Sony’s PlayStation 4 launch plans for India

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Sony has announced the European launch of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) at Gamescom in Cologne, and many Indian gamers are hopeful that PlayStation 4 will hit Indian shores this year itself. Atindriya Bose, who heads the PlayStation team at Sony in India himself had previously indicated that the European launch would be matched in India, so logic would dictate such hope. In a conversation with BGR India, Bose today revealed that the final dates for the PS4 launch in India had not been finalised and said that another batch of European launch countries would be announced for the PS4 before the Indian launch. Though he reiterated, the plan still remained to launch to console in 2013 or in early 2014, we get a sense that a January 2014 launch was more likely than December 2013.

The good news is that Bose confirmed that all first party PS4 titles would be available in India at launch and the first party games that would be launched between the European launch and the Indian launch would also be available for Indian gamers from day one.

When we quizzed him about third party titles he said that many of the top draw developers were already providing games for the PS3 in India and Sony is in conversations with them so that they are able to bring their PS4 titles to India at the earliest. He talked about developers having to tie-up with their respective distributers to bring games in India, so he could not comment on the status of third-party game launches in India for the PS4.

On the sticky issue of pricing, Mr Bose said that his team had decided upon an initial pricing structure for the PS4 in India, but now that has been scrapped to due to the escalating rate of US Dollar. Details regarding the pricing would be finalised closer to launch considering the fluctuations in forex rates, though it was reiterated that the pricing would take into account the price sensitive nature of the Indian market.

On the issue of game prices Mr Bose said that some games would cost as much as their PS3 counterparts, but some AAA titles for the PS4 could cost a bit more. The pricing issue would be offset by digital downloads as Sony is pushing indie games heavily with the PS4. Sony’s Mark Cerny, the system architect for the PS4 has himself revealed that one can download Knack on an 8Mbps connection within 1.5 hours and such experiences would ensure that the PS4 will offer a broad variety of games at differing price points.

Bose believes that the PS4 launch will be the biggest PlayStation launch in India, and he will leave no stone unturned in offering Indian gamers the experiences enjoyed by gamers in foreign markets. At the same time he believes the PS3 launch in India was not just a console launch, but the launch of the PlayStation brand in India and it could be a hard act to follow.

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