PS4 Launch Cost Vs. PS3: Oh, How The Prices Have Dropped

on November 12 2013 1:57 PM

The PlayStation 4 will be released on Nov. 15 and with the expense of buying Sony’s new console, accessories and games, fans can expect to shell out some serious money. That cost is nothing compared to the PlayStation 3 launch in 2006. In seven years, prices have dropped dramatically, including incidental purchases like a HDTV.

Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) A promotional image for the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4)  Sony

Gamers now do not even think twice about the television they own but in 2006, HDTVs were still too expensive for most individuals. As reported by the Chicago Tribune in 2006, prices for 42-inch HD plasma TV were dropping significantly each year, with the average price of a new TV costing $2,014, from the end of 2005 to the end of 2006. For a quick comparison, a search online at Best Buy reveals prices that are dramatically lower. A 42-inch HDTV costs $399.99, the cost of a PS4, while a 60-inch plasma HDTV costs $949.99.

Consumers were transitioning between SDTV and HDTV in 2006 when the PS3 was first launched but HDTV but the vast majority of households now feature an HDTV. In a study from the Leichtman Research Group, 75 percent of households have an HDTV, with 51 percent having more than one HDTV set. Studies from 2005 and 2006 reveal a percentage of around 25 to 26 of households owning an HDTV.

Between the two launches, that’s a dramatic savings for gamers looking to have the best possible experience and that value extends to the PS4 itself.

The PS3 was quite the pricey console at launch. In 2006, the 20GB version cost $499 while the 60GB version was priced at $599. Interestingly, the 20GB version of the PS3 did not include an HDMI port and inside the box, gamers could find an AC cord, controller, USB mini-cable, Ethernet cable and a multi-AV cable, reports IGN. Games were around $50 to $60, reports 1Up.

To note the cultural change, the PS4 features a 500GB comes with a HDMI cable, mono headset, USB cable and a DualShock 4 controller and is Internet-ready with integrated 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Games are more expensive, priced at $59.99 and users will need to purchase a PlayStation Plus membership, $49.99, but Sony will include a $10 voucher as well as 30 day trials for PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited, reports Gamespot.

PS3 Versions The original 60GB version of PS3 compared to the 120GB "Slim" version.  Sony/Wikimedia Commons

For gamers, the PlayStation 4 launch also features nearly twice the options as the PS3. The PS3 launched with 12 titles in 2006, including "Call of Duty 3," Resistance: Fall of Man," "Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07" and "Tony Hawk Project 8" wheres the PS4 is launching with 23 titles, including "Call of Duty: Ghosts," "Killzone: Shadow Fall," "Battlefield 4" and "Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag."

'Call of Duty' Comparison "Call of Duty 3" (left) was a launch title PS3 and "Call of Duty: Ghosts" (right) is a launch title for the PS4.  Activision

Seven years is a long time, especially for technology, and chances are we will look at the PS4 launch with nostalgia and surprise at the "realistic" graphics, cost of the console and what features were not included with the next-gen system. It may not be until 2023 until we look back at the PlayStation 4 as Sony hopes for a 10 year console cycle, notes Digital Spy, and the PS3 continues to be well-supported and 2014 features plenty of highly-anticipated titles for the last-gen console.

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