Monday, July 16, 2007

Sony's PS3 "price cut"

So now Sony is going to replace the recently discounted $499 60 GB model with an 80 GB model that includes a game and costs $100 more?

Let's forget for a moment the confusion caused by multiple contradictory announcements from different and apparently reliable company representatives last week during E3. What factors go into the thought process of deciding to actually maintain a $599 price point for a game console? I'll tell you what: arrogance and a disconnection from consumers.

I hear and even understand the argument that the PS3 includes a Blu-Ray high definition DVD player as a reason for a higher price, but now that stand-alone Blu-Ray players no longer cost $1,000 (even Sony sells one for less than $500) this argument simply doesn't hold water.

Yes, the PS3 has a lot of potential, but that potential has to do with playing games and when those games simply don't exist there is absolutely no reason to lay out that much cash.

The home electronics market looks much different than the one that existed when the PS2 was released and standard-definition DVD movies were just taking off as a format. The "PS2 is also a DVD player" argument worked then because you could realize all of the benefits of DVD without buying a new TV. Now, in order to fully realize the benefits of high-definition DVD movies you need not only a new player, but a new HDTV also. For a decent HDTV you're talking an additional $750 to $1,000 for even a basic setup.

Put simply, HD-anything is not a mass-consumer product category yet.

This may be a smart way to clear the shelves of the now-discontinued 60 GB PS3 inventory, but as far as public relations goes, this comes off poorly.

Gaming site Next-Generation takes a more positive view on the price than I do, but they hit the nail on the head with the consumer confusion caused by, and the corporate miscommunication and confusion evidenced by, the conflicting announcements.

1 comment:

Little-B said...

Well I am one of the lucky people who shelled out 600 for my PS3 several months ago (and the price changes ticks me off). It is great it sits on its shelf and has proven to be a great dust magnet. I own a total of 0 boxed games for it. The only thing I did was get Gran Turismo HD , and Tekken DR from the PS Store. The biggest issue with the unit other than the price point for me is any games I might consider to buy for the unit so far, the Xbox360 Versions have had consistently better reviews for it. So far out of the three next gen consoles my Wii has gotten the most play, people visit me to play the Wii or Guitar Hero for the 360, while the PS3 continues to be an expensive shelf ornament.