PS4 price drops will be slower than PS3, Sony expects

Remember when Sony launched a video game console that cost $599? It didn't take long before the company tried to figure out ways to cut down the price of the system. Nine months after the launch of PS3, the company released a $499 model, one that removed hardware-based PS2 backwards compatibility and the built-in flash card reader. It also included a game and a larger hard drive.

It's unlikely PS4 will be so quick to drop its price, Sony points out. Why? Because it's so cheap to begin with, of course. "Our hardware teams have chosen more standardized components to create PlayStation 4 and that's contributing to our launch price of $399 versus $599 for the PS3," Sony's Shuhei Yoshida said. "Because we're already using more standardized components, the room for costs to come down might actually be slower than when we were starting with cutting edge stuff."

"When we need to source components to get more supply to the retailers, that approach definitely helps compared to some cutting edge component that only one manufacturer can produce, like Blu-ray or the Cell processor. Those were big bottlenecks," Yoshida told GI.biz. "It's much better this time."

A likely strategy for Sony to consider for PS4 is the introduction of new models with larger models and bundled software. With all games requiring hard drive installation, the included 500GB hard drive is likely to fill up fast. Don't be surprised if you see next year's PS4 retains the system's current price, but add a larger hard drive, additional games, and maybe even a PlayStation Camera to boot.