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from http://gear.ign.com/articles/700/700258p1.html

Sony Slips PS3 Price

French VP drops the big news.

by Gerry Block

April 5, 2006 - The word is out. Yesterday, Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe George Fornay let the PS3's European price slip. According to Fornay, the PS3 will cost between 499 and 599 euros. That translates to between $613 and $736 for us in the States.

Sony has been saying that the PS3 will be expensive for months now, and Fornay followed up his blunder by insisting that these price points are a quality deal for a Blu-ray player. Nevertheless, all previous attempts at selling videogame consoles at this price point have been rather dramatic failures, even when the systems incorporated 'new' multimedia features.

There may be some hope for lower price points in America. The European market generally gets screwed in consumer electronics, like the $299 iPod selling in Europe for 299…euros. That's a huge difference. Will we see the PS3 launch in the States at $499? Let's hope so, or else we'll be looking at the 360 to carry the industry for the next 5 years.

Sony has recently stated that Fornay was making completely personal statements and speculation, and that the announcement is in no way official. On the other hand, they said the very same thing after Sir Howard Stringer, President of Sony, let slip to Variety, of all places, that the PS3 would be delayed until this fall. It would seem that Sony executives need a refresher course in minding their tongues when speaking to the press.

I haven't even saved up enough for a 360 yet, and now its approx $600 for a PS3? I'm not sure I want Killzone 2 or MGS4 that badly. Either spend about 600 for a console that I can only play certain games on (yeah sure, great is a Blu-Ray player, too, but in about two years people will probably be saying "what's blu-ray?" cuz lets face it, Sony cant market its formats [betamax, UMD...]) or spend around the same price for a PC upgrade.

Also that last paragraph really shows (even though its an opinion) how disorganized Sony seems to be.

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I'll probably buy it no matter what it costs, not that I'm very interested in it as it is right now though.

But actually I was expecting it to cost more in Europe, the way Sony is currently going about the PS3 with saying its an entertainment system and not a games console they're certainly trying to get the image of it being all you need in your living room, much like they tried and said with the PS2 back when it was announced (Btw, try and sound more arrogant and stupid Sony, if you possibly can).

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one possible theory: Sony realizes they have huge brand clout and may be trying to exploit that. They probably have something good lined up to play at launch (if not, then I give up on Sony) and they may have looked at the 360 launch and saw how much more over the MSRP consoles were going for on the open market. Given that, what if Sony actually was smart about manufacturing and made enough of them so there weren't supply problems like with the 360 launch? Sony could be guessing that the 360 average purchase price for the final user (in the launch period) may have been closer to $500 or $600 or more in the US. So maybe that means that consumers really are willing to pay more for the base console at launch? If they have enough supply on hand, maybe they could match the market demand and charge $500 or $600 MSRP and hopefully the price won't skyrocket due to a market equilibrium.

Just a theory. A pretty shaky one, I admit.

Meanwhile, if Sony really is going to charge that much, and if games cost $50 to $60 instead of $40 to $50, and if PS3 has some kind of permanent storage like a HD or other Flash based memory, it had damn well better ship with at least a few cool free games a la Hexic and Geometry wars and maybe something better to increase the value proposition for the consumer. Top it off, I think they have to have low cost arcade type games available for download similar to Xbox Live Arcade. You have to offer the consumer something more if you are going to charge them that much more. I don't think the prestige of owning a PS3 is going to be great enough to justify purchase if you can't really affort to play anything on it. Gamers sort of learned their lesson with the 360 launch.

Meanwhile again....if Nintendo has great stuff to play at launch and (launch titles and retro games) and has a better value proposition, then I say Nintendo FTW!

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