Sony's PS3 Pricing Debacle Could Seize Moral Low Ground From Microsoft

July 14, 2007 -
Hey, console makers... just be straight with us gamers, please.

Microsoft still hasn't come clean on the extent or the cause of the red ring of death scandal which has vexed so many Xbox 360 owners - although they do earn props for extending the system's warranty to three years.

Now, under the harsh glare of E3 media attention, Sony has been caught engaging in manipulative PS3 pricing.

As most readers know, Sony kicked off E3 by announcing a $100 price drop ($599 to $499) on the standard 60gb PS3. Oh, and they were also introducing an 80gb model with a pack-in game for the old $599 price.

It turned out to be a tangled web, as PlayStation Europe boss David Reeves, perhaps inadvertently, let slip that when the $499 PS3's currently in inventory were gone, so was the lower price. That meant that the standard PS3 would be the 80gb model, priced at... $599.

SCEA spent most of Friday trying to get its story straight, as is well-documented by Joystiq. Indeed, Sony boss Kaz Hirai (left) confirms that the $499 PS3 will be short-lived in thsi video clip from VGTV:
The $499 price adjustment that we did for the 60 GB version for the American market, we're no longer in production for that product. So once that product is gone from the retailers shelves, then we're back to the $599 SKU only, so it's not like we have a two price strategy here in the U.S. market...

Comments

Hm, its a shame Dinzo didn't respond. Maybe he was just a Sony employee.

@Papa Midnight:

Read his statement carefully. Does it *EXPLICITLY* say they are still making the 60? He didn't out and out deny anything.

i really do agree that alot of the bashing going on is pointed towards supporting your favorite console. and i'd hate to tell you, but ppl who only play gears and madden shouldn't be considered hard core, and playing the wii doesn't make you purely soft either. all three are making mistakes, its just seems like sony is the whooping boy right now. if anything, i feel like microsoft is screwing me with no lube because their reluctance to talk about the cause and the application of a 3 year warranty means one of 2 things to me: 1)they know the problem, but won't fix it because they already plan on bring out a new console within 5 years allowing them to abandon the 360 and its warranty like they did the xbox and every OS they release 2) they have no clue and are trying not to admit to putting out a bad product that would lead to a lawsuit and force them to take ppl off of the development of their next console

right now sony's 3 biggest mistakes are 1)arrogance 2)bad pr department 3)not knowing your demo. the PS2's run was pretty much uncontested, and this made sony into what nintendo was with the N64, arrogant. they felt they could tell us what we wanted and that we would bow down just because of who they are. if arrogance can bring down empires, what makes you think companies are immune? then there's your constant contradiction or down right disavowing information leaked by your corporate partners or own personnel. how much better of a position would they be in if they said they were coming out with an 80gig and discontinuing the 20gig when the 20 gig discontinue was announced? the price cut would of looked like a better deal. if info gets leaked, you have one day to clarify and admit or redo your plans. arguing amongst yourselves makes you look incompetent. not what i want in a game company. as far as knowing their demo, look at how many games they lost and how long its taking for good content. this would of worked if their entire time line was moved up by 10 months, but they needed killer apps out the gate to make up for lost time. ports do not make a library. first party and exclusives is where you get the hard core and casual attention, it also helps make up for a higher price tag in the eyes of the soccer mom's who know little timmy only wants this game and there's only one way to get it. with a high price tag, ppl aren't willing to take that plunge with the hopes of better games on the horizon. god of war should of taught them this. it moved last gen consoles when a lot of ppl thought the last gen was finished. your demo has disposable income, and we are gamers first. blue ray should be an bonus, not your only draw. the easy step now would be to continue the 60 gig. it makes it seem like a deal and not a way to get rid of old product and turn a profit.

Papa Midnight
Sony is in damage control spinning the news of the price cut any which way they can to keep the price at 600,so in the end theres no telling what sony will do until they do it.

If they launch the 80's at 499 and keep it there past the 60s clearance,for me thats a + to their rep,but all the heads are saying different things so in the end anything can happen.

@Erik

It's the "foreseeable future" part that really makes it laughable. I mean, Sony's shown that they're short on foresight at the moment. If they get the fire sale of the 60 GB model - aka the more desirable model - that they're hoping for, they could run out of supplies for it in relatively short order. Like say... just before Thanksgiving.

"We will have ample supplies of both models to meet the needs of consumers for the foreseeable future."


Well yeah, that happens when they don't sell.

Eh, what the hell? Thats not what Dave Karraker says...

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2007/07/13/another-e3-winding-down-plus-a...

"One quick thing before I head to the show for the last day. I just wanted to clarify something. I’ve seen a lot of posts this morning related to the 60GB SKU and the comments by SCEE President David Reeves. As we announced this week, SCEA’s product offering in North America consists of a 80GB PS3 available in August and a 60GB PS3 available now for $499. We will have ample supplies of both models to meet the needs of consumers for the foreseeable future."

@Dinzo

"Sony plans to ship out 11million units for the holiday session alone. If someone really wants a PS3 they will get one,"

yep fair enough, but most shops already have loads in stock anyway

"they will even pay 600 for one."

Not likely, thats one of the big problems.

@Dinzo

Untill Sony tells the public that its going to discontinue the 60gb then why does it matter.

New flash, Sony already admitted that that's exactly what they're planning to do. Specifically they've already discontinued it. Hence the clearance sale of their existing stock that they tried to pretend was a general price cut.

@Dinzo


Um, how can you say that Sony is doing a good job at this point? Not saying that their system is bad, or the games are bad or anything. I'm just noting that they are in dead last as far as console sales. All the figures point to them doing the exact opposite of a good job.

It took me months to buy my Wii. Though every store I went to always had a stack of dusty PS3s sitting around.

@Dinzo

Hey, how much does that job Sony's got you on pay, you know the one where you post on weblogs about how great they are and how much you'd love to buy three hundred of their systems because they're so cool... Yeah, what's that pay?

Also, I was in a GameCrazy and noticed the 20gb PS3 sitting right next to the 60gb PS3, both were priced the exact same. I asked the guy about this and he said "Sony didn't lower the price on the 30gb model."

"So, what's going to happen to that one? (pointing at the 20gb)"

"It's probably gonna sit there forever."

I happen to love my PS3. I do not like the Wii one bit. Hell I might even buy a second one. (roomate paid 1/2 of the first one). I think Sony is doing a good job at this point. Yea its sad that it was so expensive in the first place but with the hardware that the PS3 has now its up the the DEV's to see what it can really do. Untill Sony tells the public that its going to discontinue the 60gb then why does it matter. Sony plans to ship out 11million units for the holiday session alone. If someone really wants a PS3 they will get one, they will even pay 600 for one.

I'm curious as to how this will affect people with launch / end run models of the 60gb PS3. Should the unit fail and require repair, will it be returned with the Emotion Engine entact? Will it be repaired at all?

@Lost Question

You know, that's kinda brilliant what you did there. It really is sorta accurate. Or at least contains some merit in the sense of Nintendo having years more console launch XP than the other two.

but yeah. The "price drop" is full of lose. Even if I considered working up the funds and future sighted faith in a PS3, by the time I get 'round to buying one, the 60gb "cheap" model will be gone. As pretty as my experience with the Gran Turismo Demo was at Best Buy today, I can't buy that thing now. Too much future tech that i can't take full advantage of, right now.

HAHA, GOOD THING I'VE BEEN SAVING UP FOR JUST SUCH AN OCCASION!!

Both MS and Sony have no foresight they only care for every bit of profit they can take from consumers,MS screwed the consumers over faulty parts and Sony is screwing with 2nrdy models in order to keep prices high, if Sony had the balls to take losses up front,rip the wireless stuff from the 60GB unit,prehaps go with a full emulation setup from the start sell it at 400 they would have built a great foundation for the PS3 AND BR.

But no they just do not understand and continue to screw with the consumer, the PS3 is already heading to where the Saturn did in order rebuild rep Sony needs to stop dcking around with the PS3 set the price to 400 stop these wasteful 2ndry units that are only wasting money,you've already destroyed the PSP by poor price points the PS3 is goign to be irreversibly damaged by this BS if they do not start digging them selfs out.

@ emmanuel v

Wrong! It's -2- 99 dollar machines! Duct taped together, even! That's a good 50 cents worth of duct tape!

And then they added in 512MB flash, which is another.. what? 25 bucks?

And a game which is actually very popular, so we'll make that 30 bucks(lack of shipping materials and all that).

Right there, that's 253.50!

Then you pay for the waggle remote, AND waggle nunchuck! Remember, PS3's entire range of "motion sensitivity" is covered in the nunchuck bit. All of it.

And it also has wireless internet, so if you go by the MS situation, that saves you another 100 bucks(even though the chipsets MS uses are only about 30 dollars, retail, put in a custom shell. Far less for resellers). Plus free online gaming(once the online games actually come out), so that matches PS3 right there.

Oh, and Wii also has 100% GC BC, so that beats both PS3(W/EE chip), and X360's solutions. So then you get another 99 bucks worth of hardware, since not only can you play games double the quality of GC games, you can actually play actual GC games.

So.. what was your point, again? That buying a multimedia PC without video-in, that has gaming support slapped on is a superior choice?

Again.. I find the ones crying the loudest about this seems to be the ones who like to tout thier own systems, Wii and 360..

This seems more like good business sence with bad timing and poorly worded press releases..

Hardly worth blowing out of proportion, unless of course your system is the best, aint that right?


I wouldn't say that. I would very much love to get a PS3, but I refuse to pay $600 for one, and though I'd prefer to pay less than $500 I'd be willing to pay that much if I had it. But by the time I get $500 to spend on it, the 60GB version won't exist anymore.

"ha ha..

they package a 99 dollar system with a “waggle” instrument, and sell it to dumb mis-educated soft-core gamers but theyre just fantastic ..

i’m happy with my 360 and more than happy with my PS3.. both i bought a lauch, so i dont wanna hear it.. tell mario to suck a prick

and the 360 has limited backwards compatibility too, more so than the euro ps3.. and it will have wi-fi.. which costs an additional 100 bucks with my 360"

Rabid fanboyism for the lose.


For me it all comes down to money. I am not going to waste my money on a system that is going to fail, potentially multiple times. Also I am not going to spend $600 or even $500 on a game system. I have more important financial worries in my life.

So I am quite happy to have my "$99 system with a waggle instrument." I'll leave the other two systems to those with a more disposable income.

@ emmanuel v

Wow... I won't even say how wrong you are because you do it for yourself.... by the way... did someone from nintendo abuse you at a young age or something? because... wow... just... wow

Look at it this way, its bad for Sony, it looked like Sony was doing something right and dropping the price of their system to make it more affordable and to get more buyers, now they're basicly reshooting themselves in the foot by basicly bringing that price back up again. Its not the consumer thats really been screwed its the retailers and Sony themselves. The only consumer who's been screwed was the one who went "oh i can afford a ps3 in a few months when i have some cash" then realize that the 499 model is no long around and they once again play the waiting game to buy the system.

Again.. I find the ones crying the loudest about this seems to be the ones who like to tout thier own systems, Wii and 360..

This seems more like good business sence with bad timing and poorly worded press releases..

Hardly worth blowing out of proportion, unless of course your system is the best, aint that right?

ha ha..

they package a 99 dollar system with a "waggle" instrument, and sell it to dumb mis-educated soft-core gamers but theyre just fantastic ..

i'm happy with my 360 and more than happy with my PS3.. both i bought a lauch, so i dont wanna hear it.. tell mario to suck a prick

and the 360 has limited backwards compatibility too, more so than the euro ps3.. and it will have wi-fi.. which costs an additional 100 bucks with my 360

@ Archgabe
because nintendo has gone throu the distain for the consumer stage already with the gamecube
ive siad it more then one and i'll say it again
the pattern is:
the start 1.nes=ps1
the success 2.snes=ps2=xbox(?)
arrogence edge 3.n64=ps3=xbox 360(?)
lost faith 4.gamecube=ps4(?)=xbox 720(?)
lesson learned 5.wii=ps5=xbox 1440(?)

RIIIIIIIIIDE RACER!!!

lol, PS3. Call me when Sony gets some decency back.

I'll be playing Smash Bros. Brawl in the meantime.

To Murry>Well let's think of it this way. A parent wants to pick up the 60gb at 499, and walks into the store, hoping to pick it up. She will find out that the cheaper model is out of production and will want to get the 599 one or just simply walk away. The problem is now that they are selling a product that they are no longer making.

Now the deception part of that is that they are not doing this for the Europeans, whom are now being screwed over in terms of pricing (more than usual). It's a bit unfair to our euro gamers now, and they must cope.


This is why I don't like Sony anymore. Too much bull.

Dear sony,

URNOTE

signed,
Kharne

ah, damn! color code didn't work. =/

@ ArchGabe

WiiFit.

That is all.

Ahh... it's a great scam. Lower the price of the PS3, then release a new version along side it for the original price, then discontinue the discounted ones. Sony never has to charge less than 500 bucks for the PS3.

Is it just me, or does Kaz Hirai look a little too much like Daniel Dae Kim?

Some people will get a PS3 cheaper than they could have otherwise. That's a good thing, even if it's a result of shady dealings.

@Murry

The whole thing was rather scandalous and deceptive. They announced the 60GB price drop, then a couple days later announced the new 80GB SKU without mentioning the fact that the 60GB would be phased out. That wasn't discovered until a day later after interviews with Hirai and Reeves revealed this fact. Then SCEA refuses to acknowledge it calling it a misinterpretation by the press and denying that the 60GB is being phased out until finally saying that it would be phased out late yesterday afternoon.

Now, do you seriously think none of that is deceptive or shady?

Not really. In the end how does it negatively effect anyone? People can still get the system at the price quoted, the fact that eventualy that SKU will be gone dosnt change a thing. As for the denial, I get the impression half of sony dosnt know what the other is doing a lot of the time

How is it a scandle or deceptive? Are they not dropping the price on the 60GB sku? Did they not mention that there was going to be a 80GB sku at the old price? Was there any sort of shinanagens called when they phased out the old 20GB 499 SKU? Sony is moving out thier 60 GB in favor of a slightly more beefy SKU, and as such they dropped the price accordingly. BC is software emu but in the end the core PS3 is unchanged except for a bigger HD. How is it shadey? Shady would be not dropping the price at all and then suddenly putting out the 80GB at the same price without warning.

I am kinda sad to see the hardware BC go. its convient and the software snt up to snuff. But then agian PS2's are so cheap and so sturdy anymore than its not a huge loss.

They are going to have software based backwards compatibility. Just like the 360. though i think they ill have more games BWC because of the nature of the emotion engine.

The 80 GB PS3 is supposed to handle backwards compatibility through software emulation instead of having the actual PS2 guts inside. As a result, the portfolio of games you can run is smaller.

Yet, in Europe, the 60GB version is the only version that is going to be out there (At least for a while).
Europe isn't getting the 80GB version, so we are stuck with the 60GB version. So the production of Euro-PS3 60GB will continue.

And the Euro-PS3 doesn't have the emotion chip as well, we have software emulation.

@Wesker

They are going phase out some of the 360 versions.

from what i've been hearing, the 80G PS3 has no backwards compatability at all since they removed the emotion engine.
rampant speculation?
rumor?
fact?

not sure, but it sounds plausible.

@J-Guy

From what I've heard, it doesn't have full backwards compatibility due to moving to software BC. I haven't heard anyone mention a lack of wifi though.

Figures. I was going to save up for an Xbox when this fiasco started. Now Sony is making me stay away from the PS3. Isn't the 80gb PS3 missing features too? Like wifi and full backward capatability?

4 different Xbox 360 SKUs and, eventually, one super-expensive PS3 SKU. Plus, online is finally adapted by all and all are trying to screw us over with prices. Is it just me, or is this generation of gaming just disillusioning?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that after this console war (360, PS3, and Wii) that Sony will be humbled(but not out). Sony has become the arrogant jerk out there. They need to hire a string of PR managers to be the voice of the firm, because right now all the idiotsthat speak for Sony are doing nothing but tarnishing its image.

I am calling shinannigans here. Why is it that Nintendo is the only company that has any morsel of respect for it's consumers. Nintendo has yet to screw with us (unless I missed something). And no, I don't count the Manhunt 2 thing a screw with us.

Wow, I never thought that Nintendo would ever stand a chance of winning a console war ever again. But between 360s bursting into flames, and Sony telling their customers to get a second job and basically screwing with them the Wii stands a real chance of coming out on top.

If Sony had annonced it's upcoming 80GB console at the same 499$ price what would have people do? They would've wait for it. If the 60GB system sells well at 499$ they'll rapidly apply the same price when the 80GB comes out. Who's dumb enough to pay 100$ more for 20GB of space and a removed backward compatibility??
 
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