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Rumor: PS3 Price Drop Imminent, Blu-ray-Free PS3 in the Works

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304w ago - A Wall Street analyst reports that a price reduction for the PlayStation 3 will happen "in the next couple days."

Mike Hickey with investment-banking firm Janco Partners told investors on Wednesday that he expects Sony will drop the price of the console to respond to sluggish hardware sales. To quote:

"Recent channel checks indicate increased speculation for a PS3 price cut announcement from Sony in the next couple of days," Hickey wrote.

Currently the PS3 is the most expensive of the three "next-gen" consoles on the market. The Playstation 3 with an 80 GB hard drive runs $399, while the 160 GB model is priced at $499. By comparison, the most expensive Xbox 360, which includes a 120 GB hard drive, retails at $399 and the economically priced Wii, when it can be found on shelves, sells for $249.

While many Playstation fans argue that the PS3 more than makes up the price difference with its Blu-ray drive, with the economy as it is, consumers are looking harder than ever at the PS3's spendy price tag.

In fact, Hickey believes the PS3's price would have to drop by at least $100 to make a big difference in Sony's sales numbers.

"We think the company needs to reduce the current price by USD 100 to effectively restart unit velocity at retail. We believe the market is expecting a PS3 price cut in April or by June at the latest."

Hickey also adds that he's heard murmurs of a Blu-ray-free PS3 in the works. Without the Blu-ray hardware, the console's production cost would shrink enough to rationalize a substantial price drop.

I have my doubts about this rumor. It makes no sense that Sony would remove the Blu-ray from consoles when, in many ways, Blu-ray was the Playstation 3's raison d'etre. From the day the Playstation 3 was introduced, Sony all but said it was selling the PS3 below cost in order to win the "format war" over HD-DVD. Abandoning that niche would be admitting that Blu-ray hasn't delivered as hoped.

And it's just not in Sony's corporate culture to ever admit such a defeat.

But I wonder: Given that we're three years into the new console cycle, hasn't anyone who's considering buying any gaming console already purchased one? And if not, would a $100 difference now make you get off the fence and buy a PS3?

Or are we all too worried about losing our jobs and paying our mortgages to consider such a creature comfort?

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Comments 26 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#16 - pheonix - 303w ago
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if they got rid of the blu-ray who would buy one anyway?

thats one of the strong ps3 selling points

#15 - RyuheiAkihiro - 304w ago
RyuheiAkihiro's Avatar
Remove blu-ray? That wouldn't even make sense... But the price drop is definately something that might happen. After the 360's price dropped it sold remarkably well. Sony will have to lower it's price for the ps3 just to compete now.

#14 - Kraken - 304w ago
Kraken's Avatar
I wonder if Sony has to pay some sort of licensing fee to be able to play movies or if there are DRM chips in there which are expensive.

Sony can't take out the Blu-Ray drive or it wouldn't play games. But they could disable blu-ray movies. If they save a paltry 10$ per system in license fees, that could add up for lots of systems, plus it would give them an opportunity to sell standalone players that right now nobody is buying.

And then again, they could get rid of blu-ray movies just to be dicks. This is the company that took out PS2 backwards compatibility (via the software emulator) for no reason.

#13 - MMcCraryNJ - 304w ago
MMcCraryNJ's Avatar
I wish I could become an analyst. This guy's day at work probably went something like this: 1. Show up 2 hours late. 2. Run across the street to get coffee, walk back slow to smoke a cigarette. 3. Boot up computer, read e-mails. 4. Go to lunch. 5. Spend 10 minutes writing PS3 article with no facts or even basic knowledge as to how the system works. 6. Pat self on back and go home 3 hours early.


But seriously, the price cut thing is nothing new and everyone knows it has to happen soon, especially with the economy getting so bad that it is now affecting the entertainment and tech industries (once thought almost immune to economic downturn), in order for Sony to compete. It's been mentioned for months now.

#12 - adrianc1982 - 304w ago
adrianc1982's Avatar
The real thing here is the ps3 is not doing bad, the ps3 has accomplished its purpose it defeated the HD DVD and we all pay for games and movies in high definition. Can microsoft say the same? cause right now all their consoles can be modified fairly easy and play downloaded games.

Sony on the other hand is selling all the media he wants and with over 20 million ps3s out there thats a lot of bluray movies and games they are selling, the xbox has a little more, a couple million more but how many are playing backups and not paying for them?

Sony almost never says anything when they are asked about the slow ps3 sales because they know they have accomplished what they needed and the system is so secure once you purchase a ps3 you will likely buy in a year 6 or 7 games at least per console and Im not even counting movies, downloads from the psn store. Why on earth would you buy a 400 dlls console plus tax and not buy games for it, seems pretty stupid to me you will be buying games and spending. Sony is on the right track and the releases that have hit the ps3 cant compare with the 360.

We have mgs4, uncharted, killzone2, little big planet, resistance 1 and 2 and some other exclusives like gran turismo, you think the ps3 is expensive? The ps3 will win eventually and mark this post it will because its just incredible and the 360 is only selling more because its cheaper and because it can play backups if you take those two away believe me the ps3 would be on top just think about it.


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