 in India in 2007, India had no gaming. Now we have over 50-60 million people gaming, thanks to mobiles, etc, and the community is much more vibrant.”
Is Sony's confidence in the spending power of Indian gamers misplaced? Being a highly price sensitive market, Sony might see slow sales till the price comes down, if at all. Towards the end of 2014, when the Xbox One is expected to be launched, we should ideally see sales drives and promotions for the PS4. It's definitely a happy coincidence for Sony that many of the summer and spring releases will also be hitting India around that time, which would help create a more conducive sales attmosphere. It may be satisfied with the price tag now, but Sony will have to rethink that if sales are indeed slow to begin with.