After rumors abound and leaked store circulars, Sony finally confirmed it was dropping the price of the PlayStation 3 by $100 to $499. With the poor sales performance of the PS3, this price drop was inevitable. And this move by Sony gives it a rosy future going into this week’s videogame industry conference E3.
But then again, they also announced a new $599 box with an upgraded hard drive and a free game. Much like Microsoft, who released a more expensive version of the Xbox 360, Sony has decided to market to the hardcore gamers willing to shell out extra money for marginal improvements. It seems these game companies want to establish a new normal in game system pricing. A $299 price, long considered an industry standard, has now become a dream. Sony’s standard is now $499 and Microsoft’s is $399–cheap compared to the deluxe editions of the game consoles.
Sony, and Microsoft, have a problem with this strategy, though. It’s called Nintendo. And with the Wii’s $250 price, sales of the Wii continue to be nearly double that of Microsoft and nearly quadruple of Sony. Maybe the PS3’s lower price will increase sales by 100%, but even then it would be outsold by the cheaper Wii. I still believe Sony took too great of a risk with an expensive, Blu-ray enabled game system. Sony isn’t dong enough to compete, but this price drop is a start.