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Thursday, February 01, 2007

PlayStation 3 - One Guess, One Question

The buzz about Sony right now is mostly concentrating on one thing: will they lower the price of the PlayStation 3 line earlier than originally intended ... as in this year?

I want to guess yes. I want to say that the summer will see either a modest ($50) price drop or hefty ($100+) in both skus. They won't do it right away - although since many people grey marketed their units for over MSRP, I'm not sure consumer feelings need to be curbed. Rather, they'll probably wait to see a clearer picture of post-holiday sales.

Why would they do this? Because Sony's biggest problem for the PlayStation 3 is a lack of an installed base. Without a sizeable demographic to justify the large budgets required for high end titles on the console, they'll find it harder to developer the kinds of titles required to drive more hardware sales. It's the grist that gets the wheel rolling.

The PlayStation 2 didn't have this problem because it had a more modest price and was a fuctional DVD player. The PlayStation 3 may be a functional Blu-Ray player, but until at least half of households have HDTV ... it's not a compelling factor. Despite Microsoft's incessant crowing to the contrary - the 360 has had much of the same problem. However, since it doesn't have a price tag tied to being an HD-DVD player, it has less of a hill to climb.

However, my "no they won't camp" comes from one singular fact: Sony's pretty arrogant. It will be hard for them to admit that their expensive toy really is just too expensive for the times. It might spark the idea that the machine can't sell and isn't worth the purchase at any price. So my second guess is that they will bundle the skus with titles that they know will sell.

My third guess (for my increasingly inaccurate title) is that they might even tap into the PlayStation 2's continued popularity and package it with a PlayStation 2 title. Assuming, of course, that PS2 sales and development remains strong through the summer.

Honestly, they'll probably just ride it out. But I think there's tacts Sony could take to mitigate the sluggish start.

The question is simple: how hot does the PS3 get? I just got wind of someone porting USB fan accessories from Japan to keep the box cooler while playing games. No word of actualy overheating (red lights) or damage ... just concern from being hot to the touch.

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