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Along with $100 off the 60GB model, SCEA announces an 80GB PS3 Motorstorm bundle for August

It’s official – the PlayStation 3 has dropped $100 less than eight months after it’s highly anticipated launch. According to the official press release, the current 60GB will carry a $499 price tag effective today.

The $499 price point was previously occupied by the 20GB version of the PlayStation 3. Citing reasons related to consumer demand, Sony in April discontinued the $499 20GB PlayStation 3 leaving only the more expensive 60GB model on the market.

Word of the price cut first appeared last week when retailer flyers appeared across the U.S. and Canada showing the Sony console with the lower price. It was originally believed that Sony would announce the price cut during its E3 press conference on July 11, though the company may have decided to bump up its date after the cat found its way out of the bag.

Unknown last week, but announced today by SCEA is an upcoming new PlayStation 3 model with an 80GB hard drive. The 80GB PlayStation 3 will occupy the $599 price point that the 60GB previously held, and will also come packed in with a full version of racing game MotorStorm. The 80GB MotorStorm bundle will begin shipping in August.

“As we move into the next phase of PS3, it's important that we continue to evaluate our product line, offering consumers the technology and features that meet their growing needs for new forms of media and the way in which it is delivered,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of SCEA. “The introduction of the 80GB PS3, the new pricing for the current 60GB model, the availability of more than 100 new software titles this fiscal year and, finally, the expansion of services for PlayStation Network, will provide even more options for users and will help bring new consumers into the PS3 fold.”

Rumblings of a PlayStation 3 with larger hard disk drive capacity first came in March when Sony filed with the FCC papers describing a PlayStation 3 with an 80 GB hard drive inside. Sony did not confirm nor deny the plans for an 80 GB unit at that time, saying only, “As mentioned when we made the product announcement for PS3, the system will have different configurations (thus, 60GB HDD with memory card slots and Wi-Fi and 20GB HDD without memory card slots or Wi-Fi both exist). Application to the FCC has been made with various possibilities in mind, however, it does not lead to a new product announcement at this time.”

Then, during the second half of May, Sony announced an 80GB PlayStation 3 for the Korean market, citing the country’s high speed network infrastructure and video-on-demand systems as a reason for the extra 20GB.

After the 80GB PlayStation 3 was revealed for Korea, SCEA responded to questions regarding the larger drive’s release in North America, saying, “We’re constantly looking at new… configurations [for PS3], but currently there are no plans to change current hardware offerings [in North America].”

Now that the price of the 60GB PS3 is slashed by $100, might this be a sign of things to come for Europe and Australia? Not yet, as Karraker says, “This news does not affect any other PS3 territory.”

Only eight months after release, the price cut for the PS3 may be one of the quickest in console history. With $100 off the current top model, Sony may be responding to the relatively sluggish sales of its consoles when compared against its competition.

Price is a common point of contention for those who haven’t yet picked up a PlayStation 3, though many point to the current lack of exclusive, compelling software. “Even with a $100 drop, the PS3 is still the high-end console,” Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian told GameSpot. “But price cuts typically generate incremental demand, and I don't think this situation will be any different. Bottom line, this may not be enough to kick-start PS3 sales into the mass market—but it's a good first step.”

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By ToeCutter on 7/9/2007 10:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
..the Wii continues to burn thru the retail channels.

Early reaction to Sony's price drop has been luke warm at best. I've seen quite a few "I'm gonna get one, as soon as I save up the cash.." posts even after the price drop!

Man, you have to wonder what the hell is going on at Sony? During the release of PS3 and Wii, I would have been impressed if Wii simply held it's own but it's apparent that it's cleaning PS3's clock, even in Japan. Freaking amazing. Gamers must be choosing systems based upon, *gasp*, the games each system is offering.

Disclaimer: I have only moderate interest in PS3 and practically none in Wii. And Xbox360 is completely out due to notorious QC issues. Bummer! There isn't much to be excited about these days?

RE: Meanwhile....
By Spivonious on 7/9/2007 10:21:22 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget about the price. The Wii costs less than half of a $600 PS3.

I love the Wii, but price is a major factor in its sales being so high.

RE: Meanwhile....
By Legionosh on 7/9/2007 10:38:59 AM , Rating: 3
That is what I have said for a long time.

One way to look at that is like this :

How well would the Wii had sold had it been released at $400? My guess is nowhere near as good as it did at the $250 price point. Had the 360 been $600 it would've done FAR less in sales. Price attracts customers. Bottom line.

Like it or not people price dictates EVERYTHING in life. What we eat, what we wear, what we drive, where we live..EVERYTHING. If price didn't matter we'd all live in mansions and drive a porsche (insert your UBER car of choice..mine is the Ford GT or Shelby Cobra Concept).

Just some food for thought.


RE: Meanwhile....
By Parhel on 7/9/2007 10:40:52 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. No matter how high-tech or how many features, $499 is a whole lot to expect ordinary people to pay for a game console.

I also think that having multiple versions of the PS3 dilutes people's interest. If someone is at the store looking at the $499 model, I would imagine them feeling that not only is $499 a lot of money, but that they are getting a "second best" system that doesn't even include bragging rights. Then they are back to looking at spending $599 on a system and Sony is in the same position they were last month.

I realize I'm not an expert on the matter, but if I were working in marketing for Sony, I would highly advise them to drop the tiered approach to their consoles and offer a single machine. As it stands, they seem to be shooting themselves in the foot with this "price drop." Having too little hard drive space is hardly the reason the PS3 hasn't been selling.

RE: Meanwhile....
By SirLucius on 7/9/2007 12:11:27 PM , Rating: 4
You raise an excellent point about the tiered approach Sony and Microsoft have taken. I think a major part of Nintendo's success has been that they've offered one Wii. There's a standard set of features that everyone gets for one set price. It makes it much easier and less confusing for the average consumer, especially compared to Microsoft's 3 versions and Sony's 2 versions of the same system. Granted each has different features and capabilities, but that just adds to the confusion. Think about all the previous generations of consoles. There was one Xbox, one PS2, and one Gamecube. Simple, right?

RE: Meanwhile....
By encryptkeeper on 7/10/2007 9:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
Basically, that's correct.

BTW weren't Sony and MS the ones complaining about how wrong it is for Nintendo to revise it's hardware so often? Just food for thought.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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