Sony may have gotten a ton of goodwill from gamers for pricing the PS4 at $399, a full $100 less than Microsoft priced the Xbox One, but when it comes to PS4 games, the two console manufacturers and game publishers are exactly aligned, as Sony has confirmed that first-party PS4 games will cost $59.99. That price point is the same as the current-generation of games, and it’s also the same as Xbox One games.
What’s most interesting about Sony’s PS4 game price confirmation to Shacknews is that Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton didn’t specify whether all first-party games would cost $59.99, or just the highest-profile AAA games. This is an important distinction, particularly when you consider the proliferation of downloadable titles, because downloadable titles do not incur the same manufacturing, logistics and packaging costs of a traditional retail game.
Therefore if downloadable PS4 titles do, in fact, cost the same as a game disc bought at retail — at least for first-party titles — Sony would realize a significant increase to the margin it makes on its games. In February, Sony’s Tretton indicated that first-party PS4 games would cost anywhere between 99 cents and $60. True, all game publishers are in the business of making money, but a pricing strategy that aligned retail- and online-purchased MSRPs would raise the eyebrow of many a gamer.
For instance, we reported earlier that Xbox One games will cost $59.99 regardless of being disc-based or downloadable. That report has inspired dozens of comments on the article itself and via email questioning the policy of having downloadable Xbox One games cost the same as those bought at retail. The common denominator in those notes has been that of the increased margin and not letting the savings be passed along to consumers.
Between the PS2 and PS3 generations, Sony and other game publishers increased the MSRP for video games from $49.99 to $59.99. At the time, the MSRP increase was attributed to the higher cost of developing games for the more-advanced system. Moving from the PS3 to the PS4, it appears the pricing will avoid a similar $10 jump, in spite of developers such as Cliffy B. from Epic Games saying the days of lower-priced games are all but over. Either way, though, if you want to get a PS4 at launch, you should place your PS4 pre-order at Amazon ASAP to ensure you get it, because they’re selling out fast.