Sony Explains UK PS3 Pricing
In a recent article called, “PS3 Launch Price is No Fun for UK Gamers,” The Guardian’s Steve Boxer wanted to ask Sony about that high price (£425) and the lack of the cheaper 20GB model. Sony Computer Entertainment’s UK managing director, Ray Maguire, had an answer.
We in the U.S. simply convert that number to U.S. dollars, but the corresponding figure is “misleading” because it fails to take VAT into account, according to Maguire.
"There's a compulsion within the media to look at everything as a snapshot, and do a calculation, normally based on just the RRP in somewhere like the US and just the RRP in the UK," he said.. "What you should do with the RRP from the US is add sales tax."
Of course, when you do that – utilizing a VAT of 17.5% - you still end up with a price tag of only £352. So where’s the extra £73 coming from? W ell, Magure blames the difference on “potential exchange rate fluctuations,” as well as the increased cost of living and running a business in the UK. How much this actually impacts the price of a video game console is debatable, but the factors themselves are not.
As for the disappearance of the 20GB model in the UK, it appears Sony is simply examining current consumer preferences. For the Japanese and U.S. launch in 2006, 80% of the shipped PS3s were the 60GB model, and for good reason. Just look at the resulting sales figures for both regions, and Sony can draw only one conclusion.
"They [the consumer] want to put their own media on it from day one,” continued Maguire. “So a big preference has been shown towards the 60GB model. And when we look at the sales figures from both Japan and the US, that's reflected at retail."
We’ll see just how well UK gamers respond to the price when March rolls around, but several analysts are already predicting a very successful time for Sony.
2/1/2007 Ben Dutka