Sony have long been playing catch up in the console war against Microsoft and Nintendo. So with the rumours about a new slim version of the PS3, question is will it make a significant impact on PS3 sales ?
Despite an anticipated upgrade from 80GB to 160GB hard drive and a refined slimmer design, these changes do nothing to address the 2 biggest complaints I have about the PS3.
I’m certainly not the first to complain about the ridiculously high sticker price for the PS3 and certainly won’t be the last, but basically Sony need to slash the price of the PS3. It’s currently retailing for A$699, compared to an Xbox 360 Pro edition at A$399 and a Wii at A$368.
With adoption of Blu-ray being what it is (very slow), Sony’s extra expense in the Blu-ray drive has been more of a hindrance to sales, rather than an incentive for consumers.
The PS3 needs to be priced competitively with the Xbox 360 if they really want be a viable option for consumers in the market for a console. At $699 it’s simply out of reach for a large number of consumers. Sony can’t afford to be tame here, $50 won’t make a difference, the price really needs to be sub $500 to appeal to more of a mass audience.
Hopefully Sony have been re-engineering they’re production processes with the PS3 Slim to enable the cost of production to drop significantly, and ultimately be passed onto consumers.
Whilst the consoles of today do much more than just gaming, at the core of a purchasing decision, even today is surely related to what titles are available. I hate to say it, but there’s still very few exclusive titles on the PS3. With a lack of exclusives, gamers are much more likely to head towards what their friends have, which in most cases is an Xbox 360 (thanks to aggressive pricing and a years head start). Pair that with achievement comparisons between friends, and PS3 and PSN really has some way to go to.
So whether the rumours of a PS3 Slim are true or not, Sony needs to address the real issues with the PS3 – price.
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