Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image | January 22, 2018

Scroll to top



E3 Analysis: PS3 Price |

Reach into your wallets. A little more. Deaper, deaper. Yup. Now grab the cash. All of it. Yup, take it all. Now go borrow some from your Mom. Next, beg some from Dad. Now sell your dog. Now go to Walmart and spend it all on a brand-spanking new PS3.

Sony has announced that their high-end PS3 will cost $599US when it debuts in November. $599 is the launch price, and we don’t know when Sony will reduce it. So for now, it’s the price. I’ve read around the web and I see that most people don’t like it. After all, who likes spending a lot of money? Would you rather spend $399 or $599 on a new console? That’s a no-brainer. $399 of course, like the 360! And the PS2 came out at $299 after all, so why should we have to spend double that for the decent PS3? (I’m ignoring the low-end PS3 and low-end 360. Because really, who wants those?)

Well, the first thing I could ask is this: is the PS2 a PS3? Are they the same device? No. Is the PS3 an Xbox 360? Are they the same device? No. Then you can’t really complain the PS3 has a different price, can you?

But but but but! Of course you can. You do, after all. I’ve seen many of you complain. The PS3 is so expensive! It’s $600 for heaven’s sake. That’s, like, 10 to 12 games right there!

PS3Okay sure. It’s a lot of money. But the important question to ask is this: what is the PS3 worth to you? What is the PS3’s value proposition? What value will the PS3 give me at $599? Let’s take a look. The obvious thing now really would be to look at what the competition has to offer. What’s the competition’s value proposition versus the PS3? The competition is of course the Xbox 360, priced at $399. The price difference then is $200. So let’s contrast and compare. The 360 has a 20GB HDD versus the PS3’s 60GB one. The PS3 has three times the HDD space. That’s a nice plus in the PS3 column. The PS3 has a BD drive. To me, that’s a very important addition. According to Sony’s research, 34% of PS2 owners have an HDTV. That’s a pretty large percentage, if you ask me. And that number will continue to climb quickly. So to all us PS2 owners with an HDTV, the BD drive is a win. To me personally, the PS3’s BD drive is alone worth the $200 price premium over the 360. So I guess I’m done! 🙂 Actually, well, no I’m not. Because that BD drive may not be worth $200 to you. Remember though, that the BD drive will also give publishers the ability to ship their games worldwide a lot easier because they’ll be able to put all the languages for a game on one disc. Still not convinced? Well if you don’t care about BD, what do you care about? What about some WiFi? Free online gaming? That’s nice – really nice actually. No monthly or yearly fees for a Gold service of any kind. What else? An HDMI port. A CompactFlash/SD/MemoryStick reader. Bluetooth. 1080p support. PSP integration. Motion-sensitive controller.

That’s quite the list. So is 40 extra GB, BD, WiFi, HDMI, memory reader, Bluetooth, 1080p, PSP integration, free online gaming, and motion sensitivity worth an extra $200 to you? Take a look at that list again. If those features aren’t worth $200 to you, you’re not a hard-core gamer. And guess who Sony’s target market is at launch? The hard-core gamer. In my mind, Sony can only keep the prices this high for the first six months or so, until all the hard-core gamers have their systems. When trying to attract the mass audience, though, Sony had better reduce the price. They’re just not willing to pay $500 or $600 for a gaming system.

So you’ll note that I spent a lot of time defending the $600 price point, and then turned around and said Sony must decrease the price. And that’s what I believe. For the first half year or so, $600 is a defensible position. But after that it isn’t tenable anymore. Sony will have to decrease PS3 prices sometime next year if it hopes to gain marketshare against the Xbox 360. That’s what I think, and I’m sticking to it.

  • brian

    I’m with you, while I’m not happy about paying that much for a ps3, I don’t really think its that horrible. You did a very good job illustrating why. Thank you for some much needed perspective.

  • observer

    A PS3 launch price of $600 is higher than the official 360 launch price of $400. But remember, people who tried to buy a 360 in stores in 2005 had to buy $700-$800 forced bundles designed to raise the price or on eBay for $1000+. Compared to that, $600 is actually a bargain. Today, of course, people can actually buy 360’s at list price.

  • Gary

    The BD as a next-gen movie watching medium is worthless to me as I simply won’t be willing to pay the price for BD movies for a good while yet until they fall in line with how much normal DVDs cost. I don’t even know when they will be available in Europe.

    I also don’t have a HDTV & yes I know I will need one if I want to get the best visual experience from my PS3. So the BD is only relevant to me for the games.

    Everything else the PS3 offers is exactly what I want & need from the PS3. 60GB HDD, WiFi, HDMI out (for when I do get a HDTV), Memory stick/Flash reader, free initial online service.

    All those features in the PS3 justifies why I’m willing to pay £410 for it but whether I do that at launch is something I haven’t decided on just yet.

  • Also, many hard-core gamers pay $600 just for a graphics card. With a PS3 they get a whole system. Like I said: for the hardcore, $600 is no problem. But Sony better reduce the price next year to attract others!

  • >> If those features aren’t worth $200 to you, you’re not a hard-core gamer.

  • Pete

    What about linux ? $600 is cheap IF the box has/or can get a xboxmediacenter lookalike app. but i havent hear a word about that.

  • thomas

    Nope. When they lower their price, everybody that paid 600€ will feel ripped off.

    M$ did the same, way back. The xbox price lowered and people who bought theirs at launchprice received a coupon for a free game/second controller.

    No I’m putting my money on “really late 2007 – early 2008” untill the first pricedrop.

    Price drops reall sucky marketing stunts! If you think about it!

  • I dunno. It depends how long before they issue the price cut. Price cuts are quite common. Sony just recently lowered the price of the PS2, for example. If they cut the price next November, for example, there shouldn’t be a problem. Personally I think that they should cut sooner than that, but I think you may be right in that case.

  • dave

    I dont think $600 is bad, considering everything you get. Besides, Sony is not targeting kids with this. They are targeting the 18-35 year old demographic. Any college grad with a decent job can afford the PS3 easily.

  • Archy

    Nice write up.
    Certainly helped me put things in perspective & clarify my head.



  • francois

    I was at University when I bought the PS2+2 games on day 1. I am still playing with it and watching DVD, a 450cdn$ system, 6 years old and still kicking! PS3 is probably going to have an even longer life span, 600$, with all the features, bring it on.

    I would be pissed off instead being an XBox owner, 450$, ~4 years old life span.

  • I was planning to go back to study this september, but i decided to put that on hold and keep working for another year. The next year is gonna be exxxpeensive!!
    I’m gonna need a PS3 & HDTV and i’m looking out for that iPod with touchscreen.
    The PS3 is gonna motivate me because i’m gonna study 3D digital entertainment and art.

  • Black Guy

    Hardcore gamers r a niche market in the whole scheme of things; they are a minority. Hardcore gamer traditionally a person who places gaming atop of their priority list. The target age group for the PS3 generally has things to do so the hardcore gamer classification is not correct.

    Many of the ppl the systems r targeted to – especially X360 & PS3 – have a life and/or family to support, and unfortunately, not all of them r the “I’m 27 and making a decent income so I have a lot of expendable cash” group. Not to mention essential consumables such as gas r priced into the stratosphere these days. The PS3 will sell out initially, but IMO its going to b a hard sell to the average gamer thereafter. The PS3 will b competing for limited dollars in many cases. Competing against the X360 which is hot whether u accept it or not, and Nintendo is introducing a low cost alternative that has the potential to b a real hit. I’m reserved about that myself but this is Nintendo where talking about. Damn, one good get an X360 and Wii for the cost of 1 PS3…

    iFind it amusing when others try to justify the price of the PS3 by comparing it to the X360 + its optional accessories thereby artificially increasing the entry cost of the X360 to such a level that it compares to the costs of the PS3. That is not an accurate comparison by any logical measure for the simple fact that the accesories r optional. These accessories r not necessary to experience the potential of the system. Additional features r only a “value” if their directly beneficial or useful in some way. Why have a builtin Wifi adapter (just an example) if iDon’t have a WiFi network? Millions of X360 owners r online w/o a Wifi adapter and it can b assumed that most r not interested in BR or HDDVD ‘cuz the system & software r still selling @ solid rate. The X360 is not trying to b a high def player. Its core purpose is the fullfillment of the enjoyment of video games; the same holds true for Wii. The X360 is not vying to b the trojan horse for a new generation of technology that most ppl don’t really give a damn about. Yeah it will have an optional addon but the key difference there is that iDidn’t have to buy something iDidn’t want to get what iDid want.

    U can argue until u r blue in the face about HD DVD & Blue ray, but take a step back and really look around & u’ll c that there is no consumer excitement for the successor of DVD beyond the little techies & audio/videophiles like ourselves. I’ve asked dozens of ppl iDeal w/ on the regular & only a few had a vague idea as WTF iWas talking about. True this is only a small group of ppl, but iGet the overall sense that most r not interested. The HD DVD system @ the local store is being presented on fierce setup and the whole time iWas there no one else even stopped to look. Thats just my experience which of course is not indicative of everything…

    Comparing the WiFi features of the systems r not an apple to apple comparison either. The X360 has a tri band optional device while the PS3’s is only dual band. Again it is not possible to transparently comparr these funtions ‘cuz they have different features.

    No matter who u try to spin it, Sony didn’t not represent this time. They would have better off try to pass off more CG as gameplay and then announcing the PS3 can now do 2160p. iWonder why they didn’t play up the gfx. Those fools know they shot themselves in the foot w/ all the trash they’ve been spitting. A video game system is – in many ppl minds – suppose to b used only for games. When something costs too much too fast, ppl r going to place the brakes & look @ the options. Any product that tries to b more than what its suppose to b or what others perceive it to b, always end up diluting its core function; its essential function. PS3 tryin to push BR but so what? PS2 + DVD was clear but now BR is an expesive feature that may not catch on for some time or @ all. MS and Nintendo r going to do much better if they continue to do what their doing. Sony has become arrogant and misplaced.

    The low cost SKU will have some problems whenever studios decide to start including the HDCP key in their content. iWonder what Sony’s resonse to that is.

  • I really wonder how long the PS3’s lifespan will be, 2012-15 ?
    Is there anything about the PS3 that has potential for improvement? next-gen accessories?
    What will be looking forward to this time next year besides games ?

  • Black Guy… YOU complain about HIGH gas prices these days? Sheesh… Come to Europe and pay a full tank of gas, THEN you can complain about it… What do you pay for a gallon? Round about $2.5 (dont know exactly, or MAYBE even MORE)… WE pay 1.3€ per LITER! Thats 5.2€ per gallon, thats about $6.00… THAT is pricey, if you know what i mean…

    I think putting the 360 (with optional stuff) in comparison with the ps3 is FULLY acceptable. Me, for example, the first thing I did, was testing my (already bought) DVDs on the PS2… I am a cineast AND a casual player, so buying an xbox OR a ps3 (20gb) will NEVER cross my mind… Why? No HDMI off course! That move of Sony sucks donkeyballs… Saying “fully fledged” BD Player and NOW?? In 2-3 yrs time, you wont be able to playback your BD Movies as they are meant to be (meaning 720P+) and no 1080P support…

    See it like this, the 360 is very basic (OOTB), no HD capabilities WHATSOEVER (movieplayback!), small harddrive, no Wifi (not neede BUT nice!!), no cardreader…

    The premium ps3 has them! Now, ok, it is 200€ more, but what you get for those 200€ is a very good price/performance differential… Wifi (what, $50 for 360), cardreader, 40gb more HDD space, a better looking console (my opinion), a motion sensor controller… I think, the 200€ price is COMPLETELY acceptable!!

  • Matt

    How can the PS3 have a longer life span than the 360?

    PS3 and 360 both have 512mb RAM

    PS3 has 550mhz GPU; 360 has 500mhz. A good example as to how close these numbers are, think about this. The Xbox 1had TWICE the GPU of the PS2. There was a difference graphics wise but most PS2 users denied it or didn’t care. What will an extra 10% difference look like. Your eye will never see.

    From the 2 most important specs of a console these are it. RAM is a huge limiting factor to game developers.

    Sony’s numer of 34% of PS2 owners have HDTV is so full of [email protected]#$%. Japan is way ahead in the HDTV game because they have had the technology longer than the US and Europe. I would be willing to say that almost all PS2 owners in Japan have HDTV. In America I would say that their is 3% HDTV homes. Of the 35-40 million HDTVs sold in the US, Most are in bars, stores, and rich peoples houses. Europe, being very late to the HDTV game, has hardly any at all.

    As Black Guy said you are being forced to buy components inside the PS3 that many of you will not be able to use for years if at all. Please take a poll to see how many people own HDTVs. It should also include the sizes like( 25″or smaller, 25″ to 30″, 31″ to 37″, 42″ to 49″, 50″ or larger. Also don’t include I plan to buy an HDTV part. Fact is that all tvs above 32″ are Digital now (some EDTVs). If you own an HDTV that is smaller than 30″ you will not enjoy the PS3 to its fullest (a 30″ HDTV is much smaller screen wise than a SDTV (screen format)

    Any Audio/Videophile will not have a PS3 as their HD-DVD player. A) it will not be full featured. B) Doesn’t go with the rest of their electronics equipment. Granted they might use it short term but this is not a valid reason to buy the PS3. It is for the average Joe so Sony can claim that their are 10 million units in the market.

    Movie studios are not going to back a format based on the number of players in the market. They will base it on the attach rate.

    If 5 million HD-DVD players have generated 50 million movie sales than each HD-DVD owner bought 10 movies.

    If Sony has 10 million players and have only sold 20 million movies, the Movies companies will jump to HD-DVD. Look at the PSP as an example. The UMD format is not selling movies so movie studios have almost completely stopped making movies. 12 million PSPs and only 150,000 copies of one movie have been sold (the highest of any movie I believe)

    A format usually takes 2-3 years to get a foothold and may take longer. CD players came out in 1982 and most people didn’t have one until the very late 80’s into the 90’s. Surround Sound has been around for years and almost no one heard of it until Dolby Digital came around (which is over 10 years ago now) When did you guys buy your Surround Sound, or first CD players?

    The HD DVD format was is going to be a while. Movies for Blu-Ray are outrageous and even with the money I make I won’t buy one. HD DVD makes more sense because the stand alone player is cheaper and movies are $10-$20 cheaper than Blu-Ray.

    Do some research on the High Tech you seem to need in the PS3. Trust me, most of you don’t need it and probally won’t until the end of this console cycle. $600 is a [email protected]#$ing R.I.P. off.

  • 12,000lb Leg Press

    I agree with Black Guy and Matt on their points. Its not the same comparing an X360 plus accessories to a PS3. I have an X360 and I don’t have any of the accessories and I don’t plan to buy the HD DVD attachment because who knows what the format victor will be. I’ll be damned if I buy a BR or an HD DVD and it looses. I rather just sit on the sideline until this plays out over the next 3-4 yrs or so.

    Segitz, I understand where u’r going with value argument but features r only a value if there useful. I would get no value out of a BR player should I buy a PS3. One because I don’t want it and assuming I did, my TV only supports 1080i max, so I’m not going to be able to take advantage of 1080p anyway. So to people like me, those things are a waste.

    Another thing, a lot of gamers in the younger audience will want a PS3 but Sony has priced most of them out. They may not have “good jobs w/ a good income” to buy it and moms will probably say, “Boy you crazy? Hell no I’m not spending no $600 on a Playstation!” *Backhands kid for even asking*

    As mentioned earlier Sony wants the PS3 to be more than what its known as and thats not cool. Look at the PSP. It does a lot but it does nothing particularly well. Why can Apple consistantly sell a music player for $400? Because they focus on what matters. I’m really interested to see how things play out. Japan will be divided between Wii & PS3 but I think X360 will carry on the more price sensitive US where technology adoption is slow (I’m looking at you BR.) and maybe Europe.

  • Jay

    im going to get it despite the price. I own a 360, but I feel the PS3 has better bang for the buck. I work an OK job making about $9.25 an hour working around 25 hours a week. Paychecks come in at around $400. Its still going to be hard to pay for it because I got insurance to pay, as well as filling up a gas tank for a 1970 Chevy pickup with a high performance 350 lol. I did luck out in the past year, because I was able to buy an HDTV ($600 27″ Sony CRT, has HDMI and 2 component inputs), a new PS2 (my other one still works, needed one for the bedroom) a PSP and a 360. I bought the original XBox a couple years back, but I gave it to my brother when I got the 360, even though half of the original xbox games I own dont work on the 360. When I bought the truck, that took $2,000 out of my wallet right there (even though I could potentially resell it for about 10 grand, but I bought it from my uncle, who put a LOT of time and money into it (the engine itself is worth 6 grand)), so I’m poor now lol.

  • Francois

    The good news this years with E3 is that people are once again very excited about the new consoles. The graphics looks next gen (from the commentary I read, I reaally can’t judge from the low-res video I see on the net) and we will have innovative new way to play games (the ps3 and Wii controller).

  • “Any Audio/Videophile will not have a PS3 as their HD-DVD player.” Right – they’ll use it as a BD player instead. I have a nice home theater system, and I had to buy some of it used just so that I could afford it. But it’s a pretty decent system. And I’ll be using my PS3 as a BD player, probably for quite some time.

    “Of the 35-40 million HDTVs sold in the US, Most are in bars, stores, and rich peoples houses.” That made me smile. Why don’t you go to Best Buy and ask all the HDTV buyers there if they fit that profile. I know I’m not rich, but I have an HDTV.

    12,000lb Leg Press (Nice!): You don’t need a 1080p display to get a great gaming experience with the PS3. Any HDTV will do fine. Like yours!

  • Jay

    its true, i work at circuit city, we dont carry very many SDTVs anymore, lots of lower and middleclass citizens can actually afford HDTVs now, just not 1080p. all support at least 720p tho, which is the HD standard.

    as a side note, the 20G model isnt too bad. not everyone has HDMI, WiFi, etc. but the AV multi out will still support component.

  • Matt

    So how many people do you know with HDTV? And a screen size that is larger than 32″? I have subcriptions to 2 A/V magazines. I read a ton of information on the internet about it. Believe me when I say that their are very few of the HDTVs Sony speaks of in US gamers hands.

    What I meant by HD-DVD is the High Definition DVD format. Both BRD and HD-DVD fall into this category.

    I am an Audio/Videophile and would not be caught dead with a console playing movies. My system is worth over $10,000. I would only put a machine in my system that is dedicated to movie playback. Most “true” audiophiles believe in the same moniker. Some really hard-core philes will only put high end in their racks (you know the multi-$1000 unit). Destroying my PS3 by playing movies would be very stupid. The PS2 SUCKED as a DVD player and that technology was almost 3 years old when the PS2 released. So what should give me the impression that the PS3 will make a great HD movie player? Blu-Ray will only be released for 5 months at launch.

    This is for anyone that plans on buying an HDTV in the near future. You need to figure out how far you sit from your tv.

    Also the technology that the HDTV uses changes the viewing distance. My DLP is ideal at 9.0 feet. I sit 8 feet, 10 inches away. My eye cannot see anymore clarity than what my tv offers with 720p. A 1080p allows people to sit closer to a tv. So if you do your math right and buy the approriate size screen for your room 1080p is not necessary. If you sit to close you will end up seeing the lines of the screen. Try this with your tv. If you get up next to it you will see each line that the tv has.

    If your HDTV is maxed out at 1080i than the HDDVD format of your choice will be a huge improvement. 720p has twice the resolution as DVD. 1080i for movies is fine. Movies are recorded at 24 frames per second so an interlaced (1080i) can easily handle a movie. 1080p for movies is not necessary for the hard to tell difference that you get. . Progressive is handy for live action sports.

    When ESPN and ABC had to choose between 1080i and 720p they picked 720p. It can handle sports much better. CBS and NBC went with 1080i. If you watch football in HD on Fox then on CBS you will know which is the best format for fast paced action.

    As of now all TVs sold in the Us have to be HDTV in screen sizes larger than 27″ (I am pretty darn sure). The US Government is fazing out the SDTV format and forcing manufacturers to gradually switch to HDTV. By March of 2007 all tvs larger than 13″ will be HDTV. Because of ealry adopters and another christmas with more affordable HDTVs the market will become 80-90million HDTVs.

    I guess I am just rambling.

  • Matt

    Henning if I came off mean I not trying to be. I have just read a lot of info and stats recently.

    Sony really needs A/V philes to NOT buy the PS3. They need them to buy the ridiculously expensive units with all the bells and whistles. This digs into the R/D costs much faster which means cheaper parts and cheaper prices. Sony needs this to manufacture the PS3 cheaper which leads to them either making money on the units or price drops which is more likely.

    1080p is all the rage right now but why? TV broadcasts will be in 720p or 1080i for a long time to come. a 75ohm cable can only carry so much information. This is why we are stuck with 18-26 HD channels. Everything I have read also said that the current HDMI ports/cables cannot carry a true 1080p 60 FPS signal. They are waiting for HDMI 1.3. So why is Sony saying that they will get GT-HD to play @1080p 60FPS? They cannot with the current HDMI.

    I personally think that Sony is lying much more than 95% of the people realize. I am trying to balance out the Sony marketing hype with facts and questions. I really want people to think before they spend money on ANY system. If it seems like I am attacking Sony I kind of am. They need to be upfront with their customers. Since they won’t people like me an Black Guy bring them back into perspective. I don’t doubt that both of us will buy a PS3. I refuse to pay $600 for a system on launch. Their will be few games and few movies to play. The 360 was crippled for the first 6 months by slow game releases. It launched in Nov and had really no good games out of launch until mid March. Now their is a good selection of games for 360 and everyone has stopped complaining. I knew going in that the 6 months after would suck for games. It seemed like a lot of people never considered the thought. Expect delays. GR:AW was supposed to be a launch title. So was Oblivion. Both released in March. Just something to think about.

  • HDMI 1.0 supported 1080p over HDMI. HDMI isn’t the problem. It’s the fact that electronics manufacturers never deemed it necessary to put together the electronics necessary to do 1080p over HDMI. HDMI 1.3 will bring us the new digital surround sound formats in HD DVD and BD, but HDMI has always support 1080p.


  • Apparently the PS3 is more costly than just its price. A group of high school students I work with created a brief podcast that reveals the costs incurred from the PS3’s energy consumption– Just in time for undecided Christmas shoppers!

    Check this out if you’re concerned about spending too much:

  • Daniel

    Well the ps3 is a lot yet i paid $650 for mine i have all the games that came out and the reason i think the price is high because they make us think the graphics are better then ever.
    I like my PS3 that is what i only love. i only trust Playstation company’s than any other brand

  • pat

    Who knows why it’s so freekin expensive, it’s better than the ps2 and has better graphics, but why should it be 600 dollars!?!? i want to get one for myself, but it’s just way too much money, i may try to get it when the price goes down, but how low is it going to be, 500 most likely, still too much… WHY?