The console wars are well and truly underway and one of the major deciding factors is the price of Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen offerings. We already know that the Playstation 4 will have a price tag of Rs 39,990 in India for the console and a single controller. Add to that the cost of extra peripherals and PS4-specific games and we are looking at a total cost of over Rs 50,000.
This has obviously not gone down too well with fans. But it does bring up another question of whether Microsoft will be able to price the Xbox One more competitively to And based on Sony’s claims, it looks highly unlikely.
The two contenders
Sony says the present Indian tax structure does not allow the company to price the console more aggressively. The international dollar price of $399 for the PS4 cannot be carried into India due to the high import duties and taxes. A direct conversion results in a price of around Rs 25,000. PlayStation India Head Atindriya Bose said though that such a direct conversion is not taking into account India-specific duties. “We have 36 to 37 percent taxes to pay between our import taxes and VAT.” This is in addition to any other cost incurred by Sony for importing the console into India.
Microsoft will also have to pay a similar percentage as import duty and its console’s $499 international price is likely to make it a more expensive proposition than the PS4 for Indian gamers. A direct conversion leads us to a price tag of around Rs 30,000 and with the same amount of tax as Sony is paying, we are looking at a price tag of in excess of Rs 45,000.
So neither console is going to have an attractive price tag, but Sony does have a slight advantage. It has allowed itself breathing room between now and next year when the Xbox One is launched. This means enough time to rethink pricing, conduct sales drives and introduce finance options such as EMI and cashback schemes. This will give the PS4 a more attractive price tag or at least the gamers won’t feel as much of a pinch.