New Balance is setting the price higher (than previous models) for two reasons:
to offset the increased Design and Development costs in today's digital market. Somewhere in the process, they are likely using new (to them) design and virtualization software or resources, are employing new (to them) materials or construction techniques, or have a bean counter department holding their feet to the fire. There isn't room for experimentation in today's market any more, gentlemen – there cannot be a loss. Because the market for these shoes is so relatively small and specialized, the bean counters likely projected a target number for meager profit margin, and are holding the product managers to it.
because there is now an absence of like-competition. Does NB sweat anything 3N2 makes? Not at all. What about Reebok? Now we're talking... So Reebok's withdrawal from team sports footwear creates a void that would otherwise counter NB's market strategists' aims. While nature abhors a vacuum, market strategists – bean counters to their cores – love it, because they have a captive market with no check or challenge. It would take a product entry from UnderArmour or Nike or Adidas (not going to happen; Germans don't understand baseball and Adidas owns Reebok) to get that price to drop.
With that said, I'll likely get the brand-new NB plate shoes – in a low – because I've lost the (any) love for the N460's. They are heavy, cumbersome, and with their (unnecessary) height, are starting to chafe my highly-valued Force3 Ultimate shinguards. They will get repaired (the inner lining around the heel is more or less in tatters) and cleaned up, get new inexpensive footbeds put in (I took out the stock ones recently to wince at just how badly beaten they are, and replaced them with Dr Scholls Sport inserts), and then sold to a junior umpire.
The new N470's (think that's what they'll be named?) will have to do until something better springs into the scene.