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

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…

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