E3 – PS3 Price Announced

After months of speculation and rumor by the game industry and public, Sony has finally announced the price point of its PS3. The next-gen console will be launched on November 17 and will come in two configurations. The core version will cost $499 and will offer a 20GB hard drive. The premium edition will have a 60GB hard drive, capacity to read compact flash and SD memory cards, Sony memory sticks, and have wireless connectivity – for $599. The lower end package will not have these capabilities.

In addition, Sony has decided to feature a game controller for the PS3 which has a form factor practically identical to the old PS2 controllers. Phil Harrison, of Sony worldwide studios said, “…it’s based upon our industry standard controller, which has been enjoyed by so many gamers.”

The device originally planned for the PS3 was universally criticized as being ugly and for its uncanny resemblance to a boomerang. The new controller will have a sensory feature in which wrist movements will be translated into screen action.

The two price tiers effectively places the PS3 as the highest priced next-gen console on the market. In comparison, the premium version of the 360 is priced at $499, while its entry level version is only $399.

The move by Sony to make its PS3 the high-priced game console is a gamble and a costly one at that. They are counting on the Sony faithful to snap up its new next gen offering. However, they may have sent others away and into the arms of the 360 and Nintendo,s upcoming Wii.

P.J. McNealy, an analyst for APT commented, "I think some people are going to find $599 intimidating – maybe not early adopters, but definitely the mainstream audience."

While production problems have plagued the PS3 practically from the beginning, Sony now has to navigate over another, if not higher hurtle – a price point that will appeal to consumers. The PS3, now having the dubious distinction of being the most expensive next gen console, will be scrutinized even closer by gamers and other consumers.

In light of this, a question will come to the minds of the prospective buyers: “Just what more am I getting for my money?” If the answers cannot justify the higher price, Sony will have a problem; a really big problem in the absence of strong sales numbers.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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