NGP May See Staggered Release, Be Really Expensive
Due to continuing complications in the development of the NGP as a result of the recent major earthquakes that hit Japan, Sony may not be prepared to give the handheld a simultaneous worldwide release this fall. SCEA prez Jack Tretton says they may be forced to start off with a release in just one region, and which lucky region that would be is up in the air. It’d be Europe, North America or Japan, whichever would be most financially feasible. Japan seems like the natural choice, being as that’s how it’s always been done; however, here are far fewer people in that country than in either Europe or NA, and Europe actually probably has the best track record for buying Sony handhelds in wild droves.
Meanwhile, Jack Tretton is also also seemingly trying to get people ready to pay out the ass for the thing, saying that folks see a new platform as an investment that pays off over many years and that they’re totally willing to drop a few hundred bucks on a handheld device if it’s cool. And that’s true, if it’s an Apple device. Everything else, maybe not. Here’s an actual quote, followed by a video of him saying that quote and more. (Everything comes from Fast Company, where you can find more videos.)
People are used to spending several hundreds of dollars to get a portable device. I think in the long run, when you look at that total investment in a platform, the amount of money you spend on the hardware is a relatively small percentage of the total investment. It’s not to say the price of the platform isn’t a consideration, but I don’t think price makes or kills a platform. Something that’s lousy, that’s very inexpensive, is not going to be successful, and something that’s pricey will ultimately find its audience if there’s enough value there.
I can’t really say he’s wrong about that, since that last clause is the story of the Playstation 3, sort of. The PS3 did didn’t really find that whole audience until it wasn’t so pricey, though, which might also end up being the story of the 3DS.
That quote is making my brain spin in my head as I try to figure out what it means. Is he trying to say the NGP is going to cost more than we already think it might? Or is he just making these comments in a void? Maybe he’s just messing with us to see how we react so they’ll know our limits. Or maybe he’s just saying this so we’ll be all excited and stuff when it’s a lot cheaper than we expect. But it can’t possibly be cheaper than we expect, right? I give up. You win this round, Jack.