Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 29, 2007
Anyone interested in buying a PlayStation 3 might think consider waiting until October. That’s when Goldman Sachs thinks Sony will have to start slashing prices of its video game console to keep sales frothy. You might find it odd that analysts are already talking about a price cut at a time when European gamers are falling all over themselves to get a PS3. Within two days of the PS3’s European debut, Sony sold 600,000 machines. (Contrast that with 600,000 Xbox 360 units sold by Microsoft in its first month in Europe and 700,000 for Nintendo’s Wii.)
But as Goldman’s analyst Yuji Fujimori points out, there’s a new wrinkle in the gaming sector: Microsoft’s announcement this week that it will release the Xbox 360 Elite, a high-end version of the gaming machine, in the U.S. on April 29. The kicker is that the Elite comes with a 120-gigabyte hard drive, wireless controller and a cable to hook up to a high-definition digital TV AND will be priced at $479.99. Though the PS3 has the Blu-ray next-generation DVD player, Microsoft’s Elite is a comparable machine but for $100 less (a PS3 with a 60GB hard disk drive goes for $599). “Sony is acutely aware that the relatively high price of the PS3 is a problem, and it has large scope for cost reductions,” writes Fujimori.
The potential savings for anyone with a little patience? $100 (or 100 euros, for those of you in Europe). By then, the thinking goes, Sony will have ramped up to high enough volumes that it won’t be losing $250 or more per machine, as it was on the initial shipments. Besides that, Sony should have enough online gaming goodies to be making handsome sums off software. Perhaps it’s true that things come to those who wait.