However, the Canadian dollar is now stronger than the US dollar. Shouldn't the inflation stop? Unfortunately, other console manufacturers haven't responded quite yet. The Nintendo Wii retails for $289 in Canada, $30 more than in the US. The Xbox 360 Elite retails for $499, $50 more than in the US.
Thanks to Sony for recognizing the changing global economy. They slashed the Canadian PS3 by $160 to account for the currency conversion. Now, Canadians -- go buy yourself a PS3.
Click for full resolution image.
However, let's not forget that the 20GB Xbox 360 includes some backwards compatibility support (the 40GB PS3 does not). In addition, you get two free games with the system.
The 60GB PS3 is in an interesting position right now, as it currently costs the same as the 80GB model. For the same price, you can get a larger hard drive and a free game. The only difference? The 80GB has more limited backwards compatibility support. Patrick Seybold from SCEA reminds us that "There are no plans to lower the price of the 60GB model. The 60GB model has nearly 95% backwards compatibility, so consumers looking for that feature have the option while supplies last."
[Update: Chart updated with user suggested information. Updated with minor corrections. Thanks, readers!]
Gamestop is, from November 1st, offering a new Assassin's Creed skin. For a few weeks this will allow you to almost imagine that you have the game. "I have Assassin's Creed on PS3" you'll be able to say, without technically lying. The skin includes stickers which attach to the top and bottom of the PS3, so if you have your console sitting horizontally (as you should, really) then half of this skin just became moot. We're hoping that the stickers don't stay on permanently so that once the Assassin's Creed hype dies down you aren't stuck looking like you're stuck in the past.
This marks only the beginning of the group's research into utilising artificial brain algorithms for use in robots, cars and other machines. Recreating the human brain, curing cancer - what can't the PS3 do? Maybe one day it'll even have some games to play. We kid, we kid ...
Certainly, it appears that 60GB machines are still in ample supply in spite of Sony's proclamation that the system is no longer being manufactured. Are the systems selling at an even slower rate than anticipated? Seemingly. However, what will happen when November 2nd rolls along, and 60GB systems are still in stock? Sony will have to "accept reality and bundle [the 60GB with] a game and an extra controller for USD 499.99, giving consumers some value for their money." However, in spite of a price drop, it appears that Pachter is not confident that a price drop will significantly increase sales for Sony's system. What price must the PS3 reach for it to appeal to the masses?
The existing 60GB Starter Pack will be reduced in price to €499. It will be on sale "while stocks last," as the 60GB model is being phased out, as it was in America. Update: Patrick Seybold from Sony Computer Entertainment America has no real comment about the 40GB model being made available in the US. "We have not made any announcements for new SKUs or configurations for our territory." We're willing to bet we're going to hear something soon.
And then it happened! A new "brand campaign" begins this week for the PS3, one that we hope is absent of creepy crying babies. According to a recent PlayStation.blog update, "the theme of this year's campaign uses computer animation to model key PS3 iconography in a black onyx world." One reader theorized that this mysterious logo may play a role in the upcoming advertising. We doubt it -- but it certainly sounds plausible.
Sony will most likely focus on their big holiday line-up, which includes Ratchet & Clank Future and the new IP, Uncharted. In addition to the usual key selling points of the system (Blu-ray, PSN, etc.), we hope that Sony will also run advertising to promote a potentially price-reduced machine. A $399 price tag would certainly look quite attractive.
They continue to gush about the importance of Blu-ray and how, above all else, the system is a "worthy heir to the grand PlayStation heritage." We're glad that, for once, the PS3 isn't rated an over-priced piece of hardware or a product that has already failed. We'd like to think that the opinion of the EISA is the least biased and a lot more convincing than one Japanese author, or a single journalist. We're happy for you, Sony, just don't forget that you've got to make the PS3 a gaming console above all that other useful stuff!
According to David Karraker there is still 'ample supply' left in the retail stores, but with the holidays fast approaching and some fantastic games hitting the PS3, don't expect that supply to stay ample for that long. Still no word on whether Sony will keep the 80GB PS3's price at $599 once the 60GB SKU runs out of stock completely, but GamePro is agreeing with Michael Pachter that Sony will probably drop the price on the 80GB unit before Christmas.
The sales increase is most likely spurred by the recent price drop, but also the upcoming library of games that will be arriving on the PS3. However, it seems unlikely that Europe will receive a price drop. In a statement to Next-Gen, the always outspoken David Reeves admitted that a price drop so early in the game would be like admitting defeat. "Had we gone down in price in July, that's three months after we launched PS3. It'd be kind of like saying, 'hey, we failed.' But we didn't. We've been selling through much more than we ever thought we would be, even in Germany. If [a price cut is] what they want to do in the US, fine... But we don't need to do it in Europe."
With games like Warhawk and Heavenly Sword available in the coming weeks, it'll be interesting to see how Sony's next-gen platform fares. Until then, Sony can enjoy the still-incredible sales of PS2 hardware and software.
Bladestorm bundle to invade Japan later this month
Previous PS3 bundles included Koei and Namco's Gundam Musou, and Sony's Minna no Golf 5.
Will these results transfer over to worldwide sales in the coming year? There have already been estimates that the PS3 is going to outsell the 360 in the US, at least, estimates for July. We doubt the PS3 is going to overtake the Wii in sales for a little while longer, but that really depends on the media's continued support of the Wii. Perhaps, a few years from now, the millions of people with their PlayStation 3's will look on Denmark with starry eyes and say "It all began there."
[via PS3 Forums]
Since Gamasutra posted a pretty lengthy look at the history of consoles in Korea, we're going to give the abridged conclusions here. By all means, check out the full article since it's really quite entertaining. As far as the PSP goes, it's still fairly popular, but mainly used for watching movies while on subways, etc. It's not much of the "short burst" gaming system, which is why the DS has gained a lot of ground there.
The PlayStation 3 has hit a wall in Korea, since most of the "hardcore" crowd have already put their money on the 360. All the negative pre-launch press didn't help, either. The system's still selling, but until the big titles hit, it's not going to have any remarkable sales numbers. The PS3 may, in time, ride on the success of the PS2 in Korea, but until that time, there's nothing fantastic going on. In short, Sony's got to step up to the plate and deliver some good marketing strategies in Korea or else even those Korean console developers will stop trying and that would be a shame, stamping out potential.
Speaking with Spong at this week's Edinburgh Interactive Festival, Chris Deering, the founder of SCEE mentioned that the failure rate for the PlayStation 3 is a teeny-tiny 0.2%. Industry standard for hardware failure rates on consoles has historically been 3-5%, so the PS3's fantastically low failure rate really showcases how well Sony designed the system. Old Ken may have been crazy, but he was one hell of an engineer.
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