Tretton: Sony in 'much better position' with PS4 launch than with PS3
Timeliness and price. Those are two key factors Sony has taken into account with the PlayStation 4, something the company may have overlooked with the PS3. Speaking to CNN Money, SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton expressed his belief that Sony is in a "much better position" with the launch of the PS4 compared to the PS3. A few changes should allow Sony to be more competitive at launch with its biggest rival, Microsoft and the Xbox One.
"There are a couple of key factors: We came to market later than what proved to be a formidable competitor in the Xbox 360 -- that won't happen this time around," Tretton assured. The Xbox One will be released in 21 countries this November, while Sony has maintained the PS4 will be available sometime this "holiday season." No specific month has been revealed, though a November launch -- or late October, at the very earliest -- is expected.
"We came to market at $599 -- that's obviously not going to happen this time around," he added. While the PlayStation 3's price was considerably higher than the Xbox 360, Sony has taken a different approach this time around. The PS4 will retail for $399, which is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One.
"At $399 we had a proposition consumers would respond favorably to. We honestly didn't know whether that was going to be more aggressive or less aggressive than competitors," he explained.
Sony's decision to not include the PS Eye bundled with the system allowed them to offer the system at a lower price, whereas each Xbox One will retail for $499 thanks to the inclusion of the Kinect sensor.
"In spite of all that, we went on to sell 70 million units," Tretton said. "There were a lot of lessons learned in things we did not want to repeat. I really relish the opportunity to come to market in a timely way at $399."
It also helps that Sony won over consumers early with a focus on games and a favorable DRM policy which allowed playing shared, borrowed, and pre-owned games. Microsoft, meanwhile, had the exact opposite with the Xbox One at first, and only recently changed its policies -- but by then the damage was done.