There are myriad reasons to be excited about Destiny, the upcoming game from Bungie and Activision. First is that it’s the first non-Halo game to come from Bungie since the Xbox series’ launch. Second, it’s a multi-platform title, meaning PlayStation owners will get their hands on it via their native console. Third and related to that point, the game’s given Sony a specific Glacier White PS4 release date to shoot for.
Sony unveiled the Glacier White PS4 at E3, giving an Apple-like vibe to a next-gen console that’s already trounced the competition in sales. Now that Microsoft’s effectively reduced the price of the Xbox One by nixing its Kinect requirement, that earlier sales gap could very well start to shrink. Unless the “new” PS4 gains traction with some clever co-marketing.
The Glacier White PS4 release date is currently targeted for Sept. 9, the same date Destiny hits retail. Destiny has been one of the most-touted PS4 games in Sony’s arsenal, in spite of the fact it’s not a PlayStation-exclusive game. Sony’s clearly banking on current and prospective PS4 owners purchasing Destiny in much higher quantities on PS4 than Xbox One.
Keep in mind, too, that the Destiny pre-alpha was a PS4 exclusive at the end of E3. And additional Destiny DLC will be exclusive to Sony’s platforms as well. Activision may have a nice exclusive with Microsoft for Call of Duty DLC, but the company’s got a political stranglehold on the PS4 with regard to Destiny.
In fact, currently Amazon.com is showing Glacier White PS4 pre-orders only available in a Destiny bundle. And that’s one thing overlooked at E3: the Glacier White PS4 release date may be Sept. 9, but it’s only going to be available in the Destiny bundle.
Per Sony: “In North America, Latin America and Europe, PS4 in ‘Glacier White’ will be available as part of a bundle pack featuring Destiny…. The bundle also includes a free 30-day membership to PS Plus, and comes at a recommended retail price (RPP) of $449/ €439. Furthermore, PS4 in ‘Glacier White’ will also be sold separately in Europe at an RRP of €399. The Vertical Stand will be available in Europe at an RRP of €19, and DUALSHOCK 4 in ‘Glacier White’ and ‘Urban Camouflage’ will both be available at an RRP of $59/ €59. The pricings for each product in Japan and other Asian regions will be announced on a later date.”
Note the lack of a stand-alone system in the States.
Now, the way marketing arrangements go, Sony may very well make the Glacier White PS4 a “timed exclusive” for the Destiny bundle. That would certainly drum up interest in the console, and it would enable Sony and Activision to use co-op advertising dollars to promote the system and game.
If you’re looking for white PS4 controllers and live in the U.S., Sony’s got you covered. But if you’re looking for a stand-alone white PS4, you’re out of luck if you live in North America. Fortunately, Destiny is almost reason enough to buy a PS4, so the bundle is both a great deal and makes sense to purchase if you don’t already own a PS4.
Yet is the lack of a stand-alone Glacier White PS4 an admission by Sony that it doesn’t expect major sales from the system as a stand-alone SKU? Not likely. By the time Destiny releases on Sept. 9, the PS4 will have only been available for 10 months. That’s far too short a period of time to think a PS4 owner would trade-in his or her “old” system to buy a differently colored one. That sort of thing may work for Nintendo’s DS platforms, but not with a high-end console.
Instead, this is clearly a play to win new PS4 owners and shows that Sony’s going for the jugular in the PS4’s second holiday. With Microsoft also poised for a big Kinect-less holiday run, the last four months of 2014 seemed destined to provide plenty of PR and marketing excitement.