Sony’s (SNE) PS3 goes for around $400, compared to about $200 for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 or $250 for Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii (if you can find the Wii in stock). So to better compete, Sony is cutting the PS3’s price by $150. Sort of.
To get a discount, prospective gamers have to apply for a Sony credit card, and once the card arrives they can buy a console to get a $150 credit on their statement. (Or they can get an immediate discount at Sony’s online store — which offers a far worse deal than Amazon’s (AMZN) PS3 bundles.)
Sony needs to compete more aggressively on price in the game console market, but this is probably the wrong way to do it. There’s a credit crunch going on, and a lot of people with marginal credit who might have been approved for a credit card only a few months ago might get rejected now. We can’t think of anything more likely to make prospective customers hate you than to promise them a discount, only then turn them down for it after applying. (Plus, who really wants another credit card — especially a Sony credit card?)
Far better for Sony to cut prices $100 across the board, and get the consoles in more homes. Then if someone buys a PS3 but can’t pay for it, it’s someone else’s problem.
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