Leaked PS4 PlayStation Store prices were premature, says Sony UK MD
The PlayStation 4 launches tonight at midnight in the UK, two weeks after the US and nine months after it was officially announced by Sony Computer Entertainment in New York. And while it has been an outstanding success already, selling over a million consoles in 24-hours in the States alone, the wider community still has concerns over some of its features.
One of those includes UK pricing of certain digital versions of games listed on the PlayStation Store, especially after a series of leaks ahead of the launch. When it first went live to reviewers and testers, the online store listed Electronic Arts games, including FIFA 14, for £62.99 each and although that has now dipped to £54.99 to bring them in line with their Xbox One counterparts, it caused outrage.
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Fergal Gara, vice-president and managing director UK & Ireland of Sony Computer Entertainment, explained to Pocket-lint that the prices first seen were never intended to be final. He revealed in an exclusive chat that prices had not been set at that time, and the PlayStation Store that appeared on test PlayStation 4 consoles was a work in progress.
"Some pricing went live prematurely this week, which caused a lot of people to react to pricing that wasn't final. So that wasn't ideal," he said.
"The pricing that will be full and final as of tonight, that's the launch pricing - not the price points that may have been seen earlier in the week."
Effectively, that will bring the prices for games on the PlayStation Store in line with their peers on Xbox One. As was always Sony's intention.
Critics might continue to point to the fact that some games still cost more through Sony's download system at launch than the physical copies are available elsewhere. It's something Gara also addressed with us, admitting that the pricing structure for digital downloads could change in the future.
"Market forces will drive that to quite a degree," Gara said.
"What we would like to see is that pricing for digital titles, where it is also available on disc, will be comparable. And we want to see an environment where discs still have a chance to succeed and retailers have a chance to continue to prosper, both with disc-based products and with digital.
"Ultimately, I think that when it comes to full games it's still very early days. The DLC space is quite mature already, but full game downloads are still quite new and there's a lot of learning; a lot of trial and experimentation by us, PlayStation Store and of course gamers as to what's right."