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!
- Skyrim’s 1.9 patch will reportedly incorporate a new Legendary difficulty setting, while also allowing gamers to reset their skills.
- The founding father of the Ultima universe, Richard Garriott (more commonly known as Lord British) hopes to return to the RPG scene via his new Kickstarter, currently in progress. Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues aims to revolutionize the genre... with your help, of course. Check it out here.
- Valve head honcho Gabe Newell confirms that a prototype of Valve’s console entry, the Steam Box, will be provided to certain users to gauge reactions in the next 3-4 months. This will be a very interesting item to follow over the coming year....
- Meanwhile, Microsoft doesn’t really consider Valve to be a threat (which is a bit cocky, but probably accurate). Interestingly enough, both Microsoft and Valve view Apple as a serious threat in the console business, should the tech giant choose to enter the arena.
- inXile entertainment is running a Kickstarter to fund a spiritual successor to the incredible Planescape: Torment—a game that to this day represents one of the best stories ever told in the medium. In less than 7 hours, Torment: Tides of Numera broke the million dollar mark and reached its funding goal. Today, six days into the campaign, the game has soared past the 2 million dollar mark and is still going strong. We could give you more details, but why don’t we let Brian Fargo, head of inXile, take over?
- IGN asks, and we second the query: where are all the great dinosaur games? Turok and Dino Crisis feel like a lifetime ago.
- Follow Kerrigan and her brood across the galaxy in Blizzard’s new Starcraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm, which is now available.
- In response to last week’s disastrous Sim City launch, EA is offering a free game to PC gamers who suffered through the game’s growing pains. Not exactly a refund, but better than nothing, we suppose.
- Naughty Dog has announced that a demo for their upcoming survival horror game, The Last of Us, will be available on May 31. Check out our previews of the game here and here.
- If you own Mass Effect 3 and were particularly taken by the soundtrack to the Citadel DLC, BioWare is offering it up for free on their website right now. Note that you will have to register your copy of the game to access it, if you have not already done so.
- Finally, the BioShock movie is dead... for now.