Even though Sony has announced a new PlayStation 3 Slim model with more storage and a slimmer form factor, older PS3 units aren’t getting a price drop. Does that sound strange to anyone else?
Engadget interviewed SCEA PlayStation vice president John Koller to get the lowdown on Sony’s reasoning for maintaining the standard prices across the board, and we have to be honest, it’s still a little bit of a head-scratcher:
“When you look at some of the earlier chassis, and the really early adopters — the 20GB, and the 60GB — that consumer had a choice. They could either go out and buy another hard drive — and it’s an easy install, so we make it easy for the consumer if they want to take a hard drive off the shelf and plug it in, they can do that. They had a choice of doing that, or purchasing another PlayStation 3. And what’s been happening is we’re seeing a lot of adoption of second consoles in-house,” Koller says.
On the other hand, we can see that Sony may not want other PS3 owners to feel like they purchased the latest PS3 soon, so simply introducing a new model for the same price might alleviate some of that pressure. In fact, there’s an economical advantage to trading up, as most retailers offer store credit deal and incentives for trading in old consoles—that’s how a new 500GB PS3 Slim goes from a $300 purchase to a $250 (or less) investment.
Either way, Koller insists that people don’t want to go through the trouble of comparing different models and prices:
“There’s no price drop formally, but the thing that’s been happening in the market over the last year or so is that there’s been so many retail price promotions, and so many different gift card offers and all those things, being done by all of us (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony), that we’ve heard from our consumer, ‘Enough with all these weird price moves. What we really want is content and games and value.'”
At a glance, I think that’s going to make holiday shopping a real headache for consumers, especially non-gaming folks who aren’t familiar with console variations. Then again, most stores will likely make the newest models the most prominent parts of their sales and displays.
Both new PS3 Slim models cost $270 for 250GB, while the more expensive 500GB model has a $300 price tag. Europe is also the only territory getting the 12GB Flash-based PlayStation 3, which costs 230 Euros (or 185 British Pounds)—that’s roughly 300 American bucks, which still seems pretty steep.