Gamers Could Baulk at PS3 Price
One analyst fears gamers will think the $600 price tag is a bit much to ask.
Sony wowed a lot of people at its pre-E3 press conference last week. Most were impressed by the PlayStation 3 games on show, but what really got people talking was the price of the console. With two models of the system priced at between $500 and $600, Sony is pushing into uncharted territory, and some feel that it might have a hard time selling the system to would-be buyers.
"Asking consumers to pay $500 to $600 for a game console, when most have yet to purchase an HDTV, will give many current PlayStation 2 owners reason to consider the competition," said ABI Research analyst Michael Wolf, as reported by Next Generation.
"Sony has clearly hamstrung itself with a box that is expensive to manufacture, and these costs are driving a retail pricing strategy that places a high financial burden on the consumer."
Adoption rates of high-definition TV differ widely around the world. In Europe, the technology is only now ramping up, with digital TV provider Sky rolling out its HD service and next month's World Cup set to be broadcast in HD. In the US, 25 per cent of households are predicted to have gone HD by the end of 2006, according to Sony's research.
Sony is putting the blame for the sticker shock on Blu-ray - one of two competing formats for the next-generation DVD standard. Microsoft is backing the competing HD-DVD format, though it will be release through an external drive.
All PlayStation 3s that start shipping this November will come with a Blu-ray drive. The system will be released in two flavours in November: a $600 model that comes with a 60 GB hard drive and a cut-down $500 model that has a 20 GB hard drive and drops support for WiFi, consumer memory cards and HDMI - a high-definition connector.
Editor, Kikizo Games