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Has Sony Made a Mistake?

I ask this because I’m a little surprised that there will be no option to buy the 20GB PS3 in Europe. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the whole point of having the two SKUs, being the choice to choose which one we can afford or which best suits our needs? Sony have effectively removed that choice and they could be punished for their possible error of judgement.

If the 60GB PS3 sells out in most of Europe, then they will feel vindicated in only making the 60GB PS3 initially available. However, if it isn’t a major sell out initially then it can only be blamed on one thing: the price. Having the 20GB PS3 available makes for more pleasant reading (and comparisons) to Joe Public. They can compare the 20GB 360 with the 20GB PS3 and most will see that the latter outperforms and out-functions the former, and with a favourable price point to boot.

The PS3 is selling well in North America and Japan despite scare mongers and misleading headlines, but it possibly isn’t doing aswell as it could be. This is partly being blamed on a lack of AAA titles at the present time. The same can’t be said of the EU launch though, as it’s one of the finest launch lineups that will ever grace these shores.

Causes and effects

So what will be the cause if the PS3 is still not selling out and all units aren’t snapped up at launch? It won’t be the lack of games that’s for sure. It will be the price and the lack of a cheaper system for us to choose if we vote with our wallets and say £425 is just too much. Add on the cost of 2 or 3 games, an HDMI/Component cable (for HDTV owners) and an extra controller, and the price soon hovers towards the £600 mark.

To counter the price argument, I will play the launch card. Launch periods are a special time in a console’s life and most people who do buy at launch will either have been saving money for the purpose to get the console at launch (me), or are hardcore technophiles who just have to have the latest shiny equipment and (possibly) have disposable incomes (not me 🙁 ).

Ace in the hole

Sony does have a back up card to play if the 60GB PS3 doesn’t sell as well as they are hoping. They can release the 20GB PS3 at a cheaper price of around £350, making it almost like a price drop to would-be owners put off by the psychological barrier of a £400+ console. Or they can drop the price of the 60GB PS3, which isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Heck, they could even throw in a ‘free’ BD like they did with the North American launch to slightly soften the blow, and get BD into people’s homes from the off.

Sony has said that the demand isn’t there for the 20GB PS3 in Europe but I disagree. The ‘core’ PS3 is not like the ‘core’ 360 which was inferior to the ‘premium’ 360, due to the omission of the HDD. The 20GB PS3 is only missing WiFi and the Memory Stick/card readers from the 60GB PS3, and these aren’t massive omissions like a HDD, these won’t affect how the PS3 runs games or affect how it runs out of the box.

Sony has gambled with their decision to delay, possibly permanently, the 20GB PS3’s arrival to these shores but only time will tell whether they have played their Ace from the off, or whether it’s still hidden up their sleeve, ready to be played when the time is right.

Oh, and I’m planning on getting the 60GB PS3 but it’s not as if I have a choice between the two now is it.