Sony’s New PlayStation 3 Will Be a Tough Sell

Sony has lifted the lid on what might be its least exciting console-related grand unveiling to date – the redesigned PlayStation 3.

Give credit where credit is due: The updated PlayStation is 25 percent slimmer than the previous version, and 50 percent slimmer than the portly first generation model. It looks good, but it’s still a PlayStation 3 that rehashes an almost decade-old piece of gaming equipment. Meanwhile, Nintendo has a new console ready to roll, and Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on the Xbox 720. For Sony, this seems like a good way to lose a whole lot of money.

The updated PlayStation 3 will come in two colors: Black and Classic White. The first Black model, with a 250 GB hard drive, was released September 25 and includes Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. A 500GB version will be available on October 30. The Classic White model comes only with the 250GB disk and won’t be released until November 22. The machines are priced $269 and $299, depending on the hard drive.

But these prices seem like premium price tags for a console that is rapidly approaching its expiry date.

Personally, I don’t see any of this as being a good move for Sony. The company will, in essence, is that Sony will be competing with itself. There’s no shortage of fully functional second-hand models on the market, and their hard disks can easily be upgraded for those in search of more storage space. Sony would have been better off working out a way to deliver the last generation PlayStation 3 with a more competitive price tag.

Here is what’s going to happen from now. The Nintendo’s Wii U will come out at more or less the same time as the revamped PlayStation 3. Though the products appeal to different audiences, the Wii is likely to eat up some of Sony’s sales. But the real problem for Sony is the Xbox 720, which is due out some time next year. That’s going to present even loyal Sony buyers with something of a quandary. The cost of a PS 3 will represent a sizable portion of Microsoft’s next generation console’s price – just as it does for the upcoming PlayStation 4. All things considered, a thinner PlayStation 3 seems like a particularly awful consolation prize.

Comments

  1. BY Ryan says:

    Is this a hit piece against Sony? A bit of fanboyism?

    The price of the PS3 is the same as Xbox, so to argue that as a “tough sell” is kind of baseless, especially since the power of this generation is still being tapped. The PS2 slim sold for years after its “expiration”.

    Also of notice, it’s been reported several times that developers (I believe Naughty Dog was one of them) have already stated they have PS4 development units they are working with.

    Due diligence?

    • BY Mark Feffer says:

      Hey, Ryan -

      I think Chris’s statements are fair. He’s arguing that the Xbox 720 will be in pretty much the same price range as the PS 3, which will make it tempting for people who want a more powerful console for essentially the same money.

      As for some developers having PS 4s already, well, doesn’t that just make Chris’s point? If the PS 4′s launch is imminent, why would I spend my money on a PS 3?

      Thanks,

      Mark

      • BY El Tony-o says:

        Possibly for the same reason that Sony *still* has PS2′s out on the shelves at many electronics stores. People bought loads of games, games that should have been compatible with the next-generation consoles to make adoption easy. Our household has one PS2 with 43 games, one Wii with 41 games, and a PS3 with 17 games. If Sony had really put the effort into making a console that has TRUE backward compatibility with PS2/PS3 games, they could very likely charge upwards of $400 and make some serious cash doing so. And they’d sell.

        Why would we move to the next console when all of our favorite games are not being moved with us (‘Champions of Norrath’ and ‘Return to Arms’, specifically)?

        Sony has probably quit listening.

      • BY El Tony-o says:

        Possibly for the same reason that Sony *still* has PS2′s out on the shelves at many electronics stores. People bought loads of games, games that should have been compatible with the next-generation consoles to make adoption easy. Our household has one PS2 with 43 games, one Wii with 41 games, and a PS3 with 17 games. If Sony had really put the effort into making a console that has TRUE backward compatibility with PS2/PS3 games, they could very likely charge upwards of $400 and make some serious cash doing so. And they’d sell.

        Why would we move to the next console when all of our favorite games are not being moved with us (‘Champions of Norrath’ and ‘Return to Arms’, specifically)?

        Sony has probably quit listening.

  2. BY Austin says:

    I love how fanboys are the first to bark about someone being a fanboy. (Obvious nod to RYAN.)

    In a refreshing change of pace, “Mark” is capable of comprehending the English language. Just like with the release of the PS3 initially, Sony is showing an inability (unwillingness?) to innovate first in the market. Instead we get rehashed hardware in a market where the consumer is already aware that developers will be moving on. Yes, Sony insists they will continue developing content for the PS3 until 2015. That promise doesn’t really entail the QUALITY of said content. I know I am not jumping to get my copy of Salami Ninja 4.

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