Mar 14 2013 12:30pm

Gaming Roundup: Will Next-Gen Consoles Usher in the $70 Video Game?

Lost in the furor of Sony’s PS4 launch, Microsoft’s potential Xbox 720 launch, Valve entering the console market, and the long shadow of Apple looming over all, is speculation that next-gen console games may in fact come with a next-gen price, setting the standard video game launch pricepoint at $69.99—a hefty 17% hike over the current launch pricepoint of $59.99. Thus far, industry leaders have avoided discussing specifics in terms of pinpointing future prices, but this evasiveness may in and of itself be cause for concern.

IGN amplified the signal earlier this week, when Geoff Keighley of Spike and GameTrailers tweeted from SXSW that industry analyst Michael Pachter was forecasting that next-gen console games, namely those put out by Sony and Microsoft, were very likely to launch at a $70 pricepoint. IGN took the further step of reaching out to both Sony and Pachter for further comment, but has yet to hear back from either. Sony’s silence, especially, could mean any number of things—they may deem Pachter’s comments as ridiculous and unworthy of response (as many current IGN commenters seem to) or it could be indicative of an element of truth to the rumor.

It may be presumptuous to discuss the ramifications of such a price hike on gamers as a whole at this early juncture, but hey, this is the internet. Presumptuousness is what we do best. So we turn it over to you, dear reader. How would you respond to a $70 launch price for next-gen console games? Would you buy fewer games than before? Boycott in protest? Or continue gaming, unaffected? Let us know below.

In other gaming news this week, Lord British returns to the RPG scene, Planescape: Torment gets a sequel-in-spirit, and the community asks: where have all the good dinosaur games gone? Read on!

If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

Scott Silver
1. hihosilver28
I could see it happening. It's not a huge deal to me, but obviously I'd prefer the $60 price point. That said, if you look at new game prices in the 80s, they were that high and due to inflation, cost quite a bit more than games now.
2. Tarcanus
The price hike to $70 would be a big deal to me, definitely.

The way I see it is that the big name game companies are really starting to just churn out the same big budget stuff over and over with little real innovation. Nintendo seems to refuse to age their big franchises to help keep their aging player base. EA and Activision, among others, are big developers that just keep churning out new shooters in established franchises without taking any risks(and have started nickel and diming gamers over additional features/DLC that must be paid for despite having already dropped the $60 for the game already)

I'm just thoroughly tired of being pinched for more money at every turn. If you're going to have DLC the month after a game's launch, you really should have included it in the original game - otherwise it's an obvious money grab. Then there are the micro-transactions that are in more and more games, now.

If the price of games goes up to $70, and the trends of nickel and diming the consumers continues, I will definitely be switching to PC and learning to pirate.
Brent Longstaff
3. Brentus
$70 will definitely mean I don't buy new games. I'll just wait for Steam deals and pick games up for a fraction of the price. I get most of the big titles for $5 that way by waiting a year or two. I might break down and pay full price for Thief 4 though.
4. Taedirk
I really doubt it, considering the popularity of lower prices on mobile platforms and Steam sales. It certainly seems like quite a le--

>Michael Pachter

Oh. Nevermind. I thought this was actual discussion, not the public ravings of a moron.
treebee72 _
5. treebee72
I wound't boycott $70 games, but I probably wouldn't buy them because I don't really buy $60 games right now. Between my time to play reducing greatly in the last 5ish years & not really being into the style and/or mechanics of games that usually get the $60 price tag these days, most of these games doen't even appeal to me. The ones that do, I usually don't have time to play at release, so I end up buying them when the price has reduced & it doesn't feel like a waste of money to let them sit around unplayed for a while.
6. Terpette
We're already only buying one or two big-price games brand new per year. I haven't even played Skyrim yet. We just can't afford it, especially when I know that if I wait 6 months, I'll be able to pick it up for $35-$45 used. I don't honestly see what's worth $60 or $70 in these games anyhow.
Joe Sherry
7. jsherry
We had $70 and $80 games back in the NES / SNES / Genesis eras, as mentioned by hihosilver28. Most notably, the AAA level console titles (Phantasy Star and Final Fantasy) were more likely to hit or exceed $70.

The games industry is one area where prices have not increased over time even though the cost to make the games has gone up.
Nathan Martin
8. lerris

Upshot: Prior to the industry analyst's speculation, Sony explicitly announced there would be no such price increase for PS4 games.
Pritpaul Bains
9. Kickpuncher
Personally, I've sort of slowly moved away from the PC and into the living room over the years in terms of my "preferred gaming space", but a $70 launch pricepoint would be tough to swallow. Even at $60 today I generally wait for the inevitable 4-6 month pricedrop when possible.

With that said, I've finally got a respectable PC setup for the first time in years and I'd gladly welcome the opportunity to revisit my gaming roots if pricing drove me there. GOG and Steam are extremely enticing and I've still got large libraries of unplayed games within both.
Pritpaul Bains
10. Kickpuncher
@8 I came across that quote earlier (I think IGN mentioned it in the blog link as well). The "$60 range" statement left things a bit too open-ended for my liking...
Marcus W
11. toryx
I don't often pay much more than $50 even now. It's easy enough to wait a few months for prices to come down or to buy used versions. I don't plan to change that for the next-gen systems.
treebee72 _
12. treebee72
When talking about price points for NES / SNES / Genesis era games (or any gaming era), you can't ignore the existance of volume. Gaming back then was still very much a niche market & when it exploded out to a bigger market, the game prices lowered as a result of the increased sales volume. Plus, even then I wouldn't/couldn't pay those prices - I would either buy used or wait for price drops & I doubt I was the only one.
Peter Tijger
13. Peter-Tijger
No problem. I can stick to the same tactic I use now........just wait until the game is but a third or less its original price. I buy loads of games, paying the full price is crazy. And hey, I'm buying, don't do any copying or whatever. But I just bide my time, turn to online stores (because physical stores have laughable prices) and order my physical copy, because yes, I do like a physical copy and would give up (legal) gaming when there would only be downloads/streaming. The whole dlc bs doesn't help either......why pay full price for a not so fully realised game, a cut game because there's dlc to be paid for. No, that's not the way I want to see you do business, so no problem, I'll just wait.....oh well, a couple of months nowadays or a half year....longer if necessary, to buy a complete version of a game. There's sometimes an exception, like Ni no kuni recently. I happily paid full price for that one, for that's quality you don't see very often anymore.
Rich Bennett
14. Neuralnet
I saw somewhere else that they are also thinking of making the games so that you wont be able to play/sell used games... this and the price increase would be horrible. I would definitely play less console games. Even now, I find myself buying more and more phone/ipad games that arent even really that good, but they cost 3 or 4 bucks and I play them for a few days (Are they disposable games then?) rather than buying a $60 game. Plus, most of the PS3 games I buy now have been out about a month because I want to see the reviews and maybe pick up a used copy. I just find myself buying less and less console/PC games lately
15. Minchy
I understand that this price increase is in the U.S. and that the economy and tax laws in Australia are vastly different from the U.S. but $70 is a reasonable price over here :( I think in the end if the games are good, people will buy them, and that will be all the justification companies need to keep the prices at that level.
16. Andrew S. Balfour
Meanwhile, in Canada, games have been $69.99 for a long, long time.
17. Megpie71
As an Australian, I'd respond to a standard $70 price point for new video games with absolute glee, because over here the standard price point for new-release games is approximately $90 - $100 and has been for at least two years now (further datum: this is *not* due to exchange rates - the Australian dollar has been trading at or near parity with the US dollar since approximately the middle of 2007, and haven't our primary producers been bitching about it the whole damn while!).

Our parliament has been asking Microsoft and other software companies to maybe give us a reason for this (particularly in the era of "download over the internet" delivery) but as far as I know, no reason has been offered.

A $70 starting price for new-release games would be a godsend, and probably allow me to actually purchase some. (The last new-release game I purchased was Final Fantasy XIII, which was both on special, and purchased using birthday money!).
18. Thaxll
The only time I paid €60 for a game was Starcraft2 if I recall correctly (and it was so worth it too!). That was for pc though, I'm not a console gamer at all, (the last games I really played on console were Mariokart 64 and The Ocarina of Time ..., not counting some WII fun at parties'n stuff).
I play mostly single player games, and nowadays I tend to wait till all the patches and dlc's are released before buying a game at half price somewhere online. Then I go looking for unofficial patches from the modding communities and only then do I start playing. I broke that traddition for Skyrim and regretted it: awesome game marred by an awesome amount of bugs.

I am spending a relatively ridiculous amount of money on games on kickstarter though.
Houston Armstrong
19. Kalak
I wouldn't stop buying in protest, that is just stupid but I would definitely start buying far less frequently but this is coming from someone who is usually pretty content to wait until after launch prices drop anyway. I guess now I would be waiting even longer. No sweat I will just keep playing the ones I already have. That said, I still hope this price hike doesn't happen but then again it with the highly improved consoles you would be paying for what you get and who can argue with paying for quality?
20. CassR
Man, if they were to make the price of new games in Australia $70, the ENTIRE gaming community would be over the moon. $60-$70 is a *good* price for second-hand games, new releases will set you back $100 or more, and special editions are not uncommonly in the $200 range.

So while you weep for your $10 increase, spare a few tears for us overseas who pay up to triple your prices for delayed releases.
21. harmonyfb
I almost never buy full-price games, because I just don't have $60 to drop on entertainment. Out of the few games I've bought and played over the last couple of years, I've only found one that I thought was worth the full price: Skyrim. (The amount of work that game represents is mind-boggling, and where I usually speed through games in about a week and then get bored, Skyrim has a LOT of bang for the buck. I'm on my fourth month of gameplay, and there's still stuff to do.)

So...if games get pushed to $70, I won't be buying any new games, because who can afford that for something as ephemeral as video games?
Ian Gazzotti
22. Atrus
Console games here can cost up to 70-80€, so 70$ would actually be less.
I personally avoid most games that cost more than $50, even on PC. Anything more than that is ridiculous for 10 hours or so of buggy gameplay (I'm looking at you, AC3).
Unless it's some game I must have on day one, I don't mind waiting until it's for sale on Steam and/or available through a subscription service.

By the way, just wondering how come you never talked about The Secret World or the Dreamfall Chapters kickstarter once in these gaming roundups. Being a mix of sci-fi, adventure, fantasy, horror and ancient legends they should be right up Tor's alley.
23. AG Johnson
I don't think $70 is a very good price thats to high to be buying a damn video game for now a days. Yes, 60 is still a little high but its kind of do able. i would love the the new release Games to down to $55 or $50 thats a good price there. Also there won't be that many millons of people buying the xbox one if games go uo like that.....
24. Tacanacy
I'm so tired of hearing Americans pathetic whining about video games costing 60 bucks or higher. In my country, they are sold for over 100 bucks.

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