A Price Cut Will Allow The PS3 To Surpass The Xbox 360
At the start of the PlayStation 3's lifespan, numerous arguments could be leveled against Sony's new machine. There weren't anywhere near enough games. At no point is the supposed amazing power of the system on display. The PlayStation Network has a loooong way to go and there's only a handful of content on the Store. The price was silly high. Blu-Ray hadn't become the accepted high-definition medium. There were even a bunch of people who absolutely despised the loss of rumble on the Sixaxis controller.
But two and a half years later, there's a very different light on the situation. Just about everything has changed, and the current and future PS3 exclusives lead the way. Much of the system's power will be on display in upcoming titles like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, God of War III, and Gran Turismo 5, and we've already seen incredible stuff from Killzone 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Blu-Ray is here to stay, the PSN is not - I repeat, is not a significantly lesser experience than Xbox Live, especially considering the fact that the Network is free - the Store content is there, and yes, you rumble nuts have the Dual Shock 3, even though I have never once understood the fascination with what I consider to be a useless feature. Oh, and let's not forget that developers have finally come around to the PS3's complex architecture and we no longer see piss-poor 360-to-PS3 ports; multiplatform titles are basically identical between the two platforms.
Therefore, there appears to be only one stumbling block left: the price. It's still too expensive to be able to top the 360 in sales on a consistent basis, almost regardless of what it offers. This recession isn't helping matters, and neither is the fact that Sony's marketing isn't all that great. But if they drop the PS3 price by $100 to put it on an even keel with the 360, we have faith that consumers will recognize a good buy when they see one. Consumers who are willing to spend a decent amount of money aren't stupid; they're going to do their research and come to a conclusion. Normal gamers without biases would've performed the same analysis; weighing the negatives and positives, way back in 2007. They would've come across an understandable conclusion and it likely would've been against the PS3. But now, in doing the same thing, we really can't see why an avid gamer would opt to ignore the PS3 and all it has to offer. Furthermore, if a person is debating between the PS3 and 360, you can make a viable argument for both, and with a price drop, the PS3 may very well come out on top in some people's minds.
Therefore, we say the final hurdle is the price and once that is cleared, we think gamers will begin - for a variety of reasons - to choose the PS3 over the 360. Weigh everything yourself and see what you come up with...
4/2/2009 Ben Dutka