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Will the $499/$599 Price Tag Hurt the PS3?

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As I’m writing this, Sony is still on top of the video game world. With over 100 million PS2’s sold, we all have one. I play my PS2 daily and I have a PSP. But after the price announcement at E3 I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford to stay with Sony on the next-gen bandwagon. A $499 price tag means that if you ask for that for Christmas 2006 then THAT”S ALL YOU’RE GETTING! No action figures, no clothes, nothing else but the PS3.

And then tack on a game or two to that and you’re looking at asking your mom and dad to shell out almost $700 for your Christmas. i don’t think Sony is looking at who their core market is. The PS3 is now like buying a Lexus. It looks nice on the outside. It has pretty games, but are they going to be that fun out of the gate? And with the new Dual Shake controller which from reports was added two weeks before E3, will it be all that? Or are we buying into a over-priced lemon?

So if you want a PS3 you better start saving ALL your pennies, beg your mom daily, and start eating cheese and crackers for lunch.

Sony’s top guy, Ken Kutaragi, even goes as far to say “”It’s probably too cheap.”

Here are his words of wisdom, as translated by consumer website IGN:

“This is the PS3 price. Expensive, cheap — we don’t want you to think of it in terms of game machines. Because the PS3 is like nothing else.”

“For instance, is it not nonsense to compare the charge for dinner at the company cafeteria with dinner at a fine restaurant? It’s a question of what you can do with that game machine. If you can have an amazing experience, we believe price is not a problem.”

“When we announced the PlayStation price, it was said to be expensive. Same for the PlayStation 2. However, when released, both had sales that were unthinkable for previous game machines. This is because both offered experiences that could not be had on previous game machines.”

“With the PS3, you can have next generation game experiences that could previously not be experienced — things like next generation graphics and various services via the network. And, as with the PS and PS2, we believe people who like games will, without question, purchase it.”

So let us know what you think? Do you think the PS3 is over priced? Will you get one at launch or will you wait until the price has gone down alot?

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About Mike Street

  • Druxxx

    I’ll wait for the first price drop and find one that has been opened and returned.

    Thats what I did with PS2. Saved me about $100 from new release price.

  • http://elsaelsa.com/ elsa

    I won’t be buying one for my kids…

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    Same here. Our son just hit the big one-oh and announced that since he has proven himself to be a responsible young person and a fine student (which is indeed true), he should be permitted to purchase a vidoeogame system with his own money. Agreed to strict time limits easily. Even went along with the imposition of parental supervision into game choice – and promised to play no games involving guns and shooting without his pacifist mother asking him to do so. I asked what kind of system he wanted and he replied that he was looking for a used PS/2. His dad said, you haven’t heard about the new PS/3? Yes, quipped the self-described preteen (help!), but at $500 a pop, that wasn’t happening. We cracked up. And said OK, the only reasonable answer we could give.

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Sam Jack

    Heh, Ms. Davis, your son is a lot more mature than I was at age ten.

    But I’m not paying all that money for a PS3 when the Xbox 360 is already a known quantity and considerably cheaper.

  • Lorne

    No big deal. Hardcore gamers will pay these prices. They will sell the first 4 million units world wide with ease. And then expect to see Sony drop the price next year for the mainstream user.

    And as far as what the games at E3 where like… Remember what the playable 360 game looked like last year at E3? Not even close to what Sony showed this year. The first set of games for a system never look as good as they will.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    I own many game systems from over the years, and I tend not to be blindly loyal to any one company. Amongst my system collection are the most recent ones, Gamecube, PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. I do plan to buy a Wii at launch. I will not be getting PS3 at launch, and when or if I get one is yet to be determined.

    I think the price is just one of several factors working against PS3 (and it is a big reason why I won’t be getting it right away). I don’t know if Sony’s strategy this time around will be enough to keep afloat.

    “This is the PS3 price. Expensive, cheap — we don’t want you to think of it in terms of game machines. Because the PS3 is like nothing else.”

    The problem with that statement is that people are going to think of it in terms of game machines, because that is what most are interested in buying. And the fact is that it will cost more than the competition.

    Sony seems to be pushing the next gen graphics and the online network as the big, new, wonderful things. But you pretty much get all that with the Xbox 360.

    From all accounts that I’ve read from E3, it sounds like there isn’t much difference between the graphics of Xbox 360 and PS3, so PS3 has little advantage there. And speaking as someone who owns 360, yes the graphics are better than that of Xbox/PS2/Gamecube, but it wasn’t as big of a leap as many would hope for. It isn’t nearly as clear of a difference as it is between PS1 and PS2. Plus, these new graphics are really only most noticable on an HDTV, which most people still don’t have.

    The online network will probably be appealing to others, though like I said, its not really something new since Xbox already does it, and I personally am not into the whole online gaming thing, so that’s going to make me hand my cash over. The only people I could see that really appealing to on any significant level are those who are huge fans of the Sony exclusive titles AND enjoy the kind of online experience that Xbox has offered. This will combine those two things.

    But, when its all said and done, will the games be much different? Take Metal Gear 4 for example. Will the game play really be much different than Metal Gear 3? Sure, the graphics will be nicer, but again, not by a whole lot, and odds are the gameplay will be essentially the same as the previous game, with maybe a new addition or two.

    Granted, the same can be expected when comparing the upcoming Halo 3 for Xbox 360 to Halo 2, so I’m not trying to just blindly defend Microsoft in this matter.

    With Nintendo, they are at least offering a new experience. Sure, they may come out with the 9 millionth Mario game, but at least the game play will be unique. That’s one thing I can say in favor of Nintendo. With many of their series/sequels, they do maintain a formula that works, but each tend to be unique and really feels like a new experience. If you showed someone who never played Mario games before screen shots from different Mario games, they could probably get a reasonable indication that they are from different titles. However, if you showed someone screen shots from different Halo titles, Metal Gear titles, or even Tomb Raider titles, the difference wouldn’t likely be as noticable.

    The only thing Sony seems to have going for it is Blue Ray, and even that is a mixed bag. When PS1 first came out, video games were logically moving to CD format, and the basic format of CD has been around for a while. Sony dominated because Nintendo made a bad move by sticking with cartridge as their format, and the Saturn was just hard to program for. So, Sony made the most logic step.

    Likewise, when PS2 game out, DVD had been around for over three years. Though it was not yet completely dominating the market, it had a momentum going and it was clearly just a matter of time before it replaced VHS for movies, and so moving to it as a format was logical as well.

    Now, Sony is pushing their own format. This could prove to be a bad move. Whether HD-DVD or Blue Ray dominates is yet to be determined. I doubt that most people are ready to rebuy their movie collection on a new format.

    And, since Blue Ray is completely brand new, and hasn’t been around for a few years, its going to be a while before it really becomes affordable. So, the likely hood of PS3 dropping in price signifcantly is somewhat reduced (and even when it does, we will be lucky if it manages to only be as expensive as the premium 360). And then the games are less likely to drop as well, since the format is so new. I don’t know if they will have a greatest hits collection this time around (at least not as quickly as they did last time), and when and if it does happen, they will more likely be in the $30-$40 range rather than $20 (this is speculation on my part, but its stands to reason that this could be the case).

    Blue Ray’s biggest advantage is the storage capacity. But I wonder when or if it will ever be taken full advantage of. I could see it being useful in long RPG games that would possibly require multiple DVDs on a competing system, but with most of your average games, it will make little difference I would imagine.

    Then there’s the fact that there are 2 models. I thought it was dumb when Xbox 360 did that, but now Sony took the idea and made it worse. You cannot upgrade the cheaper unit like you can with 360. So, this is going to annoy many people, particularly at launch where many will be waiting in line and will be forced to take what they can get. If Sony is going to make a cheaper unit, then it should be upgradable so that people can get the same thing that they would have with the more expensive one.

    Well, this rant of mine has gone on long enough. The bottom line is that this system really isn’t offering much of anything new that most people would care about. Most of the non-video game functions are only going to be significantly utilized by a small percentage of the audience. I want to get a Wii because it will offer a different experience, and I have the Xbox 360 so I can continue to get a lot of the 3rd party games that don’t usually come out for Nintendo.

    I think the price will hurt Sony in the long run. There are very few PS exclusive titles that I really care about anyway. When and if Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out for PS3, that will likely be my breaking point. Other than that, at this point, I can’t say when or if I will get the system, as it costs too much and has too little to offer as far as I am concerned. I don’t know if Sony will remain #1 this time around, and if they do, it probably won’t be by as huge of a margin as before.

  • Dark Dragon

    THE PS3 PRICE IS ABSOLULY RIDICULOUS!!!
    THERE SELLING A $600 SYSTEM I THINK LESS PEOPLE WILL WANT THE $500 VERSION.

    I HATE SONY THOSE IDIOTS THING EVEYONE IS FREAKIN RICH NO SONY WERE NOT RICH WERE
    REGULAR PEOPLE WITH REGULAR JOBS AND WE WANT A *GAMING SYSEM* NOT A WALLET KILLER

  • http://sterfish.blogspot.com Sterfish

    There is something very wrong when a game console can cost almost as much as a decent PC. I wonder, though, if more people will buy the PS3 because it will play Blu-Ray movies than for the games.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    “There is something very wrong when a game console can cost almost as much as a decent PC. I wonder, though, if more people will buy the PS3 because it will play Blu-Ray movies than for the games.”

    It really depends. I mean, Blue Ray is a brand new format that is just starting. When DVD first hit the market in early 1997, it took a while before it really took off.

    I just don’t think most people are ready to move to a new movie format yet. I could be wrong, but I just don’t see it happening. Plus, from what I understand, visually there isn’t that much of an advantage to having Blue Ray or even HD-DVD unless you have an HDTV, and while those are becoming more and more popular, they are still quite far off from being a common item in most people’s homes.

    The fact that Blue Ray is built into PS3 could give the format a boost, but I don’t know if that is enough to get people to jump on the bandwagon. I know that even if I get a PS3 at some point (which I know I won’t at launch), I won’t be buying movies on Blue Ray until I know which format (Blue Ray or HD-DVD) wins the upcoming ‘war’. I don’t want to spend a ton of cash on movies in a format that won’t be common place in just a few years.

  • Rob Holiday

    Remember, Blue-ray disks are going to be more expensive (cost more to produce) than DVD’s, and then there’s Sony’s proprietary format that they will want to collect from. So, expect PS3 games to cost more than XBOX360. If the PS3 games do not cost more, the developers are going to make less money from the PS3 games because they cost more to produce. Developers have been saying that the Cell (Sony) processor along with the Dev. Kit, make it much more difficult to program for the PS3 than the XBOX360. So expect less game titles available for PS3.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    “Remember, Blue-ray disks are going to be more expensive (cost more to produce) than DVD’s, and then there’s Sony’s proprietary format that they will want to collect from. So, expect PS3 games to cost more than XBOX360. If the PS3 games do not cost more, the developers are going to make less money from the PS3 games because they cost more to produce.”

    I would also wager to say that it will be quite some time before any “greatest hits” titles show up, if they ever show up at all. Granted, in the past it didn’t happen until the systems (ps1 and ps2) were out for a year or two, but this time around I can see it taking longer. And if it does happen, odds are the prices will not drop nearly as much as they did with the previous two systems.

    This may not seem like a big deal to some, but a big part of why PS2 is so popular is because of more casual (non-hardcore) gamers who get the systems later in their life after the prices have dropped and the older games are cheaper. There may not be as many of these people this time around, and the effects could be seen.

    I’m sure the PS3 launch will be huge regardless of price, but how it does in the long run is the real question that needs to be considered.

  • http://insiderealestatejournal.blogspot.com Mr. Real Estate

    I’m less likely to buy it at that price, and I was waiting to buy it, instead of buying the new Xbox, but I may just buy the Xbox now.