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Howard Stringer looks into "refining" the cost of PS3

If you want someone to take machete in hand and slice through the vine-ridden jungle of PR spin and get to the heart of darkness (took about ten minutes to hack our own way to that dynamite metaphor), it would be Sony CEO Howard Stringer. He says that there is no question consumers want a price drop on the PlayStation 3 and he's currently looking into ways to deliver on those demands. How much the console would drop in price is the big question and what he and his pals at Sony are trying to figure out.

Stringer is pretty certain he will have an answer for the public by Christmas, but took the liberty to compare sales with their most current console to the beginning years of the PlayStation Originale and the PlayStation Deux. We're making up names. Stringer reassured the Sony loyalists that sales are indeed slow, but mimic the previous consoles' trends.

He also gave his two cents about the Wii. Take this as you will, Nintendo crowd: "I would be the first to say to you that Nintendo Wii has been a successful enterprise and a very good business model compared to ours... Because it's cheaper." Adding later that, when asked if the system is more fun or creative than the competition, "No, no. Fun is in the eye of the experiencer..." All in all, we'll have news of a price cut soon and we'll find out if the "cheaper" factor really is a major player in this war of consoles.

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1. I would definitely say that price has to do with it. PS2 appealed to the mass market, PS3 does not.

Posted at 12:06PM on Jun 15th 2007 by Slack

2. If the Wii can demonstrate it has staying power, and a gets a few games that aren't minigames, or all directed towards children (more than manhunt2 btw), it will have a huge impact on gaming. Right now it's obvious that the cheapest product sells to the masses; but we could have learned that lesson from cars, food, clothes... it's sort of like a study that says prisoners want out of prison. Pretty damn obvious to anyone. Right now that is the only long-term effect I see the Wii having. Hopefully that means the next generation of consoles will come in closer to the 300-400 price point. Then again, we demand more and more technology for our money, and both MS and Sony have been subsidizing hardware at launch.

It's all about what it offers the user. Sony needs to step up and show what they are offering. I think the lineup, products and services are going to be strong, but they need to make sure that people see that stuff and make them want the ps3, because if they make consumers really want it, consumers will be a lot less likely to let the price be the determining factor. If people see $600 worth of value, they'll pay that. Of course, it's easier to get them to see more value at lower price-points, but... I think Sony is still thinking long term, but they've finally realized that they need to pick up speed more quickly.

Posted at 12:12PM on Jun 15th 2007 by mccomber

3. Wait, I just thought of a business-talk way of saying what I said above:

"They need to work on defining the cost more than refining it."
First one is free Sony. Your welcome.

Posted at 12:21PM on Jun 15th 2007 by mccomber

4. Great... by saying that he pretty much guaranteed that sales will be slow up till Christmas.

Posted at 12:22PM on Jun 15th 2007 by Andir3.0

5. I think he is right with the Wii being a matter of price and what's fun to the person experiencing each system. The wii easily has just as many flaws and drawkbacks as the PS3, just not on the same scale.

I personally find the Wii more frustrating than fun, especially with the poor wiimote performance and pointing issues. I need reasons to play it, and the longer I wait the more reasons Sony gives me to keep playing my PS3. I know, sounds sad, but it's really true for me personally, who views "fun" differently than others.

Posted at 12:28PM on Jun 15th 2007 by OrganicShadow

6. @6
totally agree with ya... the wii is a pos in my oppinion and it really isn't as "fun" as in those commercials... i mean hell one of the commercials have the two japanese guys go in a farmer's house - suprised they didn't get shot :p. Anyway, some people think making a fool of oneself is fun - maybe in a party but without those people it's no fun at all. Just give it a couple more years when there will be a much bigger gap between 360/ps3 and wii and gamers will regret buying it. Of course then Nintendo might bring out a new console with perhaps lower pricepoint but similar tech and people will all go buy it since it has "zelda" and forget that they got ripped off with the wii

Posted at 12:46PM on Jun 15th 2007 by shase

7. Is it just me or does Howard Stringer almost look like Jerry Springer?

Posted at 12:47PM on Jun 15th 2007 by FaMiCuS

8. Wii's price makes it so much easier to buy the system for having just a few good games. I'm a PS3 fan but id drop the money on a Wii for Super Smash Brothers alone. Hopefully, the motion controls dont f it up.

Posted at 12:56PM on Jun 15th 2007 by dwanggsta

9. There was recently an add posted in the kansas city star (newspaper) for a Wii... the guy said that he recently got ingaged and his fiance said he had too many gaming consoles and had to get rid of one. He chose to get rid of the ohhhh so hot Wii

Posted at 1:43PM on Jun 15th 2007 by ashkungfu

10. @ Beaudry

I think you got lost and ended up on a ps3fanboy site... would tell you how to get to the wiifanboy site, but not sure how to get there

Posted at 3:23PM on Jun 15th 2007 by ashkungfu

11. He's right... the Wii is cheaper and that's the bottom line as to why its doing as well as it is. If the Wii was 349.99 it would be selling slow as well. But in terms of fun, the Wii no more fun than games on any other system. Having a new controller doesn't make the games more fun... but of course thats what Nintendo wants you to believe. Remember the psycho mantis boss battle in Metal Gear Solid.. thats true innovation.
'

Posted at 3:28PM on Jun 15th 2007 by Thomas

12. If the PS3 had some more good game likes Resistance, I think it would be selling a LOT better. Well, I think that's common sense but that would really help. Even if you don't buy the PS3 for games, then you can use it for Blu-Ray. This system has lots of potential.

http://ps3nuts.com/

Posted at 10:05PM on Jun 15th 2007 by Steve

13. I think there is no question in lowering the price. It is the main reason why the ps3 is not doing well. The games will come so there is no problem there BUT it is annoying me how sony are not considering the price cut till christmas. In the meantime they are going to be losing valuable customers to the xbox who are also considering a price cut and the wii!
If sony are to attract customers they need a good deal with the playstation 3 or a significant price cut. not a pathetic small amount!

Posted at 4:06PM on Jun 16th 2007 by Chris

14. Nick, you are cracking me up.

McComber, I don't see how the Wii can have a huge impact on gaming, any more than it has. When I got the ps3, I was playing it on a Commodore 64 monitor. It looked better than the ps2, better than the wii (and better than the Commodore 64, ahem)... on that lil old monitor. So even without "Hi Def" (yo... that is DEF), it was superior.

I suppose the difference is in the mindset of the player, or in that white-dude's terms (he's actually Belgian, I think), "beauty is in the eye of the experience of the beholder"

Wait.

No, I mean... I want to talk about contrasts. Gaming for gaming's sake, you'll like pac-man, you'll like board games, you'll like the Wii... but there are also gamers for whom the technology itself is part of the experience. This is pathetic of me, but when I heard the Wii lacked even certain powers the original Xbox had... it just turned me off, you know, I was like... frigid, for the Wii.

So what will develop will be two schools.

Gamers who like games, and gamers who like the newest technology with their games.

Ummm... Caza? In your post, you actually implied that Katamari would be a 360 exclusive! I like your story about the coach, very touching, necessary roughness and all, but read just a little bit more. Also you failed to mention Grand Theft's developers' frustration with a tiny 9GB DVD... as for exclusive content... it'll come out on the ps3, just later. It takes a longer time to build a good thing.

The problem with this whole price-cut biz, it's guys who own 360's and want to buy a ps3 also. Sony would have to move to $399, putting their finances in utter jeopardy. If they do anything, they'll move $100, to $500, and that will still be too much for 360 fanboys.

But think of it this way. You people (yes, I said that) bought your 360 for 400-500. You spent an additional 70-100 on an extended warranty, knowing your machine would crap out (and it did).

So you saved $30. But you still don't have wireless, and you still don't have blu-ray, and you're still bent over for Microsoft, screaming at Sony to give you some lube.

Come Xmas, if Sony does this right, the general public will see demos of Uncharted, Home, and Ratchet and Clank, up against: a violent war game on the 360, Forza2 (this would be smart of MS), and some liney-pixelated things on the Wii.

Some parents are going to do research and see that the xbox360 breaks down a lot, and it has a plethora of violent games.

If Sony's smart, they'll create a huge family-based pr campaign touting ps3 content as well as the ability to play any ps2 game, UPSCALED. So even if they spend 5 or 6 hundred on ps3, they can still get a bunch of $20 ps2 games and a ps3 game and the kids are happy, the parents are happy.

The thing is a tank, it keeps going, and the parents won't have to take it to the frickin warranty people every three months.

It plays blu-ray discs, so mom and dad can sit at home and enjoy HiDef on the kids' playstation when said kids are asleep.

This is the kind of picture that Sony's marketing people need to paint. I would suggest they look very carefully for very good marketers, not that crap that we've seen lately.

And yes, they can hire me, but I'm not quitting my current job. I'll be available after 5, all-day on the weekends.

Posted at 5:02PM on Jun 16th 2007 by John

15. I remember when 360 came out, I said I wouldn't spend that much money on a console, and that was $400. I still bought one on launch day after playing COD2 and PGR3, but hated dropping $500 for the system and 2 games. I have been happy to this day I did it though.

With PS3, you're looking at $600 for the system alone and then an additional $100 for the 2 games of your choice. That is a large chunk of change, no matter who you are. If it was at the $400 price point I would have a similar dilemma that I did when 360 came out. But I can't justify $200 more for what the PS3 provides.

What it comes down to is that anything really above $250 will appeal mainly to the hardcore gamers, unfortunately the larger the gap from that price point, the harder it is to retain that "hardcore/dedicated" user base.

It just kind of irks me hearing people justifying PS3s dominance it with BluRay and Wifi and saying 360's failure rate is crazy high. With only a small percentage of people with HD TVs, BluRay only is appealing to a small market at the moment (once again the hardcore/dedicated). Wifi is a good idea across the board. And for the failed 360's (myself a victim this week), it is an easy fix you can do yourself for around 10 dollars.

Whatever the case, when PS3 hits a price drop and a great game or two comes out, I'd be more inclinded to get one. But right now I think it is impossible to justify spending that kind of money for something that doesn't have a value associated with it's price point unless you're A) PS fanatic, B) Looking for a BluRay player.

Posted at 10:46AM on Jun 18th 2007 by EnderOSC

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