Following up on the first part of GameDaily’s interview with Jack Tretton of SCEA is Part 2, which focuses mainly on the PlayStation 3. For the most part, Tretton gives the company line in regards to a wide array of topics, including his interpretation of Ken Kutaragi’s statement that Sony’s strength in hardware is in decline, PS3 controller’s lack of rumble, HDMI, 1080p, shortages, and more.
Of particular interest is to most gamers would be SCEA’s stance on PlayStation 3’s relatively high price. Sony announced at the Tokyo Game Show that the 20GB variant of the PlayStation 3 will carry a 10,000 yen price lower than originally expected (making it about US$430 equivalent). Unfortunately, Sony made it clear that this price reduction will not affect its pricing structure for the upcoming North American launch.
When asked if concerned about PlayStation 3’s high price and how soon consumers can expect a price drop, Tretton reasoned that consumers don’t make buying decisions on price alone without taking value into consideration. Tretton believes that the PlayStation 3 is “the machine that is going to drive gaming for the next ten years” and thus represents a good value.
In response to publisher attitudes (for example, from Sega) that the PlayStation 3 isn’t at a “family friendly” price point, Tretton reasons that it is a natural reaction. He explains that a lower-priced console would be in the publishers’ best interest as the lower cost of ownership promotes adoption rate, and thus increases software sales. Even with that in mind, however, Sony still stands firm on its stance that the consumer is willing to pay more for PlayStation 3 hardware and its higher-priced software.
Still on the hot topic of price, Tretton brings up an interesting point as he draws a parallel with other consumer electronics, such as televisions. Some gamers are spending thousands of dollars on new high-definition televisions capable of displaying a 1080p picture, but are unwilling of spending several hundred dollars more than usual for the game machine. Perhaps the consumer reasoning is that television technology has steadily improved at constantly more affordable prices, whereas the PlayStation 3 doesn’t follow the usual trend of ‘more tech for less money.’