This week Sony stunned the gaming world with a PS4 price drop. Many gamers and analysts were expecting a slim model at $349 to debut in 2016. Instead, Sony made its move less than two years after launch.
The price drop was very carefully timed to arrive during the height of pre-release popularity of Star Wars: Battlefront, a title that just became the top discussion item in the gaming community following the start of its open beta, and also one that is expected to be one of the two best-selling games this holiday season. The results have been extremely positive, pushing Sony's console to the top of sales charts. Below we'll go over what has just gone down.
According to Amazon, every PS4 bundle has seen an increase in sales rank during the past 24 hours. This includes the 500GB Limited Edition Star Wars: Battlefront Bundle, 500GB Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Bundle, and 500GB Star Wars: Battlefront Bundle which increased in sales by 438%, 236%, and 205% respectively. Interestingly enough, two of these three bundles are pre-orders that won't be shipped for more than another month, arguably making this even more impressive.
All three PS4 bundles have seen a significant rise in sales.
Based upon the popularity of each bundle, the Star Wars: Battlefront beta appears to have made a greater impact than the price drop. Nonetheless, both have worked in tandem to elevate the PS4 to sales that are without a doubt increased year over year for the period.
Star Wars: Battlefront might be a multiplatform game, but Sony has exclusive marketing rights for its PS4 version. The mixture of the PS4's accessibility and performance have made it the primary sales platform for the title. With projected sales being over 10 million, that isn't to take lightly. The sky is the limit in terms of marketing potential with Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuting a few weeks after the game. This could end up being the biggest game release of 2015, even surpassing Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Fallout 4.
Sony's partnership with EA for Star Wars: Battlefront is making a huge impact.
The exclusive software of PS4 this season isn't particularly impressive, but does deliver a few options. Noteworthy titles include Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Until Dawn. There are also some more more Japanese-focused titles making a presence including Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance and Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below. But really, the multiplatform titles are what are expected to make the biggest difference.
This explosion in sales is during a period of time in which most consumers are waiting for the holiday season before investing in a new console. It is expected that both the Xbox One and PS4 will usher attractive new options that extend beyond their already competitive prices. In other words, while the PS4 is selling like hot cakes right now, it's going to rise significantly toward the end of November.
The PS4 was a hot item during last year's holiday season without a price drop.
Last year Sony introduced a PS4 bundle that included Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us: Remastered. Despite both games essentially being re-releases, sales broke over one million through November and December. Consumers love buying electronics during the holiday season, and this year will be no exception.
The PS4 Was Already On-Fire
The truth is that the PS4 didn't necessarily need a price drop. It's sold over 25 million units since its debut less than two years ago, giving it majority market share by a significant margin. It has accomplished this without a single permanent price drop, only the introduction of bundles that throw one or two games into the package.
The PS4's popularity without a price drop has been similar to the glory days of PS2.
Presumably, Sony has found a way to reduce manufacturing costs opening its strategy up to a price drop. Instead of waiting to see how its Star Wars: Battlefront bundle will compete with the rumored $299 Xbox One this holiday season, it made the first move. The effectiveness of this strategy is yet to be determined, but the past 24 hours are a very positive indicator.