PS3 Price Cut in US Only Temporary
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president David Reeves may have let something slip that American consumers weren't supposed to know: there really is no "price cut" for the PS3.
Instead, production on 60GB models in North America has apparently been halted in favor of the new 80GB version. When supplies run out, consumers would be left only with the new PS3 model, which retails for $599 USD, same as the old price of the 60GB model.
The admission of the plan came in response to a question from a Gamesindustry.biz reporter on why the lower price option was not offered by the European arm of the company.
"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," Reeves said. He then added that the 60GB PS3 would no longer be available in the United States.
No price cut will be offered in Europe; some retailers will instead bundle two games and two controllers rather than lowering the price. The 80GB PS3 model would not be available in Europe in the near feature either, Reeves said.
Although it has an upgraded hard drive, the new 80GB model also removes a feature that may be important to some. It lacks Sony's "Emotion" chip like the PAL European model, meaning that the console would only be compatible with 88 percent of legacy games versus the 100 percent compatibility with current models.
Reeves also defended the PS3's high price in Europe.
"It is [a lot], but surprisingly, people are paying that amount of money for it. Now they'll get two games and an extra controller as well," he argued. "It's not just a games machine as you know - you can play Blu-ray movies, you can download games from the network, you can browse the Internet and you can play music on it."
12:00 pm ET July 14, 2007 -Sony issued a statement late Friday confirming that it will no longer be producing the 60GB PS3. Once inventories are sold out, only the 80GB PS3 -- priced at $599 USD -- will be available.
According to Dave Karraker of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, "The 60GB PS3 will be available in North America for $499 until supplies of that unit are depleted. We have ample inventory to meet the immediate needs of consumers in this territory for several months to come. We won't be making any further announcements regarding our PS3 model hardware strategy in North America until the 60GB model is exhausted and market conditions are evaluated."