With the PlayStation 4 finally announced, the question in many gamers’ minds is, “How much will a game cost?” Well, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO and President Jack Tretton recently told CNBC that PS4 games might be free-to-play, cost as little as $0.99, or be fully priced at $60.
When asked if gamers would be interested in buying full-priced games after the prevalence of free or cheap mobile games, Tretton said, "People are willing to pay if they see the value there and I think there's more choice than ever before for consumers. We're going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $0.99 up to those $60 games."
"If you really see where the heat is for the true gamer, it's on the console and it's still that big-form experience that typically runs upwards of $50 million to develop, and we'll justify that $60 price point and we'll give people hours and hours of gameplay on a daily basis for months and years to come,” he added.
Sony also mentioned at the PS4 launch event that it would allow developers greater freedom with its new console. It will let developers explore new business models. This could mean an emergence of free-to-play titles on consoles.
Hopefully, free-to-play won't mean pay-to-win
This piece of information is interesting, as Sony didn't divulge much about what they had in mind for gaming in the future when it unveiled the PlayStation 4 earlier this week. The company did reveal that an AMD-based x86 processor will be powering the console. It will have 8GB of unified high-speed memory and a “massive” hard drive. The new controller—dubbed the DualShock 4—will have a touch pad that will have a share button, a headphone jack and a light bar to identify players. The light bar also works much like the Move sensor through a 3D camera. Sony also showed off some videos of Unreal Engine 4 running on the PlayStation 4, and you can look around the world using the touch pad.
The console will also feature some new quality-of-life changes. It is said to have a low power-state and auto-saves games. You don’t have to wait for the game to load the next time you’re switching on the console either. According to the company, the console can download games in the background, even when the system is powered off. Games can also be played while they’re being downloaded.
The Share button on the controller will let you upload any video you from your console to video services. According to the company, "Our goal is to make sharing of video as popular in PS4 as screenshots are today." Videos are automatically uploaded while you play a game.
Taking a page out of Microsoft’s Xbox Smartglass, it looks like the PlayStation 4 will have some integration with smartphones and tablets as well. Presumably, apps will let you access the social aspect of PlayStation Network.