- "It's natural to feel that way, of course it is" - Maguire
As Sony ships its new model PlayStation 3 to stores for launch this Wednesday, UK managing director Ray Maguire has told GamesIndustry.biz that the new SKU is a natural evolution and the company always had plans to offer a cheaper product.
But he also admitted that he could understand that PlayStation 3 early adopters might feel cheated for buying the console earlier in the year when it commanded a luxury GBP 425 price point.
"I think it's natural to feel that way, of course it is," said Maguire, in an exclusive interview published today. "The difference between our industry and many other industries is that if you're selling cars or houses the price goes up steadily. Consumer electronics only goes one way and that's downwards."
Maguire, who describes himself as an early adopter of new technology, said that the reward for paying premium prices is the ability to experience technology ahead of the mass market.
"One thing is common amongst the entire market for consumer electronics and that is that there are early adopters like myself who will spend GBP 10,000 on a plasma TV that is worth GBP 3000 within three years. That's the way the market goes "What do they get for that? They get six months of enjoyment of the product before anybody else gets that ability to play those games," he said.
He also said that the introduction of a new 40GB model was the next step for Sony, as it lowers prices to tempt new consumers to the PlayStation 3 experience, but denied there is confusion with different models in different regions.
"As products evolve the offerings change because they have to adapt to the needs of the consumers but I don't think it's been particularly confusing in six months to go from stand alone, to a bundled proposition into a low price entry level model," he said.
"We also have to remember that consumers don't search around the world for different configurations. We are a global company but we have to act locally as well."