Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai has commented on the potential price of PlayStation 3 software for the first time, as part of an interview printed in the August issue of consumer publication PSM Magazine.
When asked whether PlayStation 3 games would be priced in the same range as Xbox 360 titles (currently $59.99 for most high budget titles), Hirai suggested that: “Generally speaking, over the past twelve years or so, there has been a consumer expectation that disc based games are maybe $59 on the high end to $39 on the low end. So, what I can say now is, I think it would be a bit of a stretch to think that we could suddenly turn around and say ‘PS3 games now $99.99’."
The price of video games is currently a subject of great debate in the industry, with publishers such as Activision maintaining that a price increase is needed
to cover next generation development costs. Conversely, many developers feel games are too expensive, as evidenced in Gamasutra’s recent podcast
featuring Brian Eddy of Midway Games and Bethesda Software's Todd Howard.
Hirai continued his answer by saying, “I don't think consumers expect software pricing to suddenly double. So, the quick answer is that we want to make it as affordable as possible, knowing that there is a set consumer expectation for what software has cost for the past twelve years. That's kind of the best answer I can give you. So, if it becomes a bit higher than $59, don't ding me, but, again, I don't expect it to be $100.”