Industry analyst EEDAR thinks it has the answer to the most burning question of the portable console wars: how much for Sony's NGP?
Joystiq reports that the firm believes the 3G-less, WiFi-only SKU will retail in the US at between $299 and $349 "but not to exceed $399", and that games will go for $40 to $50.
After warning that third-party publisher support will be key to the handheld's success, EEDAR predicts that the NGP will "handsomely surpass sales of its predecessor, the PSP".
Unsurprisingly, EEDAR believes the more expensive, 3G-equipped model will prove more successful in Europe and Asia, where mobile Internet is often cheaper and more reliable than in other territories.
At what cost?
Price has been the burning question surrounding the machine since it was revealed in Tokyo at the end of January, with no retail cost being announced alongside the machine.
“It’s not going to be $599,” Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Game Informer at the event, referencing Kaz Hirai's classic PS3 pricing reveal at E3 2006.
“From the very beginning of the project — since 2008 — pricing was one of the considerations that we had. Hopefully when we announce the price, people will see the proper value.”
SCEE president Andrew House was also keen to impress that the handheld will not have an excessive price tag.
“I can’t put a ballpark on it in terms of figures, but what I would say is that we will shoot for an affordable price that’s appropriate for the handheld gaming space,” he told Eurogamer in Tokyo.
House denied at the time, though, that Sony was prepared to make a loss on the hardware.
“Really we would want to have our hardware be profitable, in addition to our software,” House said. “We’ve experienced both sides and we know which one we like to be on.”
NGP releases in Japan this year. No western date's been confirmed, but Sony's said a global ship is unlikely.