Sony CFO Masaru Kato expects the PS4 to be a much more profitable console than the PS3, at least at launch according to recent statements at a earnings call this past week. “Unlike PS3, we are not planning a major loss to be incurred with the launch of PS4,” said Kato. The PS3, because of its high development costs and high initial price point, struggled greatly at launch. Sony expects this time around to be different.
“At the time we developed PS3, we made a lot of in-house investments to develop the chip, the Cell chip. Development of the chip saw the silicon processing and all the facilities invested by us ourselves. But this time, yes we have a team working on chip development, but we already have existing technology to incorporate and also product investment and all the facilities will now be invested by our partners, other foundries, so we don’t have to make all the investment in-house.”
It seems that Sony learned its lesson with the PS3 launch and is making smarter business decisions this time around such as utilizing cheaper existing technology and relying more on external investments. What this means for gamers is that the PS4 is probably not going to launch for $599 U.S dollars. While Sony has yet to announce a price, by all indications the PS4 has been cheaper to develop than the PS3, and most likely it will launch at a competitive price somewhere in-between the Wii U and the PS3’s initial cost. We will likely learn more about the details of the PS4 launch at Sony’s E3 press conference on June 10th.