The PlayStation 4 will launch this year for over 40,000 yen (about $428), according to a report in major Japanese daily the Asahi Shimbun. That's the first clear indication we've gotten on how much the new system might cost, and suggests that while Sony isn't pricing the PS4 too aggressively next to the likes of the Wii U, it may have learned its lesson from the shaky PlayStation 3 launch.
For comparison, upon release in 2006 the PS3 cost around 60,000 yen in its more expensive configuration, and $599 in the US. Meanwhile, the cheapest PS3 now costs 24,980 yen in Japan versus $269 in the US. Were the PS4 to launch at 40,000 yen in Japan, we'd expect an American price point of around $400 or more.
The Asahi Shimbun further corroborates things we've heard from other reports, such as a 2013 launch for the US and Japan — no mention was made of Europe, suggesting the release there may well slip into 2014. Elsewhere, the report says that the PS4 controller will feature a touch pad and be "roughly the same shape" as the current Dual Shock 3. Finally, the Asahi Shimbun states in no uncertain terms that February 20th is the date when Sony will officially introduce the PlayStation 4 to the world.
The Nikkei business daily has published its own report on the PlayStation 4, becoming the latest source to state that it will be announced on February 20th. The most notable part of the Nikkei's report is that the PS4 will apparently use cloud technology from Gaikai, the gaming service that Sony bought for $380 million last year.