Sony Seeing Reduced PS3 Pricing Pressure
During the early days of the PlayStation 3, one of the biggest obstacles facing consumers was the machine's steep price. The 60GB model started out at $599, and many gamers found that to be a hard pill to swallow. However, with several price cuts last year, the 40GB PS3 (the only model currently in production), sits at $399, which - obviously - is significantly lower. And now, Reuters is reporting that the strong sales of the PS3 means Sony doesn't need to cut the price of the system.
However, Sony also noticed that gamers were willing to pony up the cash, provided the software was there. Late last year, when there were many more PS3 titles to choose from, Sony dropped the price of the PS3 to $400. But they found that consumers bought just as many of the $500 model as the $400 model.
"So we're seeing that the hard-core gamer is not afraid to throw another $100 at the PlayStation 3 because the value proposition is so rich," said Scott Steinberg, vice president of product marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America. "We're still in the phase of studying what this means for the potential roadmap for the year."
Reuters followed up on this statement by asking Steinberg if this means all the pricing pressure predicted by analysts hadn't actually materialized. Steinberg simply replied, "It's leading us to think so." The PS3 finally managed to outsell Microsoft's Xbox 360 in the US in January, and Steinberg pointed towards the upcoming "AAA" titles along with the recent Blu-Ray format victory. Clearly, the preceding is going to help PS3 sales this year.
"On a macro level, we've got leverage to turn that into a trend. Whether or not it continues going in February, the way I look at it is us structuring the chess board to our favor, which is without question happening," added Steinberg. "The year of the PlayStation 3 started in fall 2007, I think it will be an extended year, we are feeling positive momentum."
Well, just about every game journalist is noticing that "positive momentum." We all hope this success continues, right?
2/21/2008 Ben Dutka