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Publishers Say PS3 is Too Expensive

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 34 comments

In 2006 the PlayStation 3 launched as the most expensive console of this generation. Now, more than two years later, it still retains that title and publishers wish it weren’t so.

According to Bloomberg, Sony is under pressure from video game publishers to drop the price of its flagship console. At $399, the PS3 is $150 more than the Wii and twice the price of the cheapest Xbox 360 (though the same price as most expensive Xbox 360).

Of course, all game publishers want the hardware to be as affordable as possible, so that more consumers will buy the systems, thereby expanding the user base. The majority of video game systems are sold in the latter parts of the life cycle, when the hardware hits its lowest price points.

“Anytime a console manufacturer reduces the price, software publishers benefit,” said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft Entertainment.

Analyst with Janco Partners, Mike Hickey, believes that Sony will drop the price of the PS3 $50 to $100 sometime next month. “If they can’t meaningfully increase their install base, then you will likely see a capital reallocation,” Hickey said. But Sony is sticking to its guns with regards to its current pricing.

“Everybody in the development community would love for the PS3 to be free, so they could just sell razor blades,” Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America, said in an interview.

Executives at top game publishers do agree that the current PS3 price is a sticking point with consumers looking to get into next-generation gaming.

“Sony obviously still has a ways to go with their pricing,” said Peter Moore, head of EA Sports. EA has shifted some of its resources to developing for the Nintendo Wii, naturally incentivized but the large install base.

“You can’t ignore the guy who has half the market,” Moore said. For the previous two console generations, Sony has been the one with the largest share of the market, but the Japanese electronics maker now finds itself no longer on top of the heap.

With the PS3’s high price tag being such an issue, nary a month goes by without some talk about a price cut. While a price drop for spring is less expected than one during the holiday season, publishers along with consumers who are still on the fence about buying one would like it to be as soon as possible.

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  • 3 Hide
    StupidRabbit , March 18, 2009 4:49 PM
    Nothing new there.. i would spend the 400 bucks on a decent GPU, and a expensive mouse and keyboard.. resulting in a better experience than the PS3
  • -5 Hide
    thedipper , March 18, 2009 5:02 PM
    I think few people actually pick the Wii or 360 instead of the PS3 because of price. It's most often preference.
  • 5 Hide
    zuesacuatl , March 18, 2009 5:17 PM
    It is price, the PS3 is the best console on the market for graphics and capabilities, but the price just kills it for console fans. I own both the crackbox360 and the PS3, and the MS box could not even touch the PS3 in exclusive title graphics. I also own the wii for my kids, its a great console for the whole family.
  • Display all 34 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    thedipper , March 18, 2009 5:31 PM
    You just said that buying decisions isn't price, but went on to entirely contradict yourslelf by saying that you enjoy your higher-priced PS3 more.
  • 3 Hide
    The Schnoz , March 18, 2009 5:32 PM
    360 just has better exclusive titles and most games that are out on both systems run better on 360. I have both a 360 and PS3 and have had my PS3 for over two years. I have probably played games on it for a few hours in those two years and the rest of my time on it used watching Blu-ray and being dissappointed by Yellow Dog. Now that my HTPC has a Blu-ray drive I can't remember the last time I turned the thing on. What Sony needs is a miracle from God....of War. And where the fuck is Gran Turismo 5? In case you need a sign that things are bad for Sony, Tekken 5 is coming out for the 360.
  • 3 Hide
    AndrewMD , March 18, 2009 5:33 PM
    The developers will decide how valid Sony is in this market place.
  • -2 Hide
    zuesacuatl , March 18, 2009 5:34 PM
    No, let me correct myself, for most people it is price. I did not care about the price when i bought mine. I know others that love my PS3, but would not buy it cause the $tag attached to it. All three systems are good, they excel in their own little niches, and will satisfy the common gamer. In my opinion, the more advanced gamers understand the technology behind each of the consoles, and most of those will agree that the PS3 is above the rest.
  • 4 Hide
    The Schnoz , March 18, 2009 5:39 PM
    zuesacuatlIt is price, the PS3 is the best console on the market for graphics and capabilities, but the price just kills it for console fans. I own both the crackbox360 and the PS3, and the MS box could not even touch the PS3 in exclusive title graphics. I also own the wii for my kids, its a great console for the whole family.

    Actually the 360 has a better GPU. The only advantage PS3 has for graphics is the added space on Blu-ray for storing high res textures, but all that doesn't matter because the PS3 is limited by its dedicated 256MB of Video RAM, where as the 360 has shared memory and gives the developers freedom t use more than 256MB for video at a time. BTW, the 360 can touch the PS3 in exclusive title graphics. Killzone 2 probably has the best graphics for PS3, but the flame thrower affect is worse than PS1 graphics. And for games that aren't exclusive to PS3, they run better on 360, even when ported from an engine designed for PS3. PS3 has frame rate issues in many shared games as well as more aliasing than the 360.
  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , March 18, 2009 5:39 PM
    Nintendo makes profits because it creates software, and focuses more on user experience than fancy graphics (thus cheaper hardware). Microsoft doesn't make money on the XBox (neither hardware nor software), but that hasn't stopped them in the past.

    Sony can't reduce price because they have no other revenue stream from their PS3. Sony doesn't create the games for their console (like Nintendo), and they aren't run by a buffoon (like Microsoft). Plus they still have that whole "its a game console AND Blu-Ray player" aspect to play off. Even when HD-DVD was still alive, that was an additional $200 to the cost of your XBox.
  • 2 Hide
    RiotSniperX , March 18, 2009 5:47 PM
    The Schnoz In case you need a sign that things are bad for Sony, Tekken 5 is coming out for the 360.


    Dont forget Sony lost GTA4,FF13 aswell, i loved sony, but they need to step there game up, hopefully GoW3 will boost sales seeing as how i loved the second on the ps2.
  • -7 Hide
    fuser , March 18, 2009 6:29 PM
    And where the fuck is Gran Turismo 5?

    Excellent question!

    There is no way x360 graphics are on par with the PS3. The x360 runs a GPU that was old when the system came out. I've seen both on a HD projector and there's no comparison.
  • 6 Hide
    The Schnoz , March 18, 2009 7:02 PM
    There is no way x360 graphics are on par with the PS3. The x360 runs a GPU that was old when the system came out. I've seen both on a HD projector and there's no comparison.

    I don't know what you were watching, but it doesn't prove shit. The added eDRAM and shared memory of the Xenos GPU gives it to 360 FTW. And dated GPU? Look up the facts fuser. The R600 GPU was based on the 360 GPU which came out more than a year ahead of the R600. And the R520 came out just a month ahead of the 360, so I don't know where you get off saying it was a dated GPU at the time of its release.
  • 1 Hide
    The Schnoz , March 18, 2009 7:02 PM
    There is no way x360 graphics are on par with the PS3. The x360 runs a GPU that was old when the system came out. I've seen both on a HD projector and there's no comparison.

    I don't know what you were watching, but it doesn't prove shit. The added eDRAM and shared memory of the Xenos GPU gives it to 360 FTW. And dated GPU? Look up the facts fuser. The R600 GPU was based on the 360 GPU which came out more than a year ahead of the R600. And the R520 came out just a month ahead of the 360, so I don't know where you get off saying it was a dated GPU at the time of its release.
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , March 18, 2009 7:13 PM
    RiotSniperXDont forget Sony lost GTA4,FF13 aswell, i loved sony, but they need to step there game up, hopefully GoW3 will boost sales seeing as how i loved the second on the ps2.

    Lost them as exclusives... they are still going to PS3 as well.

    I prefer the PS3 over the other units, but i LOVE the load times of the 360 over the PS3.

    The Wii is SHii. I own one, and I am beside myself that people like this unit! Ok..Great, the Wii has motion detection/sensing.. But it SUCKS!! There is nothing on earth more inaccurate then the Wii’s motion controls. I HATE IT. Play tiger Woods, It is SOOO far from real golf. Even Mario Cart… the controls blow chunks. I personally feel if you are going to use motion as a control that it better replicate real life…or what’s the point?

    Every day I will choose PS3 and/or 360 over the Wii. I firmly believe Wii has sold so many units due to price, and nothing else. Parents who are not gamers certainly are going to buy the sub $200 unit over the $400 unit, it’s a no brainer.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 18, 2009 7:27 PM
    ther graphics issue is a crapshoot because it depends on the people making the game. some games look better on PS3 than on the crashbox and vice versa


    there is only a small group that that go for preference. Sony won the lat generation with the PS2 and the xbox was a distant 2nd so the PS2 owners wanted to continue with Sony but they put a high price tag on it. most people are flocking to the crashbox because of the games (and they don't care how many times they had to get microsoft to replace it LOL). the first console i got with the Wii because it was the cheapest and i Like Nintendo and it is not as bad as some strung out lord of the kings geeks say it is. I for one am going for a 2nd console and it will be PS3 because i like the games on it better and I already gave Microsoft too much of my own money buying windows for my PC multiple times over the years




  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 18, 2009 7:30 PM
    who cares about graphics or HD if you don't have a decent display to show it? What majority of consumers have switched to HD displays? If the average family has a big screen it's most likely in the family room and the game system is in the kids room. That's just an average. Even if you know all there is to know about consoles and what they can and can't do you will still need to invest in a display. You have to look at it from a family on a budget perspective. Sony sold all the console they could to everyone else. It makes no difference what's so ever what it can do or how well it looks to "Joe Average".
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 18, 2009 8:05 PM
    Originally I baught PS3 because the blu-ray and 1080P resulution. But it turned out most of the game still stay at 720P resolution. So the PS3 does not get much of the advantage over XBOX 360. And 2 of my friends baught Xbox360 because it is cheaper and play Halo and GTA4. But almost everyone has Wii (6~8).

    Another issue is Sony still manufacturing PS2 which is totally different machine and would divide the resource. I believe Sony should build a strip down PS3 (no Blu-ray, no HDMI) that can play PS2 and PS3 games on DVD and discontinue PS2, so all the resource are dedicated to PS3. So that they can lower the PS3 price without losing money.
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , March 18, 2009 8:44 PM
    WAI believe Sony should build a strip down PS3 (no Blu-ray, no HDMI) that can play PS2 and PS3 games on DVD and discontinue PS2, so all the resource are dedicated to PS3. So that they can lower the PS3 price without losing money.


    This is a good idea.
  • 5 Hide
    The Schnoz , March 18, 2009 9:07 PM
    grieveThis is a good idea.

    No it isn't. It's a horrible idea. They would have to reprint every game and many of the games would need recoding to fit on a DVD9. Than it would lead to customer confusion of what game to buy, the Blu-ray or DVD one. What they should do is bring back backwards compatibility to the PS#, but removing blu-ray and HDMI? They already have a sytem like that, it's called the PS2.
  • 0 Hide
    michaelahess , March 18, 2009 9:29 PM
    Mine only cost $250, brand new 80GB model. Just gotta find the deals!
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