A week before E3, someone unveils a Circuit City ad with a PS3 announced for $100 less. People speculate of a PS3 price drop. Sony categorically denies. E3 arrives, and Sony formally announces a $100 price drop. Ok, the deny-then-confirm tactic is old and tired, but hey… the PS3 needs all the help they can get, because they are simply not selling like they should.
E3 goes well for Sony, with a number of interesting exclusive games, and the general impression is that PS3 is going to start taking off. Details about Europe are sketchy, but I just assume that either I missed the confirmation of a price drop in Europe as well, or they left it as "announcement" for the Leipzig Games Convention in August.
Some things don’t click quite right, though…
Some Capcom boss is quoted as saying that $100 is not enough and that they expect another price drop before Christmas. Rumours of Metal Gear Solid 4 going multiplatform because of the small PS3 installed base also surface. And Sony announces a new PS3 model with 80GB instead of 60GB and bundled with Motorstorm, for the old price. This means people will pay $100 more for an extra 20GB and a game that, in market terms, is old news and will probably be the first in a hypothetical platinum line launch around christmas. Frankly, that’s a weak package to pay $100 for. Ah well, people will probably ignore it and buy the 60GB model.
And then someone gets SCEE president and does this interview. It’s too honest for someone in that position, really; They must have got the guy drunk or on drugs.
"…SCEA has given US consumers, i.e. the option to pay a lower price?
– Well, they’re not really are they, because what the US are offering from the 1st of August is a USD 599 version with one game. All they’re doing is taking their stock in trade that they’ve got at the moment of the 60GB model, marking the price down and it will all be gone by the end of July."
"- The difference between 60GB and 80GB is not really necessary. The difference in cost between a 60 and 80 is just Euro cents; it’s nothing, because the cost of memory is so small."
"- [SCEA] felt that by going down for 100 to 88 [% backwards compatibility], for example, that they’d have to add something in."
"Isn’t there a problem with the perception that [GBP 425] is an awful lot of money to shell out?
– It is, but surprisingly, people are paying that amount of money for it."
"- …because the difference in cultures is you have to go, ‘Ra-ra, I’m the best.’ We in Europe, and especially the Japanese, don’t necessarily accept that."
"- We owe a debt to Nintendo for keeping the industry going in the last couple of years."