If this story turns out to be accurate, all I can say is - Yikes. $75 - $85 USD per game? Ouch.
Following up on Ken Kutaragi's pre-TGS keynote address, Japanese site Impress Watch has posted the latest in its "Random Tracking" editorial series.This periodic feature is written by Munechika Nishida, a well-knowncontributor to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and Ultra One PC magazine,and this latest update has some surprising revelations on the PS3.
To most gamers, the most eye-catching part of the feature is a claimabout game prices. Citing "multiple information sources," the articlestates that the price of PS3 games will be concentrated in the 8,800 to9,800 yen range. The primary reason given is the rising cost ofdevelopment. In Japan, the standard price of a PS2 game is 6,800 yen, with only thebiggest titles like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy rising to the 8,800yen mark.
There's a deeper story to this price hike. According to the article,Sony was, as of E3, planning to alleviate cost pressures on 3rd partiesby lowering royalty costs. The thinking at the time was that userswould be able to create their own games and distribute them onlinethrought he PS3, and Sony would not be able to charge royalties forsuch titles. The company would want to offer 3rd parties a similarpricing environment, with the savings from royalty costs passed on toconsumers in the form of lower software prices.
News source: PS3 IGN