Next-Gen Games Price Range
March 12, 2013

Next-Gen Games Price Range

Instead of relying on gaming analysts and speculation for the expected price point of games for the next generation of consoles, we’ll dive deeper into the condition of current economic business models.

Video games came on the market decades ago as a “supply and demand” product for consumers. Back then, the architecture of advertising and getting people to actually purchase from a retail store was simple: We’ve made a game, if you’re interested in buying it, you need only drive to your nearest Wal-Mart or Target. Of course, in those days, the simplicity of the gaming market was soft enough that it could be sliced with a butter knife.

As it turns out, that smoothness of that marketing provided no significant success or job security for these men and women that dedicated entire decades of their lives to software and hardware design.

As the need for expansion and progress began to weigh down on their shoulders, publishers abandoned the simplicity of their advertising. Now, publishers and developers aren’t content with what you simply see; they are hell-bent on guaranteeing your desire for their product.

Depending on the console, the price for each game ranged anywhere from $20-$50 dollars. My earlier days of handheld gaming saw games at the maximum range at $40, a price that I was sure would be the absolute limit. After all, who wants to spend more than $40 on a game? I was crushed to find that as gamers transcended the weak, often bland textures of handheld consoles, the prices also transcended when purchasing a game for either Xbox or PlayStation.

This is a question of hardware. Quite simply, it’s much simpler and less technically demanding to develop a game for Nintendo 3DS than it is for PC. With that gap in technical capabilities, we began to understand the real disparity of current and even next generation consoles.

To be frank, a $60 price point on any game is excessive and disheartening, given that we often purchase games that don’t last a considerable amount of time. As Cliff Bleszenski said, “You vote with your dollars.” It’s less applicable for me to think of buying a game as a “vote.” Instead, I think my money is a reflection of the value of my particular interest in a game at a given point in time. For some, that interest is too great to warrant discipline in impulse spending.

According to Geoff Keighley, a SXSW analyst, (whether that be credible or not) video games of the next generation will have a higher price point of around $70 when new. If this is the foreseeable future, with games of that price, you’ll more than likely not see me at launch events. Personally, my next generation of gaming is with Ariel (My PC). I have much more to be happy about with the PC now experiencing a renaissance, Steam sales offering games and exclusives for dirt cheap, and creation kits offering me the ability to mod any game that I see fit.

But it isn’t about me

Ultimately that leaves out tens of millions of gamers looking for a more comfortable experience. On that subject, it’s worth noting how console publishers feel about the pricing of games.

Obviously newer consoles imply an improvement in hardware. However, what they don’t imply (at least by telling you) is that the game prices will more than likely rise as a result of higher quality machines.

Will you be spending your hard-earned cash on $70 dollar games? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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