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Sony Announces More Bad News For PS3 Fans

Sony held a major press conference this morning to address PS3 delays, announcing the console will drop in November, launching simultaneously in Japan, Europe and the U.S.. Sony intends to ship six million units by March 2007, the end of their fiscal 2006, which, if they meet it, could give Microsoft a ten million unit lead.

Sony blames DRM related to the Blu-Ray drive for the delay, but not only are Sont liars, they are bad liars. How do we know there are a lot more reasons for the delay? Sony also said they will ship final developer kits in June. The fact is, if you’re console’s only issue is DRM, you would have shipped a dev kit.

So, why is the PS3 getting delayed? One reason is likely pricing. The components in the PS3 are very expensive, and every day later the console ships is a little money Sony saves. The Blu-Ray drive, key to Sony’s internal strategies but an albatross on this console, is going to remain very expensive for a few years, costing as much as a Core Xbox 360 with an extra wired controller, while the Cell processor, by itself, costs about the same as a Sony PSP.

However, Sony’s not content to shoot itself in the foot with just those two components. They’ve announced that every PS3 will ship with a 60 gig hard drive, triple the size of the 360s. There will be no cheaper hard drive-less version. The HD, at current prices, would add about sixty bucks to the price of the console.

Sony said yesterday that the minimum launch price for the console, which will hit stores sometime between November 1-10, will be 50,000 JP YEN. That’s a minimum base price of $425.60 at current exchange rates, assuming Sony doesn’t charge U.S. users a bit more.

The original Xbox launched in November 2001 at $299. By May of 2002, the price had been lowered to $199. If Microsoft’s hardware costs drop quickly enough, it can wait a few extra months, and drop the 360, both Core and Premium versions, by $50. They could even offer a 60-gig hard drive option for an extra $20.

Can you imagine on November 1, mere days before the PS3 arrives for $425, the Xbox 360 drops to $250 and $350, with $370 for a 60-gig hard drive? That’d be great publicity for the 360. By November 15, when the PS3 is sold out everywhere, a lot of people are going to look at that $75 savings on the 360 and give it serious consideration.

Especially since Sony decided to associate the PS3′s delay with DRM. Because consumers love DRM.

Other news:

  • No PS2 price drop for awhile
  • PSP will get a major upgrade this spring
  • Sony’s facilities can produce one million units per month, which, based on the six million number, means two million units per month
  • PS3 will indeed be backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 titles
  • All PS3 games must ship on Blu-Ray
  • Basic PS3 online service will be free, and it looks like there will be a two-tiered premium service, like Xbox 360 Live’s setup

Finally, I’ll leave you with a standard over-the-top Sony hype statement that doesn’t even make sense. This isn’t the same campaign that successfully drowned the Dreamcast, that’s for sure:

The wild statements continue with a new set from Ken regarding the PS3. He says that the “games are ‘live’ and that the PS3 concept is ’4D,’” with titles going “from 8-bit to 16-bit planes, to the ‘space’ that you saw on the PS1/PS2, and now PS3 will be ‘live.’”

And the quote of the day, from a commenter on Binary Bonsai:

Sure, the 360 has come off to a slow start, but at least it included less lying.

Sources:
Joystiq
Bloomberg
Neowin
Slashdot

March 15th, 2006 Posted by | General, Xbox, Xbox 360 | 2 comments



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2 Comments »

  1. An important thing to note is that while Sony said that the hard drive will be required, Kutaragi wouldn’t confirm that the PS3 will actually ship with one. I’m guessing that $425 doesn’t include the hard drive which you’re going to be forced to buy.

    Funny line about the less lying involved with the 360 launch, I totally feel like Sony’s just blowing a lot of smoke these days.

    Comment by Stu | March 15, 2006

  2. Wow, you’re right, I hadn’t considered that was what he meant. Damn. So, $425 + 50 for the hard drive, or $399 (or less) for the Xbox 360. Ripoff.

    Sony has always blown a lot of smoke. The difference is this time people are seeing through it, and this time they aren’t backing it up.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | March 15, 2006

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