Last month, Sony (SNE) exec John Koller told SAI no price cuts for the PS3 were in the works, but the electronics company would soon be offering discounts on PS3s bundled with Sony HDTVs.
Here they come — and the “deal” offered to consumers isn’t very good at all.
Starting tomorrow, Best Buy (BBY) will offer a Sony Bravia 1080p 32″ HDTV bundled with a PS3 for $1100. That’s $300 less than if the two devices were bought seperately.
The problem: Just like the PS3, the Bravia is overpriced. Best Buy shoppers can buy a 1080p 32″ LG set for $700, so the effective combo price of HDTV + PS3 remains unchanged at $1100. And then there’s the problem of bankrupt Circuit City (CC), luring shoppers away from Best Buy with their liquidation sale.
Sony needs to rethink its strategy here: The moment consumers are prepared to part with a hunk of cash to make the HDTV leap is the perfect time to sell them on the PS3. Making the PS3 a $100 add-on to any make or model of Bravia even at sales prices would be a win-win: Not only would it sell the PS3, but aid flagging Bravia sales too. (To sweeten the pot Sony could even throw in a free HDMI cable to connect the PS3 to the Bravia, a cheap item for Sony but a big upside for consumers.)
Or Sony could just lower the price of the PS3 to $300 outright.
Sony executives seem in denial about their situation: Analysts are shaving millions of units off their projections of future PS3 sales. The new Best Buy bundle isn’t a bad idea, but if the PS3 project is to be salvaged, Sony needs to be much more bold in making the console attractive to consumers.