In an attempt to take away some of the spotlight from Nintendo’s 3DS campaign, Sony announced their successor to the PSP, known simply as NGP. At least for now, the NGP has successfully diverted gamer’s attention away from the 3DS and the internet has been brimming with buzz on the newly announced handheld.
Amidst the media frenzy, GameStop posted pre-orders for the NGP at the ridiculous price of $999.99. Many people were confused and shocked when they saw this extremely high price and the immediate posting of the item before prices were announced. However, it turns out that GameStop jumped the gun a little (read: a lot) and has since removed NGP pre-orders from their website.
Hopeful buyers shouldn’t be scared off by GameStop's hefty price tag, as it was in all likelyhood a poor estimate left as a placeholder until the official price is released. Another (and more likely) possibility is that GameStop wanted some publicity and did this as a marketing stunt. What better way to get attention than to say something outrageous about a hot topic in the industry? On the other hand, maybe GameStop does have an idea of how expensive the NGP will be and this exaggerated price is their way of weakening the blow. Obviously, this is all speculation until Sony releases the official information, but there's speculation that suggests the NGP could cost more than gamers expect to pay.
During a recent interview, SCEA president and CEO, Jack Tretton, seems to hint that the NGP will be a bit on the pricey side.
“You know, I'm not an expert on the 3DS, he said. I've seen the screen. I haven't played it. I think that if you could create content that consumers see compelling, they'll find money that they didn't think they had. I think the more recent example of that was Kinect. I didn't think people would go out and spend $150 for that device and they did--and that's a peripheral at the end of the day. So I think if the quality's there, then the people will find a way to buy it, within reason."
His logic is that if they deliver a good enough product, consumers will find a way to purchase it, placing a higher value on the handheld console. There are however, several conerns in this type of thinking. First, the cost is a very important factor to most people, especially in an industry where games are already too expensive. Younger gamers, those looking to buy a gift and others who just don't have the budget for another mobile gaming machine simply don’t have money to burn for gaming purposes.
Secondly, the 3DS will be a strong competitor and if it ends up being cheaper it will be hard for many to justify the purchase of a more expensive machine. Parents and others seeking to buy a handheld as a gift who have a limited knowledge of gaming will often opt for the less expensive unit. It could be the Wii vs. PS3 all over again.
All that being said, the competition between the 3DS and NGP has the potential to be far more interesting and relevant than the DS’ rout of the PSP. Sony has unveiled some snazzy hardware and Nintendo has a renewed interest in so-called "hardcore" gamers. It will be interesting to see which of the two handhelds is more succesful.
Be sure to check out Game Rant’s discussion regarding how much people are willing to pay for the NGP.
When Sony’s NGP comes out later this year, hopefully not for $999, what do you predict its retail price will be?
Source: Tom’s Guide