In an overt attempt to bolster sales, Sony Europe CEO Andrew House has announced that the price of its PlayStation 3 console has been reduced to $249 which equates to a $50 price drop for the 160GB version. The 300GB version has also undergone a price slash, and will set you back the $299 you would have paid for the lower-capacity version until now.
Taking into consideration retailer discounts, there may be areas where the console can be found even cheaper, so it’s shaping up to be a potentially strong Q4 for the console, which will have to knock Microsoft’s Xbox 360 off its perch in order to capitalize on the Christmas rush.
Sony’s other gaming console, upcoming Playstation Vita handheld is unlikely to be released until early 2012 and has been slated by many who believe that the days of handheld gaming have been superseded by the standards of gaming on smartphones improving all the time. Matthew Seymour of game developer Heavy Iron predicted that the Vita would turn out to be "a flat-out car wreck", backed up by the company’s president Lyle Hall, who added, "people don’t want to carry more than one thing in their pocket. That’s why Android and iPhone have done so well. They are the devices of choice. They offer multiple functions outside of gaming."
It’s a fair point, and it is hard to see how anyone will be prepared to pay $299 for a console which is fast-losing relevance in the gaming market. It also places more of the onus on the aging PS3 to carry the flag for Sony in a market in which it was once relatively untroubled.
I’m not completely convinced that the price-drop is significant enough to draw that much interest. I may be wrong, but I think that if the 160GB version had been dropped to, say, $199, I strongly suspect people would be more inclined to rush en masse to the stores and pick one up.
Those of you that don’t own a PS3 but have considered it, will you now take the plunge and pick one up? or is it still $50 too much for a console which is now in its twilight years? As ever, leave your thoughts on our Facebook page.