Sony's Next Generation Portable must be priced lower than £300 to compete with Nintendo’s 3DS, say UK retailers.
Specialists have told MCV that they predict the NGP – previously known as the PSP2 – will cost around £300 when it goes on sale later this year.
Any higher and retailers believe Sony runs the risk of the handheld console underperforming.
“Sony has to stay sub-£300,” said CHIPS joint MD Don McCabe. “It can justify up to £300 with all the capabilities the NGP has, but anything above that – forget it.
“If Sony can expand on its innovative touch pad with the right amount of Android games, then the machine may even outperform the Nintendo 3DS.”
Gameseek’s MD Stephen Staley added: “It would be fantastic for Sony to price match the 3DS with an RRP of £229.99, but I believe this will be unrealistic. I think it will probably be more like £299.99.”
Online retailers have also seen high early demand for the handheld, which features a new Flash-style memory system for boxed games including Uncharted and Call of Duty. It can also download titles digitally.
“Initial customer interest has been strong so we’re looking forward to a successful and exciting launch,” said Play.com’s games buyer Keith Sharpe. “I’m sure the device will be seen as value for money and become a big seller.”
ShopTo’s marketing manager Phil Driver added that the price could be even lower: “Our community is very interested in the NGP and many have pre-ordered it already. We are predicting the machine will retail for around £199.99.”
Best Buy is also excited about the device.
“We can’t wait to show our customers the potential that Sony’s NGP has,” said Best Buy UK’s games boss James Cooke.
More details about the NGP will be revealed at GDC which kicks off on Monday, February 28th.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo 3DS launches on March 25th and is priced between £200 and £230.