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Microsoft makes bet: Sony will unveil $399 PS3 this year

It wasn't too long ago when a Microsoft executive was trash-talking Sony. Nay, going so far as to make a bet against their rival gaming manufacturer. Case in point: J. Allard made predicted that Sony's PSP would downright flop. He was wrong, and to honor a bet with Newsweek's N'Gai Croal, he donned dreads and updated his Microsoft company profile page, admitting "N'Gai had it right," and that the PSP was not a failure.

Looks like Microsoft is up to the same antics again. This time, Xbox director of technical strategy and attack blogger Andre "Ozymandias" Vrignaud, is the one to take a bet with N'Gai. He states that "My prediction is that you're going to see the creation of a new, low-end SKU this holiday. It'll likely remove integrated WiFi, memory card reader, and most controversially, all backward compatibility. (Remember, there's still some back-compat hardware in even the new "software only" back compat SKUs; removing the remaining CPU is a significant cost savings.) You'll see a new WiFi dongle made available. And finally, this low-end SKU will likely come with a smaller 40 GB hard drive. The low-end price will be set at $399, with the higher-end 80 GB SKU dropping to $499."

An interesting concept, to say the least. Ozymandias expects it to arrive by Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year in the US. N'Gai accepted Microsoft's bet ... only this time, the loser will have to buy a steak dinner instead of alter their hair styles (which will simply not be as fun to write about).

[Thanks, Copa!]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. they would not be able to call it a playstation if they remove all compatibility .. all he is trying to do is reflame a false negative buzz online regarding a ps3 with no BC which surfaced several weeks ago.

Posted at 11:36AM on Jul 25th 2007 by SoftTankDefender

2. They'll be shooting themselves in the foot if Sony ends up cutting the price to something less than $399 as a result of this

Posted at 11:39AM on Jul 25th 2007 by Yaster

3. Microsoft should worry about its own predictions

-We will release a new console in 2 years so we get ahead of Sony and Nintendo

-We will fix the cooling problem before we release any more games

-We will demand $60 a year for Xbox Live so we can bribe companies to make games for us and only us.

-We will sell only 1 million consoles now until Q1 2008. While Nintendo and Sony will sell 6 million and 8 million respectively.

-Halo 3 will sell over 5 million based on its brand strength.

-We will start producing games for our new console in 2008.

I know I console war is inevitable. Might as well get some good entertainment out of it.

Posted at 11:45AM on Jul 25th 2007 by Andy

4. Buy a steak dinner? That's it?

Sony: "Oh, shucks, you got me. Guess I have to eat a nice steak dinner tonight. Wow am I embarrassed. I really got egg on my face right now eating this delicious, expensive, juicy cut of beef cooked medium-rare lain upon irish haystack and topped with herbs and butter. I won't be making THAT mistake again..."

Posted at 11:46AM on Jul 25th 2007 by OrganicShadow

5. Oh man.. Peter Moore isnt even officially gone yet, and their PR dept. is starting to go haywire.. lol

Posted at 11:48AM on Jul 25th 2007 by Peter J

6. Doesn't Peter Moore make movies?

I have a prediction... this post will get over 40 comments once the Xbox 360 fanpeople find it.

Posted at 11:52AM on Jul 25th 2007 by Andy

7. lol good prediction andy.

Posted at 11:58AM on Jul 25th 2007 by Justin

8. Okay this one doesn't make sense to me at all. First Microsoft prediction is based off of a lot of decent information so it's not really a prediction and second why is this bad? Why is Microsoft saying that they are going to do that in a negative way.

We know the 60gb is going away and the 80gb is the new high quality model aimed at defeating xbox. Now a new 400 dollar one would be ideal for getting casual gamers and taking money away from the wii.

Now some people are freaking omgz new ps1 and 2 compatible wah wah wah. Okay, I'll be the first to admit it and come out of denial THE PS1 AND 2 GAMES LOOK LIKE SH*T ONE THE PS3. Even the new upscaling and smoothing sucks. It irritated me so much I stopped playing it on it. With so many ps2 consoles being moved why should they keep it?

Posted at 11:58AM on Jul 25th 2007 by brettjr

9. lets bet a steak dinner on it.

Posted at 11:58AM on Jul 25th 2007 by Justin

10. There has already been speculation about the 40gb/$400 sku here. I think it will happen, although I doubt it will have all the feature reductions mentioned here.

Posted at 11:59AM on Jul 25th 2007 by Jeremy

11. Sounds like pretty sound logic to me. Sony is crazy, not stupid. They've seen what the high price of entry does to them, and they've shown that they're willing to re-evaluate their original business decisions. We've had people on this very blog predicting a future low-end SKU even before the price drop. Now just because Microsoft says it will happen and N'Gai says it won't, we're going to re-place our own bets? This is one hell of an ugly console war...

Posted at 12:01PM on Jul 25th 2007 by upz

12. lol you're on Justin.

Oh btw about the picture...I have a new PS3 wallpaper lol

Posted at 12:26PM on Jul 25th 2007 by brettjr

13. Now we know who Game Informer's anonymous tipster is:

Posted at 12:34PM on Jul 25th 2007 by Harold

14. dont give a shit about backwards compatibility but if sony went ahead and did this sign me up on the PS3 bandwagon ! would give many the ultimate gaming experience, being able to afford both a 360 and a PS3 !!

Posted at 12:35PM on Jul 25th 2007 by WTangoFoxtrot

15. sign me up if that happens. a PS3 would be awsome beside my 360......PS360 FTW!!

Posted at 12:36PM on Jul 25th 2007 by WTangoFoxtrot

16. Can Harrison or Tretton make some bet with NGai as well? Here are some topics:

1. 360 will still have failure rate of 50% by 2008
2. Service will be extend for 4 whole years
3. X360 Super elite will finally come out with WIFI and for 600$.

Posted at 12:39PM on Jul 25th 2007 by shase

17. Can Harrison or Tretton make some bet with NGai as well? Here are some topics:

1. 360 will still have failure rate of 50% by 2008
2. Service will be extend for 4 whole years
3. X360 Super elite will finally come out with WIFI and for 600$.

Posted at 12:40PM on Jul 25th 2007 by shase

18. How can you remove "all" backward compatibility? At the most you can cut out the PS2 chip, but even then you have software emulation based BC for well over 50% of titles, which would be available for all units. Or is this just another way to divert attention from what the 360 delivers on this front?

Posted at 12:41PM on Jul 25th 2007 by rfom

19. It's not going to happen. It would cost Sony more to make the new SKU alongside the existing than it would to reduce the cost of the existing SKU. Besides, the 360 core is selling like crap. People don't want the low end version of the system.

Posted at 12:42PM on Jul 25th 2007 by Andir3.0

20. How dare he take the name of Adrien Veidt in vein!

Posted at 12:51PM on Jul 25th 2007 by totencough

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