Hirai: Original PlayStation 3 Price "Perfect"
Sometimes, we just don't know what those corporate big-wigs are thinking. But there's usually a method to their insanity, and that "insanity" might actually be more logical - from an inside business standpoint - than most may initially believe. The argument still rages over whether or not Sony made a mistake when they launched the PlayStation 3 with a lofty $599 price tag, but the prez, Kazuo Hirai, thinks it was "perfect."
During an interview with SPOnG, Hirai responded to the question, "Do you think the original PlayStation 3 price-point was a mistake?" as follows:
"No, I think the original price-point was the right price-point, evidenced by the issues we had at launch when we couldn’t supply enough units to consumers in the Japanese market and the North American market, and it was a huge challenge to try and meet that demand because of all the production issues we had.
"It wasn’t a pricing issue, it was a supply issue. Fortunately for the European launch, we were able to bring enough units to meet that demand, as well as supply a robust software launch. We had a lot more success in the European market because of the sheer number of hardware units as well as the software titles we were able to bring."
You have to admit, he has a point. The European launch was certainly the best of the three, but on the other hand, one still has to wonder...with the sheer amount of bad press the PS3 suffered through due to that $599 price tag, didn't that have a negative impact? Well, it's impossible to say for certain based entirely on the sales, because the supply was so low, just about any normal demand would've caused retailers to sell out. It's just one of those "hindsight-is-20-20" dealies, and there's not much anybody can do about it now.
But it does - potentially - show one thing: perhaps to the surprise of many, Sony didn't announce a PS3 price drop at TGS 2007, and after that, Hirai said they're "not considering" an immediate cut. I think we know why now.
9/30/2007 Ben Dutka