Sony’s Howard Stringer fired yet another gunshot in the war of the next generation consoles by announcing the estimated price range of their new PlayStation 3 on the eve of the Xbox 360’s release, one of Sony’s biggest threats to their rather large market share in gaming.
In an interview by Fortune Magazine, Stringer outlined that the price of their newest console will not live up to Kutaragi’s comments that consumers would work longer to save money for their newest creation, but instead that it will be priced around a much more reasonable 300 to 400 USD price range.
This statement starkly contrasts many analysts’ estimates of a much more expensive MSRP of 400 USD or great range. The main culprits of the assumed higher costs have been; the new Blu-Ray drives, which hold significant advantages over its predecessors, the cell processor, and the RSX, which NVIDIA states will be their fastest GPU when launched. Prices for these alone have been estimated around 75-100 USD a piece.
It seems kind of odd how Sony would take such a hit. However, the implications of getting one of their new Blu-Ray players in millions of households is enormous, giving them an instant advantage over the upcoming HD-DVD drives by Toshiba. New media players such like the early DVD drives have easily been priced at 1000 USD. Therefore, the logic behind Sony’s move is that consumers will buy a PlayStation 3 to enjoy the next generation media at half the cost.
While things were sounding great for Sony, a second announcement came from Fortune magazine, “An earlier version of this story appeared with statements erroneously attributed to Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, regarding pricing and availability of the PS3. Stringer has not commented publicly on how much the PS3 is expected to cost, or how soon it will appear in the US after the Japanese launch in spring 2006.” Whoops! Once again a rumor was debunked, one of many in the week, ironically coinciding with the release of the Xbox 360.
While no official word has been set down on the price of Sony’s new console, nor has an official release date arrived, the possibility of an announcement of the pricing range only creeps closer as the spring release of the PlayStation 3 looms closer , most notably CES in January and a Keynote speech on January 5th. Only time will tell if Sony’s price and market share will stay intact over the course of the next couple of months, as Sony has lost the time advantage its predecessor , the PlayStation 2, enjoyed over its competition.