How much are you willing to pay for Warhawk?
You'll have to answer that for yourself later this month when Sony Computer Entertainment America launches Warhawk for PlayStation 3. In a bold move, the company will be offering Warhawk as a retail product on a Blu-ray disc with a Bluetooth headset for $59.99 and a PlayStation Network downloadable at a different price. So far, Sony isn't telling anyone what that price is will be -- yet we're only a few weeks from launch.
In the original announcement, SCEA said the retail version would include Warhawk, behind-the-scenes development videos and a Bluetooth headset valued at $39.99. Let's do the math. $59.99 - $39.99 = $19.99, right? Logically, Warhawk should show up on PSN for about $20. Realistically, no one expects that, but according to comments on our message boards, $30 seems to be the sweet spot for most.
When asked, Sony wouldn't budge on revealing the price. "No news yet on the pricing of Warhawk for download. I would recommend you keep your eye on our blog for an announcement soon," said SCEA Senior Director of Corporate Comm. Dave Karraker. "Response to date from those in the Warhawk beta has been outstanding, so we think it will do very well. We will be pricing it to match what we are delivering in terms of graphics, gameplay, fun-factor and repeat playability, which we think is quite high."
Asked specifically whether the pricing model would follow the aforementioned math, Karraker stood fast. "[We] can't confirm anything on the price until it is public," he said.
Positioning Warhawk's pricing is important for Sony, but the ripple effect has sparked debate within the 1UP Network. Sony won't tell us the pricing plans are, and as a result, EGM reviewers have been forced to include caveats in their write ups. Lead reviewer (and former OPM editor) Joe Rybicki actually placed a note in his review to EGM Reviews Editor Greg Ford that his score should be dropped a whole point if the price was announced above $30, and the other reviewers have expressed concern over how they should judge the game.
"What I don't understand is why Sony can't give us a price when it seems like internally they have one ready. The game is done, our reviewers have been playing it, and each one has asked about the price, which we certainly take into consideration in our reviews," says Ford. "Because of the lead time for a print publication, we're forced to go to print with a caveat in our review addressing this issue. Not ideal, and it seems unnecessary. It's too bad because otherwise, the company has been great getting us the review code, setting up multiplayer play sessions, and providing assets to go along with the review...just no price, which for some consumers is what matters most."
As a downloadable game, Warhawk's pricing matters very much to the finalized review score, and right now SCEA is keeping that an unknown, despite repeated requests for the information, including a heads up before this article was published. Still nothing.
In the end, it matters less what score is attached to Warhawk but whether Sony's providing enough value. Here's where you come in by telling us. Vote in the following poll linked below and speak your mind -- Sony's watching.
Thanks to 1UP.com for sharing the news with us!