DEC. 19, 2013 • The next market to get a PlayStation 4 launch will be India on Jan. 6. Sony Computer Entertainment’s new console will retail there for Rs 39,990 ($640). The 12GB PlayStation 3 sells in India for Rs 17,000 ($272), and the 500GB model at Rs 22,990 ($368). The optional PlayStation Eye will sell for Rs 4,990 ($80). First-party PlayStation 4 titles are priced at Rs 3,999 ($64). Sony will launch the console in India with a line-up of 22 first- and third-party games. A 36% import tax plus a 37% VAT are responsible for a higher MSRP for PlayStation 4 India compared to either Europe or North America.
Impact: We frankly are a little surprised to see the PlayStation 4 come to India so soon since the PS3 installed base there is small – only 250,000 units since 2007 according to PlayStation India Head Atindriya Bose who revealed the latest tally in an interview this week with the Firstpost news site in India. Price remains a significant barrier to entry for most Indian consumers – a reason why mobile games are gaining traction in the country, and why the Rs 5,900 ($95) PlayStation 2 has sold 1 million units in the country despite the introduction of the PS3. The launch in India is well before the scheduled late February launch in Sony’s home market of Japan. Meanwhile, most markets that have already seen a PlayStation 4 launch are unlikely to receive sizable restocking until about the same time as India gets its first units. If those early January shipments are paltry, then there might be a public outcry in other PAL markets like Europe and Australia who may not take kindly to India siphoning off units that could have been sent elsewhere. That is a risk that Sony seems willing to make. Seeing that the PS4 has an edge in sales on the Xbox One, Sony seems to be pushing the new system into as many new markets as possible. Only last week 16 more countries were added to the distribution list. Like India, there is a question of how many consumers in these recently added nations can afford a PS4 or an Xbox One. That matters little as we think Sony seems intent on keeping its foot on the gas with so many launches to further the perception that it is the world leader this cycle. Hopefully the company can bring more production capacity on line.