Sony (SNE) PS3 sales are weak, and the only way for the platform to stay competitive with the Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox 360 (stripped-down models start at $200) and the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wiii ($250) is to reduce the $400 price tag of its game console.
Sony’s argument is that once you add in standard options (wi-fi, hard drives), the PS3 is really the cheaper console.Their chart:
What a load of bull.
The wi-fi free Xbox Arcade–the unit Sony is using in the above analysis–exists to compete against the Wii for more casual gamers. Gamers who would consider buying Sony’s $400 box would be looking at the $300 Xbox Pro, which has Wi-fi and a respectable hard drive built-in (so knock $200-$250 off Sony’s analysis).
This analysis does show, however, that Sony doesn’t need to cut prices that much.
At $350, a PS3’s price would approach par with the Xbox ($300 + $50/yr for online). At $300, XBox might have to reduce its own prices. Since the best games are generally available on both systems, users might otherwise flock to the PS3 for free Blu-ray.
UPDATE: As pointed out by our commenters, the Xbox does not come with included wi-fi, which is a nice bonus for those of us whose TV is nowhere near our router. But the point holds: The “accessories add up” argument isn’t catching on with consumers, and a reduction in the PS3’s take-home price would help end the stall in sales.
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