Sony Explored, Abandoned Mandatory PS4 Eye Camera Bundle
Sony toyed with the idea of including an Eye camera with every PlayStation 4, but decided against the bundle before confirming final release plans earlier this year.
In an interview with Business Spectator, SCE President Andrew House talks about the process, and how the “magic price” of $399 played a major factor in the decision (emphasis added).
While Microsoft’s inclusion of the Kinect grants end users and developers greater freedom, Sony’s Masayasu Ito says US$399 was deemed “the magic price” for the PlayStation 4 – bringing it in US$200 cheaper than the PlayStation 3. Efforts were made to include the camera at the US$399 mark, but pressure from above forbade Sony Computer Entertainment from making too much of a loss on the PlayStation 4 hardware. As it is Sony is rumoured to be losing US$60 on each PlayStation 4 sale, money it aims to make back via selling peripherals, software and services.
Andy House doesn’t see the lack of a camera as a major hurdle for the PlayStation 4 at launch, as it is not considered a major selling point for serious gamers.
“Certainly for the earlier part of the lifecycle, the vast majority of the audience that we speak to tells us that their primary wish is for the full controller interface and there’s not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction,” House says.
House also notes that some regions could see a PS4 launch SKU that includes the Eye camera, but the bundle pricing and availability won’t be announced until closer to launch.
One of the PlayStation 4′s greatest launch window advantages over the Xbox One is the price — $399 versus $499, respectively. While Microsoft is including a Kinect sensor with every Xbox One sold, Sony’s decision to sell the Eye as a separate $60 accessory could lead to higher PS4 sales numbers. That and, you know, the whole flip-flop routine coming out of Redmond.