With Sony's big announcement of its next-generation console just days away, rumors about the device are running rampant. Just this weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the PlayStation 4 (or whatever Sony ends up calling it) will offer backwards compatibility with previous PlayStation systems through cloud gaming service Gaikai.
Now, The Times of London is reporting that Sony could sell its next-gen console for as little as £300 (about $465). That would be a huge shift from the PlayStation 3, which began selling at €499 (Pricing in the U.S. started at $499). The high cost of that console initially led to slow sales, and was a large factor in Sony falling behind in the early part of this console generation. £300 would not necessarily mean a $465 PlayStation 4 launch in the U.S., as the pounds-to-dollar conversion of video game pricing is rarely one-to-one.
If the rumor is true, it would seem that Sony learned its lesson from the PlayStation 3 launch well. It's unlikely, though, that any pricing or SKU announcements will be made at Sony's February 20 presentation, at least for the upcoming console. The prevailing assumption is that the company will play pricing options close to the vest until Microsoft has announced its next-gen console.
There may, however, be an announcement about a price cut for Sony's handheld console, the PS Vita. The price of the portable console has just been reduced to the equivalent of $215 in Japan.