We’ve almost come to expect for Sony execs to make off the
wall comments when it comes to the current climate in console gaming. We've
heard Sony CEO Ken Kutaragi say that the PS3 was "probably too cheap"
and just recently European VP Jamie McDonald stated that European gamers "don't mind"
delays with regards to the PlayStation 3. Now, we have some commentary from
Sony Australia's Michael Ephraim to add to mix.
Ephraim stated that for its intended market, the Nintendo
Wii is too expensive despite its "family oriented" roots. "For
this Christmas, I think that price point is still not family entertainment
because AUD $500 is a lot to fork out, but we welcome the Nintendo heritage of
gaming where they can appeal to a broader audience because long-term that is
critical for the industry," said Ephraim.
Ephraim concedes that the XBOX 360 has done well in
Australia, but that the unit is still a bit on the expensive side. His main
problem with the console, which many may agree with, is that the content just
isn't there yet. He also goes on to say, "It's still pricey, and I'm sure
Microsoft will do everything they can, but if you just look at the offerings
from each format and the marketplace that we are now playing in, especially
PlayStation 2, it has to be affordable because we are talking about mass-market
and non traditional gamers."
How does one respond to such commentary on Wii/360 pricing?
It'd be one thing if the PS3 was at price parity or even cheaper than the
competition, but it is the console with the higher price tag.
In the case of the Wii, the base PS3 is twice as expensive
for North American customers. Perhaps Sony is touting its Blu-ray-equipped PS3
as having a lot more value per dollar than its competition, but “value” is a
measure that is different for each individual gamer.