Geek Revolt

Another $600 Console Sounds Good Right About Now

kaz_hirai

We’re on the cusp of a new generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles and everyone is talking about possible specs. We wants these new machines to be super powerful, but when it comes to price the sweet spot seems to be $400. This is a little cheap for something that should last you 7-8 years, here’s why the PS4 and Next Xbox should cost at least 599 US dollars.

First off, we’re not talking about another PS3 situation. Its expensive price was mostly due to the Blu-ray player housed inside it. While I enjoy the extra storage for games and HD movies (more on that later) – it doesn’t really enhance graphics and gameplay.

Sure, we can debate its benefits all day (higher resolution textures, less compression, etc.), but where would that get us? Instead that extra $200 should be used for things that will directly enhance graphics and gameplay, like more RAM, a stronger GPU, etc.

The extra cost would be worth it in the end, each console generation is getting longer and longer. What’s an extra $200 for something that you plan on using for at least 7 years? Some people spend that much on unlocked smartphones and tablets and they’re outdated after a year. Hell, you’ll be lucky to get the latest software update on an Android or iOS device that’s more than 2 years old. The same can’t be said for consoles, just look at how much the PS3 and Xbox 360’s software has evolved.

gtav_shot003122412_1280

Take a look at some of the early PS3 and Xbox 360 games; now look at the ones that are coming out next year. It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come, but they’re finally hitting a wall. This doesn’t have to be the case next generation, if the PS4 and Next Xbox are vastly overpowered out of the gate developers could continue to push the systems’ to new limits for 8-9 years.

Nintendo made the Wii U powerful enough to keep up with the PS3 and Xbox 360. It wouldn’t have cost them much to throw in more RAM and a better CPU, but they just did enough to get by. I don’t want Sony and Microsoft to do the same, give us more than the bare minimum.

Using the PS3 to push Blu-ray may have not been Sony’s best idea, but I admire them for going all out. They really went for it, and I still think the original ‘phat’ PS3 is the best PS3. I want to see something like this again, a gaming console that isn’t afraid to overindulge. You probably didn’t need that Blu-ray player back in 2006, but it’s coming in handy now.

Gamers need to be more realistic; if we want the next generation to blow us away we should be willing to drop a small fortune. If you don’t want to pay more than $400 for a new console wait a couple of years before upgrading. There are still tons of PS3 and Xbox 360 games to play (you don’t need the latest and greatest). Everyone shouldn’t be punished because a few gamers refuse to put their money where their mouth is. You want the best? Okay, it won’t be cheap…

I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "26-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=771027701 Aaron Grundler

    Or they can essentially make two versions of the console, one is the standard that you can buy out the box for let’s say $399, and it will have all the bells and whistles that’s available. then for those hardcore gamers who constantly need/want the best stuff that’s out, they can upgrade their console. MS and Sony and even though Nintendo NEVER would do this, can sell upgradeable Ram, Bigger HDD’s, and a better graphics card every couple months as they become available, (even if they start off at 90nm chips, eventually getting down to 20nm to run quieter and cooler) that way you can still play GTA V on the new console and it will look amazing or you can upgrade the home console and it will look alot better, the Consoles will be able to compete better with PC’s and those who have/want to spend the extra cash can have the best version available. and they just need to make the games scaleable like they do to work on different power levels of PC’s.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Great idea, I thought about this, but I don’t think we will ever see something like this. Game developers may complain, I think I’ve heard a few of them say they don’t develop for PC because all of the different configurations. IIRC it was Insomniac when someone asked them if Fuse was coming to PC.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=771027701 Aaron Grundler

        yeah but see all they would have to do is make one version of the game…and just have it scaleable within the game engine to play at Ultra settings or low settings depending which version of the console you have. They can do it the same way they have the systems “Upscale” movies and games from a lower resolution to a higher one, If Sony and MS put this into the systems…it will automatically detect what they have and put the game in that setting.only one version of the game would really need to be made.

        • Axe99

          It’s never that easy – PC gaming (which I’m a big fan of) is a big pain in the rear due to having to get everything working together from a gamer’s perspective, and likely far more painful when developing. Very little simply ‘scales up’ without coming up against hardware conflicts. I’d be very, very surprised if designing for stable hardware wasn’t a good deal easier and cheaper.

  • slim

    fact is that gamers need to man up and stop complaining about price. console makers need to really do their home work before release next consoles. gamers want high end tech bu dont think that they should pay for it. i think that 450 to 500$ is a good price for the next gen people are asking for.

    • Austin McDowell

      not all gamers are the same as you. I dont give a damn for graphics, only gameplay.

      • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

        Well, better specs can lead to better gameplay… I’m far from a graphics whore, but I want every game to be full HD and run at 60 frames per seconds.

        The extra power will help developers make better game worlds with more complex AI. So if you really care about gameplay you shouldn’t mind the extra expense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/varundude27 Varun Sharma

          If you dont need graphics then stick with PS3 or Xbox 360 as if the developers deteriorate d graphics a bit, they can scale up the gameplay…. So no need of next gen. if u dont want better graphics with better gameplay…

      • Axe99

        What Varun says – if you’re not interested in the latest and greatest
        AI, physics, graphics and the like, the PS3 and 360 have excellent gaming libraries to keep you going, at a very, very affordable price if you’re happy buying a year or two behind the curve (PS3 plus PS+ is insanely good value-for-money gaming). You’re well covered if this is your main interest. On the other hand, if you want the bleeding-edge stuff, then it’ll cost you more. The way it’s always been. As others have noted, more powerful specs are about so much more than graphics – the AI on KZ2 and 3 is far and above that of any game last gen (and a good bit better than most shooters this gen), or the Wii, and it’s in large part because the designers were able to leverage the greater processing power of the PS3′s CPU/SPU setup.

  • http://twitter.com/snakeeyes211 sergio sanchez

    I totally agree with this article thank you for dropping some knowledge on everyone by the way happy holidays to all

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Thanks and happy holidays to you too.

  • Camara Wilson

    Sony has taken alot of flak for their entry point, but at $600, why oh why was ram split into 2×256 or why they included the slowest read speed of bluray is beyond me. They cut alot of corners and still expected the consumer to pay…not to mention them always removing great features eg life with playstation. Sony needs to hit up alibaba and get ram and get next gen parts at a deep discount. More thought out gaming aspects and finally really understand what ps gamers want…not what they think they want. Also …lol, sweet price point and not late to the game, if they’re late they might as well not come

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      I’m not sure why they did that to the RAM, isn’t that the reason cross game chat doesn’t work on the PS3? It could also be the reason why every game doesn’t support custom soundtracks.

      • Camara Wilson

        yep, also inclusion of such a slow reader is why we lose hdd space all the time. what about better xmb, I mean IMO, xmb is better than metro on xbox but the lack of system notification sounds, really doesnt make for good communication with other players. sony needs to steal good ideas

        • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

          XMB is probably on its way out, if Sony still had hopes for it we would have seen it on the PS Vita.

          • Guest

            what is wrong with xmb i mean honestly?

          • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

            Camara thinks it needs better notifications, and I think it won’t be used on the PS4. Not that I think something is wrong with it per se, I just think Sony will come up with something better.

          • Guest

            xmb style is really an easy way to navigate im sure there are other ways that work aswell but there is nothing wrong with xmb

          • John

            They’ve been copying MS with every chance they get. The new Store is a direct rip-off straight to the font type.

          • extermin8or2

            Yeah but the new store is awful, i mean it looks nicer but actually using it… when it comes to userbinterfaces id rather it be abit ugly bur easy and slick to use :p it wpuld work best with the citas touchscreen yet the vita’s store hasnt changed XMB could do with a redesign as its old and gotten abit boring but at least its user friendly I believe it won awards for hpw usable it was? Although you can see inspiration from it in mpsr sony products still, even if just in the swirly hilix backgrounds they use :p so ot might not be gone yet after all vita only got new ui because of touchscreen they claimed…

  • chris

    i only agree with this as long as they put the specs into the console not just overprice it without putting more ram, better CPU into the new console, if they do that i have no problem paying 600, but lets be honest theirs only so many true gamers that would understand this, for a mass market it needs to be a bit of both to sell units, so we might have to sacrifice a little power to get that i just hope they try and get more then 8gbs of ram into it try and go for 16 and ill be happy

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      A lack of RAM has caused a few problems this generation, so I agree (maybe not on 16GB exactly). It’s cheap so they should go crazy. It’s better to be over-prepared.

      • John

        Quite a few problems almost all exclusive to the PS3 in that department.

        • Axe99

          Not true – there have been plenty of issues getting games to work on 360 due to limited RAM as well. Yes, there have been more issues getting games designed for a unified 512K (ie, done on Xbox or PC first), but ‘almost all exclusive’ is hardly accurate.

  • XavierLeromeLangham

    see it’s articles like these that keep me coming back to this site and why it’s in my favorites bar. kudos to you Deshaun but anyway id be willing to pay 600 for a gaming console if i deem it worthy of the price if not i’ll stick with pc gaming for my more expensive gaming needs

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000062959656 Melvin Mckinney Jr.

    I can’t fully jump on board with this idea of 600.00 new console. The market even softer than it was years ago. Another thing why does the system have to hit 599.99 or more to be powerful? Off the shelf pc parts are really low in spite of Ram spikes. Sony/Microsoft are rumored to have gone the way of AMD which would help to keep prices low if rumors are true. I personally think the CPUs in both ps3/360 are capable paired with the right GPU would make the games you’re looking for. I will agree that there should be no skimping on Ram. As much as you down play the Wii U specs a bit. It does benefit from larger Ram size. Browser the fastest I’ve seen on any console. 399.99 would be ideal to get the thing moving. You talk about wanting gamer so pay 599.99 for the next best thing but remember that consumer is very low. Don’t forget it will be tough to move a 599.99 system sitting next to ps3 149.99, xbox360 99.99, ouya 99.99 and Steambox which should come in at a nice price too and don’t forget a cheaper Wii U by then. Let’s not think as hardcore gamers because we or they don’t control the market. The cheap bargain gamers do. Last thing to remember xbox 360 didn’t launch at 599.99 and it’s doing very well even today. 599.99 sure didn’t help Sony win console wars. Nintendo proved it not all about pretty graphics either. What’s the point of pretty graphics if you hate how the game plays.

    • extermin8or2

      Nintendo’s market isn’t about graphics, however sony and microsoft have more competition from high end pc’s and within the next few years Valve’s hybrid closed pc/console which will challenege them- off the shelf pc parts are limited by the processing power of the time and will be outdated by pc’s etc within a couple of years…

      • John

        That Valve machine will never take off. PC gaming isn’t about consolability. It’s about staying up-to-date with the latest tech and making a machine that suits your needs. A static machine will not work and almost NONE of the games in the Steam library are optimised for user friendly TV UI’s. Slapping the new Steam Big Picture mode skin on there isn’t going to fix all the separate setting menu’s an interfaces among games.

        • extermin8or2

          not now but in the future they probably will be, and I’m not saying PC gamers who like/can afford to update to the latest hardware every 2-3 years to always be playing games at the best possible. I think it could nab alot of console players if for no other reason than have you seen steam prices?! Compared to any other retailer digital, or physical based their prices are low, and that’s before their frequent sales…. So unless sony and microsoft have tech out the gate that would still be expensive to supersede in 2 years time from when they launch it wi60 exclusives are likely attract a good portion of their userbase. Having said that though I expect the valve pc hybrid to only have a lifecycle of 2-3 years :p who knows Sony have an advantage here over microsoft in terms of going up against valve as they tend to have more AAA exclusives where as alot of xbox 360 exclusives are also on PC so unless MS snubbed valve and made them only gfwl compatible which would be awful :/

  • John

    A $600 console in the current economic climate and Sony’s financial state (with a rising bankruptcy risk from under 5% last year to over 25% this year) will kill the already dying PlayStation brand completely as Sony is way to stubborn to split them off into their own company.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Just curious, how would splitting the company help? I thought their other products like HDTVs were the reason they’re in trouble.

      • John

        No, they have a minority and decreasing market share in every area they are in. If it be TV’s, camera’s, portable computing, you name it. TV’s are only the largest contributor of the multibillion $ debt Sony has accumulated over the years, everything else is also adding up to that now. All their devices sell overpriced compared to their competitors and by huge margins at that. I’m not saying Sony devices are Junk, but their corporate structure, marketing and support is. And now their financial status has joined that rank because of it. Even Entertainment/PlayStation doesn’t make money as it should. It barely runs even the way it is now, little beter than the rest of the company. But one thing is for sure, if Sony does go down, they will drag PlayStation down with them. Those bad personnel reviews that got leaked are a clear indicator that something is VERY wrong in Sony’s management structure and is something they won’t be able to change in time because of their absurd mentality.

        • extermin8or2

          forget management it’s taken them a year to get vita adverts out that actually explain what the device is over here in europe… infact most sony adverts are a wtf, no wonder they fired the advertising teams over here- and going bankrupt and going out of buisness are different things, the company could go bankrupt yet restructure and come back stronger and still trade- hopefully it wouldn’t come to that kaz does seem to know what he’s doing more so than others within the company but I do wish they’d split playstation devision off a seperate offshoot company maybe one with heavy ties to the main body but essentially seperate because tbh if sony went down and took playstation with it; it really would be a sad day for the industry just from the decrease in variety and choice :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.lane.35 Tony Lane

    What kind of bullshit article is that? The next generation is about gameplay… not graphics.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Oh tony — better hardware can lead to better gameplay. Do you think today’s open world game would have worked on a N64 or PS1? Better AI, character animations, more complex worlds, improved physics, added performance, etc.

      Now please, tell me that all of these things don’t lead to better gameplay?

      Edit: Just noticed your avatar, of course you would say that…

  • J B

    Cost based on longevity isn’t a very good yard stick to determine “fair” price. How many products can you think of that are expensive but give up the ghost or are outperformed long before they should be? Early adopters always pay more for anything, but that still doesn’t make the value/worth of their purchase reasonable or even necessarily fair even if it does show that the it’s the market that ultimately decides what something can be sold for.

    I’m still listening to music from 10 years ago – I guess I should have paid a couple of grand for those CD’s?

    The model has always been the same…console manufacturers lose money on their hardware early on, and then make it up later in the product’s life cycle. We saw how Sony’s, “we want to build a system so expensive that everyone will want one” strategy started off with the PS3…they’re not apt to make the same mistake again.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      You’re comparing CDs to consoles, seriously? I’m not saying they should be more expensive because we’ll still be using them in 8 years — I’m saying they should be more expensive so they’ll still be ‘worth’ using in 8 years. Of course they’ll become outdated, but why gimp them from the start?

      And they would still be taking a loss on these consoles… Do you think I want higher priced consoles just for the sake of higher priced consoles? I understand what you’re trying to say, but that argument doesn’t work in this situation.

      We should pay for better specs — this isn’t about charging a premium because we’ll still be using these boxes in 7 years.

  • plsburydoughboy

    Sorry to break it to you, but all hints point to this not happening. Not only are the leaked dev kits not that much more powerful, Sony could not afford to do this again if they wanted to anyway. That junk bond status is not going away soon, and has definite consequences to how much money they can throw around for their gaming division.

    Spend that $ 600 on a PC. Now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000172099718 Dominic Hunter

    You make a very good and seldom heard point here. Everyone wants cheaper games and hardware at the same high quality, and it’s just not possible.

    The truth is, I feel like the speed of the evolution of technology is outpacing our ability to produce and pay for it, especially with the current state of the world economy. AAA games are taking larger and larger teams and more expensive technology to produce top-quality titles, resulting in increasingly expensive games. The same goes for hardware tenfold, since the company in question has to develop and adopt cutting-edge hardware AND software, mass-produce it, get it to market, and advertise it.

    Perfect example: The PS Vita. Sony had to sell the system at a big loss because giving the system the best tech possible and selling it at an affordable price just wasn’t possible. Their only hope for the system’s success and profitability in the West is that 3rd parties start taking a huge interest in the system’s capabilities. Now imagine that, amplified by the fact that it would be a home console in question. See my point?

    What I’m getting at is that I think the industry needs to slow down. It’s 2012, people aren’t made of money, and no matter how beautiful and powerful the next generation of consoles are going to be, no matter what wondrous opportunities it will present to developers and players, people aren’t going to pay $600 for their video game consoles. THEY ARE NOT. Many of us CAN’T, especially with the $80-$90 games that would ensue.

    I’d love to close out with some clever or wise statements or ideas, but I don’t have any. I’m just saying don’t want to see the game industry collapse under it’s own weight because it tried to build itself up too fast, and its supporters weren’t ready.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Yeah, the PS Vita is a powerful handheld, but people still think it costs too much. It’s a real shame, but if it were barely more powerful than the PSP people would still complain. It’s a lose/lose situation. Powerful console too expensive, an affordable one, not powerful enough.

      So I think gamers are going to complain no matter what, in the end these two companies have to decide what’s best.

      • extermin8or2

        The Ps vita is really worth the money though as a device it’s fantastic it’s not even a year old over here in the UK and it does have some fantastic games, some of the reviewers have been really quite harsh on the likes of gravity rush (IGN:7.5 wtf?!) Assassins Creed:Liberations is such a step up over what the previous Assassins Creed portable games ahve achieved yet it got a similar/the same score to the Lego Lord of the rings game or batman lego game both of which were cheap ports of the 3DS version same goes for burnou…-sorry I mean Need for Speed Most Wanted- which is the same as the ps3 version with scaled down textures etc which is brilliant for a handheld and this doesn’t even scratch the surfcae of the great games 1st gen games that are available and can only improve as time progresses. Yes I agree the memory sticks are overpriced but in fairness sony has to make money somehow-it’s how a company works the device could use some more quality support from 3rd party developers that aren’t ubisoft or criterion at this point-instead of cheap 5 month jobs from known bad studios (looking at activision) but the device with the library of ps1 (and im sure in the future as it’s more than capable of it ps2 games) is a perfect example of new tech that is well probably worth more than it costs and people refusing to adopt in hunt of a lower price that long term if/when it drops and they buy will have actually devalued their purchase yet they think it will be worth the same yet cost less. These same people that wont pay the price for a vita yet still want that level of advancement or wont pay the likely 500-600 for a next gen consoles frequently upgrade their phone for similar money to the latest iphone etc when the only real improvements are incremental… :s

        • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

          I know, Gravity Rush was my 2012 GOTY.

        • Axe99

          Totally agree, no idea what much of the dislike for the Vita is about, reckon that fanboyism has taken it to the next level of something, as it’s a sweet, sweet piece of kit, and incredibly good value for money for what it is, and an insanely good range of games for its first year on the market. Morale of the story, gamers will always complain….