EEDAR, the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research group, has projected that Sony’s NGP will cost somewhere between $299 and $349 at launch. While my wallet may not like the price, my ego does. I’ve cautiously weighed in with the same price parameters myself last week. High-five to self.
There is some more clarification on EEDAR’s position, however. The group projects the window for wi-fi only NGPs. This also means that EEDAR is assuming that Sony will release two separate models, one with wi-fi and one with both wi-fi and 3G. EEDAR expands by saying that some regions may not see a 3G unit at all. They point towards sales in items like the iPad; Apple’s tablet sells over 60% of their wi-fi only stock, making the 3G unit the minority seller.
EEDAR does not mention one obvious point that consumers tend to hate; subscriptions. If, by some stroke of genius and planet alignment, the NGP ships with free 3G for a more expensive handheld, you can bet that consumers will spring for the 3G capable unit. When companies like AT&T charge an extra monthly fee for 3G service consumers start to tighten up and consider the cost of their purchase over the long term. That $600 iPad will also cost you an additional $360 a year to enjoy fully. That’s something a lot of consumers find hard to swallow.
EEDAR goes on to explain that the first year and a half of the NGP’s life span will see great numbers from both hardware and software sales, thus encouraging more third party support. We’re hoping so. One of the fatal flaws of the PSP was the absence of great third party software, so anything the NGP can do to muster and retain that type of support is more than welcome.
Finally, EEDAR predicts that NGP software will cost users between $40 and $50 a shot. Expensive? Yes. But considering Nintendo’s $40 postion for 3DS titles, it’s safe to assume that Sony will grab a slightly higher tag.
As more pricing predictions rear up, are you folks finding yourselves excited or troubled?