Earlier this week, Sony announced a new Limited Edition PS4 Pro Destiny 2 bundle. It features a one terabyte white console, a matching white controller, a hard copy of the game, and a digital voucher for the expansion pass and extra DLC. Its list price is $449, and if you need to mark your calendar, it’s coming out on September 6th, the same day as the release of Destiny 2 for the PS4 and Xbox One. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? A quick look on Amazon shows that getting the console ($399) and deluxe version of Destiny 2 ($89) will cost you an extra $50. And news flash: people like to save money. So if you’re in the market for a PS4 Pro and Destiny 2, this seems like a darn good deal.
I question this because there’s something about today’s console bundles that feels…well…a little antiquated. (I’m speaking from the consumer side of things. The collectibles market is a different animal.)
Here are the assumptions (yes, yes, I know, when you assume…) that make me skeptical about “new” console bundles:
- That buyers have been holding out for a “good deal.”
(With the PS4-Destiny 2 bundle, this could be getting the deluxe version of the game for less the price of the standard game. And you better have an awesome Internet connection so that you can play Destiny 2 forever and ever!)
- That something about the bundled console makes it more enticing than getting a cheaper, non-bundled console.
(With the PS4-Destiny 2 bundle, this could be getting a white console over the standard black console. After all, it’s a limited edition!)
- That the included game suggests that players should upgrade from their older consoles.
(With the PS4-Destiny 2 bundle, why play Destiny 2 on your cruddy, old PS4 when you could play it on a shiny, new PS4 Pro!)
Snarkiness aside, I’m not saying that console bundles should go the way of the dodo, but with the PS4-Destiny 2 bundle, I have to ask:
- Why not offer the white console alone at $399
(i.e. I’m not interested in Destiny 2, but the white console sure looks nice.)
- Why do bother with the “Limited Edition” moniker here?
(Unless these console are specially marked, or you’re Nintendo, we all know that we’ll be seeing this console on Wal-mart’s shelves well into next year.)
- Why should I even care that a new console comes with a game anymore?
It’s that last question that make me think that console bundles are outmoded, or are becoming so. Speaking to this specific bundle, I imagine that players interested in Destiny 2 are already well-prepared to obtain and play the game. Maybe players who have been on the fence about getting or upgrading to a PS4 Pro might be swayed, but the assumption remains that they’d want to pay the extra money to get a specially-colored console and a specific game.
Here’s a thought, which I pose to both Sony and Microsoft (and sure, Nintendo): why not offer up black and white consoles at launch, at cost, and then, in the future, bundle them with free yearly subscriptions to PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold (sure, and Nintendo Online), respectively? If console bundles are one way in which console developers attract new customers or gain back old ones, giving them the chance to sample an entire buffet over a single platter, no matter how exclusive, seems like the way to go. But what do I know?
Will you be picking up the new PS4 Pro-Destiny 2 bundle? What do you think about console bundles generally? Do they always give players more bang for their bucks?
[Article source: Official PlayStation Blog]