After irregular supply for most of the year, the PS4 Pro will be back in stock officially in India this week. Sony India has begun billing retailers for the souped up version of the PS4 with shipments to be delivered to stores soon after. Multiple sources in the supply chain have confirmed this with The Mako Reactor. Expect game stores both online and offline to have it soon enough, this will be the PS4 Pro bundle with an extra controller. The PS4 Pro India price is Rs. 38,710 with or without the aforementioned second controller. In addition to this, these PS4 Pro restocks will be have the G-chassis with a CUH-7200 model number. Also known as the ‘gamma chassis’ variant, it sports a redesigned power supply and improved acoustics to make for a better experience compared to the launch PS4 Pro consoles.
Sony’s timing could not have been better. At the moment, the Xbox One X is retailing for as low as Rs. 28,990 courtesy of a heavily subsidised price from Microsoft. However, the Xbox One X supply scenario in India is far from consistent with only Amazon keeping stocks regularly. What’s more is, the discounted price is only valid “until stocks last” sources tell us.
In comparison, the demand for the PS4 Pro in India has been solid with parallel imports and grey stock being a common occurrence thanks to the lack of official supply from Sony. Though of late those have been tough to come by as well, leading to price hikes. A year ago you could pick up an unofficial PS4 Pro for around Rs. 30,000. Now you’ll be paying approximately Rs. 35,000. Despite a regular grey market trade route between India and the Middle East, demand has far outstripped supply.
This isn’t even the first time the PS4 Pro has had shortage issues in India. After its launch, it was notoriously hard to find for nearly an entire year.
So why is Sony finally paying attention to the PS4 Pro for India? Those familiar with the matter tell us its to offer a premium alternative to the PS4 Slim that’s gotten a recent price cut as well as expand market share. The widely accepted install base for the PS4 in India sits in the range of 400,000 units including grey market sales as well as the limited PS4 Pro sold via various channels (official or otherwise) sold till date. While it’s tracking higher than what the PS3 did in the same time frame, it’s still a far cry from Sony’s successes in other regions like South East Asia and the Middle East which have sold over a million units each a couple of years into the PS4’s life. Ramping up PS4 Pro supply is a way to bridge the gap between India and other higher performing markets.
Furthermore, while enthusiast gamers may bemoan the lack of a readily available ‘pro’ option to the PS4, nationwide consumer electronics chains like Croma and Reliance Digital didn’t see much uptake with the PS4 Pro only being 10 to 15 percent of total PS4 sales according to those familiar with the matter.
Perhaps Sony wanted to ensure these large format retailers with an all-India footprint were catered to with a value-focussed proposition in the recently discounted PS4 Slim bundle before making its premium console more readily available.
That said, specialist game stores in the country should rest easy. The PS4 Pro makes up around 30 percent of all PS4s sold by them. In fact, some have been taking pre-orders in anticipation.
“The demand for the PS4 Pro has been through the roof,” a store employee told us under the condition of anonymity. “Customers have been willing to pay the full amount of Rs. 38,710 upfront as long as they get it this week.”
And there’s an added advantage: warranty.
You see, consoles and other consumer electronics goods need to go through mandatory certification with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Previously, Sony had struggled with this what with the PS4 launch limited to 4,500 units and the Pro being delayed by four months after its international reveal. If a PS4 or PS4 Pro has not gone through the BIS process, it’s not valid for warranty.
“There is no warranty on non-BIS certified consoles,” Sony India‘s customer care representative confirmed to us.
This leaves buyers in an interesting place as the difference between buying an official product with warranty and a grey or parallel import without one has reduced tremendously. Assuming the pricepoint of around Rs. 35,000 holds for an unofficial PS4 Pro, it makes the official stock at Rs. 38,710 and warranty a better option. The difference of Rs. 3,710 is even less if you decide to not buy it with the second controller as it would bring the price down by a few thousand rupees at the very least.
All of this puts the PS4 Pro in a place where buying it officially is almost the same price if not cheaper than grey or parallel imports and comes with warranty to boot.
With 2019 seeing the likes of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, Resident Evil 2, and Code Vein playing well on the PS4 Pro and Sony’s own Death Stranding yet to come coupled with aggressive sales and promotions, it appears that Sony is doing what it should have done ages ago, going for the jugular.