Hardware and Gear

Published on April 19th, 2016 | by gareth


Does An Enhanced PlayStation 4 System And PlayStation VR Ask Too Much Of Consumers?

As the world of gaming news becomes flooded more and more with stories about Sony developing an enhanced Playstation 4 system, I found myself mulling over a debate that is sure to envelop gamers.

With over 35 million units sold, Sony has done very well for themselves with their latest console but for me how they handle the launch of a potential upgraded console will be vital.

I saw a posting only that said that the console would be out in the fall at a cost of $499. Naturally this like the existence of the console itself is simply speculation at this time but let us consider that this is fairly accurate for the purpose of this article.

$499 is a high price point for a system today but seeing as it is a 4K enabled system I could see the appeal for many gamers to take this step now rather than wait 4-5 years roughly for the next Playstation system to emerge.

Combine this with the release of the Playstation VR and you can begin to see the possibilities but also the potential for issues for Sony and frustrations for gamers. If you have already paid $399 at launch for your Playstation 4 system and have already paid $499 to reserve your Playstation VR system, being asked to come up with an additional $499 to stay current is a steep price. Yes, I know that nobody is forcing anyone to upgrade and many people have purchased their consoles at a reduced price from what they were at launch, but you can see where I am going.

Many consumers may feel ripped off that the system they invested in a short time ago is already obsolete in the bigger picture and 35 upset customers is the last thing Sony wants, especially when they are counting on a large portion of the user base to shell out for their new VR system.

So those who are not willing to wait will likely have to debate the purchase of a new system or a Playstation VR as for many, the outlay for both will be intimidating. I am sure there will likely be a bundle but still.

So will Sony take a bold step forward as some have speculated and offer existing PS4 owners a discounted price to update their systems? This seems to be the most logical course of action but let us not forget how hard it was for many who did not preorder the PS4 to get their systems after launch. I can only image the nightmare if only half of the current PS4 owners want to do an upgrade, as 17 million systems would be a hard order to fill at launch to say nothing of new customers.

This also raises the questions of priorities as the rumored new system is supposed to be ideal for the new VR technology, will many consumers opt to wait on Playstation VR until they are able to obtain the new system as in a tight consumer marketplace, there has to be some give.

Sony has been rock solid with most aspects of the PS4 from announcement through launch so I have to believe they have already anticipated much of this and have an appropriate plan in place, but it does make me wonder if it all might be a bit much to ask of consumers to support a new VR system and enhanced console should they launch close to one another.

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About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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