PS3 price wasn’t consumer friendly at launch, admits former Sony exec

Speaking during an interview with IGN, former Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) chief Jack Tretton admitted that the PlayStation 3’s price was not consumer friendly upon its release in November 2006.

Tretton, who was appointed CEO and president of the hardware giant’s American arm months before the launch of PS3, said that the difficulty in manufacturing the console resulted in a price that was not as wallet-friendly as consumers would have liked. Even so, Sony still managed to lose a fair bit of cash on the PS3 despite its $599 price tag.

It was difficult to develop for, it was difficult to manufacture…so at the price it came out at, everybody knew that wasn’t a consumer-friendly price. Amazingly, that was losing a lot of money for Sony, even at that price,” said Tretton.


PS3 was released a year later than the Xbox 360, and combined with its hefty price tag during its first few months on sale, played catch-up to Microsoft’s console for much of its lifecycle. The console was also met with delays in PAL territories, with the U.K. and Europe not receiving the PS3 until spring 2007, months after it arrived in the U.S. and Japan.

However, PS3 eventually gathered steam following the launch of the successful PS3 Slim and Super Slim editions, plus the arrival of numerous high-profile exclusives, such as Heavy Rain, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, Gran Turismo 6,The Last of Us, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Sony had previously committed to a ten-year lifecycle for the PS3, which remains true as the system is quickly approaching its 10th anniversary. While support for the console has dwindled in terms of exclusives, third-party developers are still developing games for the system, and its budget price makes it an ideal entry console for newcomers—just as was the case for PS2 when its successor was about to hit stores. 

As of March 2016, the PS3 has shipped 85 million units worldwide, with the Xbox 360 having moved 84 million units as of August this year. Tretton had previously touched on the PS Vita, suggesting the handheld was a fine piece of tech but ultimately arrived too late.