“We couldn’t possibly have known what the Xbox was going to cost,” says Sony Computer Entertainment’s Vice President Fergal Gara, speaking [to TechRadar] at the PlayStation event last night, which TheSixthAxis attended.
Common rumourx of late suggested that Sony had dropped the camera from the retail package to allow the PS4 to be priced considerably under what Microsoft aimed the Xbox One at, a price which resulted in applause during the former’s pre-E3 conference.
The PS4 is £349, the Xbox One around £429.
Gara claims the PS4’s price was set well before Microsoft’s reveal. “What I’ll say is, lots of ideas were considered you know, lots of different combinations and of course price was I think fairly clear from a very long time out but you know everything about PS4 is about giving gamers choice.”
“So if you don’t want a camera you don’t have to have a camera. If you want to trade in games, you can trade in games. So there’s been nothing in the whole proposition that is overly restrictive and I think the reaction has proved that people value that.”
It’s worth noting that the PS4 will come with a camera-required game baked onto the console’s hard drive, with the cynic suggesting it’s there to help sell cameras down the line.
“To design a piece of technology like that it’s very easy to deliver one or the other, in particular I’m talking about the price and the performance trade off. It’s very hard to deliver both and for me the balance that’s been delivered across those two is outstanding.”
Gara claims the PS4 is the “most powerful gaming device ever conceived” – he’s presumably just referring to consoles there – “and at a price that feels very acceptable, certainly based on the pre-order volumes that we’re seeing.”
The Sony boss also added that, based on his feedback, the PS4 is “ahead on pre-orders” compared to the Xbox One. He also teased more content at Gamescom, which is next month.