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Open Plea: Sony, please drop the PS3′s price, the industry needs it

Sections: Columns, Consoles, Consoles-Other, Features, Opinions, PS3, Wii, Xbox-360

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sony playstation 3 consoleContrary to what we were reporting this time a year or so ago, the game industry is not recession proof. Video games just took their biggest monthly sales drop in nearly a decade. Even GameStop, a company that has been able to do no wrong financially, is feeling it.

In an economy where folks are losing their houses, cars and 401Ks, there is no bigger albatross in the gaming industry than the PlayStation 3. Launching with a hefty $600 price tag, the PS3 has more in common with GMC’s Hummer vehicle than it does with the PS2. Both the gas-guzzling SUV and the overpriced game machine are symbols of an excess most of society can’t afford right now. Looking back, it’s easy to understand Sony’s thought process. Their last generation competitors – weren’t competitors. If it weren’t for the Halo series, the Xbox would have been the Nintendo GameCube. And the Nintendo GameCube was the Nintendo GameCube. I want to make more fun of Nintendo for its effort last gen. But since they re-released the GameCube with a fancy new motion controller and are now the biggest success story in gaming, it looks as if the joke is on the rest of us.

Sony was in the driver’s seat. It had decisively won the last two console wars and there was no reason to expect it wouldn’t do it again. Then the company gave us 600 reasons it wouldn’t. Once the price of the new console was announced, it was akin to a huge disfiguring mole. As much as you try not to look at, talk about or acknowledge it, it’s really the only thing you can see. Thus, it was the focus of every mainstream media article about the PS3 and most of the gaming articles. Sony may as well have called it The Sony This-Machine-and-a-Game-Will-Set-You-Back-700-Big-Ones System.

My first car didn’t cost me $700 and my first apartment didn’t cost $700 a month. With the exception of my house and current vehicle, nothing I own cost me $700. And I’m the target market for the PlayStation 3. The guy that can drop $700 on a game console and not miss the money can afford numerous other diversions such as trips to the Bahamas with surgically-enhanced female companions. Us common working folk are having it rough and now even “escapist” hobbies such as movies and video games are feeling it.

Who am I in the grand scheme of things? Nobody whose words will echo in industry halls. But I’m not the only one saying this. Activision’s Bobby Kotick fired a huge salvo threatening to pull support for the PS3 if it didn’t cut the price. Sony CEO Howard Stringer fired back that Kotick likes to make “a lot of noise.” True, and Amy Winehouse has impulse control issues, what’s your point, Howard? These gross understatements don’t have anything to do with the core issue here: the PlayStation 3, even at $400, costs too much to sell in current economy.

The bottom line is that Sony is nearly as responsible for the current state of game sales as General Motors and its Big Three comrades is for the nosedive in the automotive industry. When the company that was winning in spectacular fashion starts losing in equally spectacular fashion, there are ripple – scratch that – there are tidal wave effects throughout the industry.

And before the responses come, I don’t hate Sony or the PS3. It would be ludicrous for me to wish ill will on any console maker since I make my living in the game writing industry. I want Sony to get it right so we can have the true three-way slugfest this console war should be. I also want an Xbox 360 that doesn’t crap out and I want mature content on my Nintendo Wii.

I complain because I care.

Since Sony had a large part in creating the current mess, they should pitch in and help out. It is true that in the short term, they will lose a lot more money on each console. But no Sony executive and their talk of 10-year console cycles can convince me the company won’t lose even more money long term if it finishes a distant third in the console race.

I don’t know a single gamer who wouldn’t like to be able to play more games and they can’t do that without buying more games. The industry model has long been to take the short-term loss on the hardware to sell customers on the software. This isn’t 2007. The games Sony predicted would sell this system, including Metal Gear Solid 4, are here now. Another system seller in God of War 3 is coming.

It would be a crying shame if no one could afford to play them without selling an organ.

Read [Bloomberg] Also Read [Edge Online]

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26 Comments

  1. the PS3 price is just fine, Sony is still losing about 50 dollars with each PS3 sold

    the 360 with 60 gb HDD costs 300 and it doesn't have WI-FI and you have to pay to play online, pretty soon it ends up being more expensive than Sony's machine, it doesn't have a blu ray player and it has fewer exclusives and most of them are playable on PC

    the PS3 at 400 is the best deal on the market right now

    doa766
  2. @doa766

    you my friend, speak wise words

    ksf
  3. I love when people whine about the ps3 cost. Why well its because usually people that got stuck with a wii or xbox 360. Now there pissed because they just get stuck playing barbies big dress-up or tired of playing Halo. So they bitch cause they think the ps3 is to overpriced. Well to bad get a second job sacrifice your xbox live account, internet, wow account, and for god sake pawn the wii and start saving you poor son of a biscket. And maybe one day you to can own the real winner of the console war.

    awesome
  4. The Playstation 3 is not that expensive considering what you're getting FFS.
    Sony is already losing so much money on the PS3 per system sold and people need to stop slamming them about price. If people want to be morons and buy a 360 now and then buy a Bluray player in a year, then let them be morons. If people stop and look what they're getting for that price they'll see that it has a much greater value than the Xbox 360 as a standalone console.

    Stop these pointless articles because Sony isn't going to listen to rambling from a blog with an Alexa rank of 154,002 and Sony don't need to. They need to stay strong and just tell the consumer what they're getting for that money instead of putting their company more into the red.

    Davy B
  5. almost always after showing my friends my ps3 and what its truely capable of (many people are not aware of all the features and things the ps3 can do.. i blame sony marketing) all of them say the same thing, "i want a ps3 but its just too expensive" and i always give them the obvious responce "trade in your 360 with all your games and accecories and im sure you'll have enough" they just cant see themselves parting from a system theve owned for years. it was easy for me since i got the RROD.

    person
  6. JESUS CHRIST!

    It seems every video game 'journalist' thinks they're a god damn economy expert these days! Oh wow, you made a reference to how the economy is affecting some people badly. WELL SHIT! YOU MUST BE RIGHT!
    ¬_¬

    You know what the industry needs? Less over confident MORONS who think they know their way around it all because they've been playing games for 5+ years. Video game journalism is a joke! It's filled with 30% people who have no idea what they're talking about, 30% flamebait/trolls/desperate for attention ass holes, 30% bullshit rumors and 10% genuinely interesting stuff that gets ignored because of the former.

    Anonymous
  7. i stopped reading when you decided to go hop off topic and start saying crap about nintendo.

    @ awsome, what ever helps you sleep at night pal.

    Shane
  8. typical ps3 douche
    blew all there success from last gen on a bloated tugboat of a console

    mark
  9. First of all the ps3 is overpriced. People who talk about how the ps3 has more features than the 360 are not looking at the overall. If xbox wanted to, they could probably put out a console that has 80gb and wifi and make it cost 400. It would be different if sony made a barebones console without wifi and some other features then not as many people would be complaining. I have no need for a blu-ray player just like a lot of other people. So basically I want it just for the gaming. So to me it still seems like a solid console but overpriced. Plus, people can say what they want but the xbox live experience is still top notch by far. For one you don't get banned for a little swearing, cross game chat, and there are still more overall players on xbox live. I will still be getting a ps3 when it drops in price or my birthday( whichever comes first) but only for exclusives. Multiplayer games like CODMW2 go on xbox alone. By the way I also think nintendo is dumb, speaking as a person that had one, it is a huge disappointment to me, I will be selling the crappy thing to help get my ps3.

    joe
  10. Wow, Seriously? Do your math. Both consoles are expensive, don't just smack in on Sony.

    EvGar
  11. Where's the media telling Lexus to drop the price of their cars. This story has now got past tiresome.

    The Nintendo Wii is too expensive…where's their price cut.

    The Xbox 360 is too expensive…where's their price cut..the Arcade model is pointless, & they're all unrealiable, cheap, nasty, badly designed pieces of plastic… Doesn't mean it's a bad games console, just a badly designed games console.

    Everything is too expensive…if everything were cheaper we'd be able to have it all…until every company went out of business.

    Is this an American website by any chance? It's always the yanks who complain about the PS3 sales & price. The rest of the world seems to disagree with them, & buy the PS3 without resorting to crying about it.

    Quote "Since Sony had a large part in creating the current mess, they should pitch in and help out."

    Where's the mess? They created a games console..a luxury entertainment product. They're not a charity for crying out loud. It isn't like anyone actually "needs" a games console. If you want one, save the hell up & spend less time moaning about something you have no right to moan about. Join the other 23 or 24 million people who've bought one since it's release.

    Kaden101
  12. Your first car didn't cost $700? Boy, what a jalopy. You must have got all the girls driving around in your beat up Pinto. Or maybe it was a Yugo?

    Brian
  13. For what you're getting out of the box it's a great deal. To get everything that the PS3 ships with for your Xbox360, you find yourself playing upwards of 500 dollars or more. People are happy to ignore that fact and just rip on Sony for trying to provide you with more off the bat, rather than forcing you to go buy a wireless adapter or whatever it is you might need.

    That said, the PS3 Slim is most likely going to be cheaper in price due to it having less components and a cheaper manufacturing cost, so just wait for one of those, you retard, while the hardcore market continue to do their research and realise they're getting a great deal with the standard PS3.

    John
  14. Wow if the PS3 really was the best deal on the market as most of you are saying then it would be outselling the wii and the 360 as the consumers would back it up …… guess what it is not outselling them. Yes you have to pay for xbox live but come on now anyone who knows anything about online play will tell you xbox live is better and deep down you sony fanboys know that too. 360 has more games and contrary to what some of you are saying the 360 has more exclusives the ps3 has more this year that is true but not more overall. The Wii is the best deal right now and for hardcore gaming it is the 360 and the ps3 last. You guys can get as bent out of shape as you like but Sony needs to drop the price do you think every gaming site is out to get sony? every single industry employee will tell you THE PS3 NEEDS A PRICEDROP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dano
  15. the ps3 does need a price drop.
    theres a reason its 3rd in sales, month by month by a small margin a price drop will change this.
    i know 10+ people who want a ps3 but refuse to buy one because there to expensive.
    700 AUD compare to the xbox 360 pro which is 400 AUD.
    thats a massive difference, the ps3 is better, does have more content.
    but its not 300 AUD better.

    name
  16. The 360 is outselling the PS3….in America. It's actually pretty much matching the 360 & even outselling it in other parts of the world (that's the bit outside of America in case you're not sure!).

    I can go along with xbox live being better than PSN. It should be, you're paying for it.

    Dano,

    Simple fact is a lot of people do see shelf price, & the 360 does look more appealing on that one, but we both know that no serious gamer would consider the arcade a viable console.

    If you're look for cheap the 360 has that covered, if you're looking for value then both console have their appeal.

    As for the Wii, I can't explain it. It's a law unto itself. A lot of the people (not all) who buy the Wii would have never bought a games console before, & it has opened video games up to a whole new audience, which is a good thing. I have nothing against the Wii, I just prefer my PS3.

    Kaden101
  17. @Kaden101

    Completley agree with you on all points on the above points, not so much the ones further up the page though.

    If live wasn't better than PSN whilst I pay my £40 a year for it, I would be quite pissed. However it IS better, without a shadow of a doubt and with the accumulated number of hours I play online, I cannot complain at the price at all.

    I laugh at people who argue that the PS3 is better value (for some people it is, but for a lot of others it isn't) and say that people SHOULD buy it instead of the 360.

    For instance, quite lot of people DO NOT NEED the wi-fi adapter, as they could most likely have their router and console in their living room so they would just hook it up through a cat5 cable (which is more reliable and faster anyway).

    People DON'T NEED the PS3's overpriced Power PC processor. As fantastic a peice of hardware it is, no games (currently) stand out ENOUGH (some are graphically worse, but much less likely now) compared to the 360 to justify its cost.

    Which brings me onto "Exclusives". For me this was probably the biggest factor in my console purchase. For me it had to be 360 because those games appealed to me more.

    …actually that last point is a lie, the biggest factor in my console purchase was controller. I have mammoth size hands so I absolutely DESPISE the Playstation controller, right down to the look of it, what an ugly creation.

    What I am trying to say, in a rather roundabout way (I realise could have summed this up in much fewer words but I wanted to use examples for the intellectually challenged) is that you choose the one that suits you (unless your a sheep). The 360 provides the chance for you to pay much less for things you don't need, whereas the the PS3 provides the chance for you to pay less (overall) for the things you do need. There are other factors such as what your friends have etc, and obviously you'll be more likely to acquire a console in accordance to theirs.

    If you require all the things a PS3 has then you'll get a much better deal from the start point by getting one. If you don't need those extras or only need 1 or 2 of them, then the 360 works out at a better price.

    It's the choice of paying for what you need with the 360 that is its current selling point.

    Sean
  18. hi i don't really believe a price drop would actually relieve the games industry, as PS3, unlike its predecessor, is not a growth driver. But it will do wonders to Sony if it sat down and thought about its delusions: a console with an outrageous price – no matter how justifiable – doesn't necessarily force the consume do buy it. And game consoles are threatened – at least in their present form, if you look at the kind of technologies that are planned for the future. I believe there is a cloud-enabled gaming system which only feeds videos of the gameplay to the user's display instead of installing the entire game on his system. But Sony is happy walking the beaten track. Look at how Microsoft has come up with Natal, which threatens to revive its Xbox 360 – a mid-lifecycle-lease-of-life.

    PC
  19. for one i disagree with this article and i am glad that not everyone can afford to buy a ps3, it is kinda like getting into the better night club where you dont have to put up with people that should not have been let in in the first place. Anytime there are less idiots online the better.

    for 2 the people that state "i dont need a blue ray player", ps3 places games on a blue ray disk, in order for the system to read the disk, it needs to be blue ray player.

    for 3 i have had 4 xbox 360 consoles and 1 ps3…the online is about the same, atleast for me anyways, i want to play a game on multiplayer, i log in online and play with no issues on either system. i think some people just get defensive about paying to play online, which i no longer do.

    for 4… add an xbox 360, wireless network adapter, charge and play kit for the controller, a year of xbox live and guess what..it is more expensive than a PS3. in my opinion satansoft needs to lower their prices, they can afford it now with their cheap manufacturing process of the 360 and the fact they have already made money doing pre-orders on windows 7 which will release in a couple of months, and they should quit taking manufacturing shortcuts on their lacking system.

    5-xbox has netflix—so what, my ps3 has netflix, hulu, youtube among a few other sites as well as an internet browser. try looking up PlayOn on google, for $40, less than the cost of a year of xbox live, you turn your pc into a media server and like xbox, you can even set it up to browse folders on your pc. "oh but you have to pay for it"…$40 is a one time fee, which they give you 2 weeks free without even taking credit card information and atleast i do not have to maintain a gold subscription in order to use netflix which is only $8.99 per month for unlimited streaming, and 1 dvd at a time in the mail.

    the bottom line is yes, out of the box the ps3 is more expensive than a crap box, but it is fully ready to go out of the box and online play is free, it is wireless already, teh controllers are already wireless and rechargable, and the hard drive is upgradable with any 2.5 inch sata drive (laptop hard drive). for the people that can not afford a ps3, go get a job or save money to buy one. i cant afford a ferrari but i dont think they need to lower the price, with price comes quality, im tired of reading about people who had to settle with a crapbox or even worse, a wii (which is only ahead becuase of its low price) and have to bash another system becuase they cant afford it. though it may sound like i am a fan boy i am not, i went through 4 360's and i just wanted a system that works that plays mature games, i got that with the ps3 and the system is worth the money considering i have more than the xbox has to offer and i didnt have to buy a ton of accessories. i am a consumer and money talks. i want quality for my money and i didnt get that with xbox. in my eyes PS3 is the way to go, unless you have kids or are one. the price is fine where it is at could justifiably be more than what it is.

    here is my open plea to Sony: tell all these winers to stick it where the sun doesnt shine and go play with your wii while you sit next to your crap box.

    william
  20. @ william,

    so your saying that people only buy the wii because its cheap? yeah, nice try but no.everyone i know who owns a wii is extremely satisfied with it, even my friends who are all in high school. you also say your not a fanboy while at the same time putting down the wii and 360….seriously?

    actually i bought a PS3 expecting something good. i sold it after a month(even MGS4 couldnt save it) and bought a wii. best decision i made in a long time. then i got a 360. no regrets. the only thing i regret is wasting my money on a PS3. IMO, the PS3 sucks, it has about 3 worthwhile exclusives(if that), PShome sucks, the contoller sucks, and the company in general sucks.

    why do people keep bringing up the 360 and wii anyway? THIS IS AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE PS3, NOT THE WII OR 360. and even the writer himself apperently doesnt even know that.

    me
  21. sorry but i agree with william. it isnt a matter of being a fanboy, and he stated he wanted a system that played mature games and i myself have had 2 xbox 360's get RROD and i had the unfortunate luck of getting one of the origional xbox's before the 360 that had the cheap johnson dvd drives that went out and scratched cd's. i to have also wondered why nintendo is so popular and can also only figure that it is becuase of the cheap price. i personally dont like the selection of games on it either.
    also you mentioned the fact that people keep bringing in the wii and xbox in an article about playstation 3, if you read Williams article, he cleary pointed out that by the time you purchase everything for the xbox you get with the playstation 3, you have spent more on the xbox and that people should be asking microsoft to lower their prices, which i do agree since they are taking some shoddy manufacturing processes which have resulted in sub-par performance and longetivity of their systems.
    also the only reasons he put down the nintendo it seems, is becuase its lack of mature games which he clearly wanted, and appearently he has life experiance to grant him the right to bash xbox, i cant imagine going through 4 of the systems.
    sorry but i agree with him 120%, right on and i to am a proud owner of a ps3 and couldnt be happier, perhaps sometime we can play a game together, or maybe we already have.

    johnathon
  22. @william and his fanboys.

    Are you that f**king closed off to the rest of the world? Perhaps you've been spending too much time watching porn on your degraded PS3 web browser to notice the real reason Wii is charging the lead:

    Yes it is cheap, but that's its secondary allure (a fortunate one), the foremost reason for its huge popularity is that it's the first console to actually appeal to those outside of the hardcore gamer community, which makes up for a much larger percentage of gamers because it has increased the potential number of "casual gamers".

    I myself couldn't give a sh*t about Wii Fit or the seemingly unending amout of "Health" games that the Wii boasts, but it's obvious that there are thousands of people who do. Also now with Nintendo's clever marketing with Celebrities, the Wii has become the "must have" gadget, much like what happened with the iPod a number of years ago.

    As for your point on blu-ray, people saying they "don't need a Blu-ray player" means that they aren't going to watch Blu-ray movies. Of course Sony are going to use Blu-ray discs for games, its the best and most logical format for their system. Sony also invested too much money in helping develop the medium, with other companies, to NOT use it!

    Sean
  23. some of you people are so jelous you cant afford a ps3 and we can..lol, go on, defend your crappy systems, we know what is better.

    Anonymous
  24. Me,

    We bring up the other consoles as fair comparisons to the PS3 with regards to what the alternatives offer, & what you're getting for your money. In my opinion the PS3 is worth every penny, & MGS4 rocks (although admittedly MGS games were always games that don't appeal to a lot of people, which is fine). As for 3 exclusives at most, what a load of old Tosh.

    Killzone 2.
    MGS4
    Heavenly Sword (awesome, but too short).
    Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
    Little Big Planet
    Crash Commandos
    Disgaee 3
    Flower
    Folklore
    GT5P (although roll on the full GT5)
    Infamous
    Pain
    PixelJunk Eden
    PixelJunk Monsters
    Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
    Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
    Resistance: Fall of Man
    Resistance 2
    Ridge Racer 7 (yeah, I'm not sure about this one either)
    Siren: Blood Curse
    Super Stardust HD
    Uncharted
    Valkyria Chronicles
    Warhawk
    Wipeout

    & that's without mentioning a single upcoming title. Also, why the personal attack on Sony. Did they come round to your house & beat up your mum? Did they kipnap your siblings & force you to buy a PS3? Didn't think so. You're just an Xbox360 fanboy who gets defensive when anything positive is said about the competition that you don't own.

    Anonymous,

    Just because I prefer my PS3 to my better half's Wii, & just because I'm not interested in a 360 doesn't make either of the other 2 consoles "crappy". It just makes them a different choice.

    I still think anyone who moans about the PS3's price needs to get a grip. You have a choice on what you spend your money on ya know! Nobody is going to physically walk you into a game shop at gunpoint & blow your head off if you don't buy one. Enjoy your Wii, 360, or PC, or whatever you game on. Competition is a good thing. Imagine how much a Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft would charge for a games console if they were the only ones in the market, & they could get away with whatever they wanted.

    Kaden101
  25. @kraden101

    good way to put everything. also just to add, think of all the crappy games that would be made over and over again with no competetion either. also just wanted to thank everyone who agreed with me, by the way, speaking of people who shouldnt be there, anyone else hear about the 14 year old who is suing sony becuase they banned his online account…hopefully more of that follows..not lawsuits but banning accounts of people who shouldnt be online (due to inappropriate behavior of course, dont think i am saying to ban everyone). pretty much i wish sony would make an update to where if you didnt have a headset you couldnt hear anyone talking on one, it would make the people who want to hear them buy a headset (though not nessecarily sony brand) and people like me who dont want to hear the bickering, cursing, noise effects and other common behavior online wouldnt need to own one just to turn it on and throw it behind my tv.
    anyways, back on subject. i am sure all game systems have their good points to some people. i know there are some people who will never like PS3 just as i will never like WII. my only problem with xbox 360 was by the time i purchased everything i needed, it was more than a ps3, and i had 4 crap out, 2 of which were purchased new about 4 months ago, before the return policy even expired. if i got a system that worked i would be happy with it i am sure, but i am glad i went the way of the ps3 becuase of the price was cheaper and i dont have to buy a certain companies brand of anything, and so far the system has worked flawlessly. pretty much that is all i wanted…a system that worked.
    to be fair, when PS3 came out, i was put off by the motion controller…which is why i got an xbox 360. having a ps2 and xbox previously myself, i knew i played ps2 more than my xbox, so i would have prefered ps3 to start, but also i am a traditional "lazy" gamer. i work all day, if i have to move more than my fingers when i play a game it is to much effort for me to put in..so for the longest time i stayed away from sony ps3. now that i own one, i am glad to find it is a feature that doesnt have to be used.
    anyways, my ps3 makes me happy, i am sure those of you that havent dropped more than 400 on an xbox or havent gotten rrod, i am sure you are happy, and if you like being active i am sure you are happy with a wii (i however am allergic to physical activity, lol) either way there is nothing either party can say to "convert" most people, and we like what we like and are pretty stubborn. given the benefit of a doubt for all systems, i still believe the ps3 price is where it needs to be considering i can do more with it than any other console on the market. i find it nice not to have to use my computer which is slower than crap.

    william
  26. the price of the PS3 is cheaper than others.but the PS3 Slim is most likely going to be cheaper in price due to it having less components and a cheaper manufacturing cost. do also you agree with this [url=http://www.wholesaleplaza.net] opinion [/url]??

    wholesaleplaza