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Henning’s PS3 Soapbox: Sony Needs Two PS3 Models

Someone e-mailed me earlier this month asking if the 80GB PS3 was being discontinued. He mentioned that his Best Buy didn’t have it on order anymore. Now it seems that no BestBuy will be selling the 80GB PS3 anymore.

When I first heard that Sony would be selling two models – the 20GB and 60GB PLAYSTATION 3’s, I was disappointed. Why confuse people? Why not just have one console and be done with it? But now I’m starting to see the light, and just when I start to see why a dual-SKU might be necessary, it looks like Sony might be moving to a single PS3 model in North America. (After all, they’ve already done so in other regions.)

So why do I think Sony should stick with a two-model approach? Here’s why:

  • Lose Less Money
    The current 40GB model is the cheapest PS3 Sony has produced so far. If the rumours are true, Sony is basically selling this unit at cost, instead of at a loss. Sony needs to be able to start making some money or at least not losing money on these consoles. So Sony needs a popular offering that does not break the bank for them.
  • Sony Needs a Highend Offering
    Microsoft is selling a high-end Elite solution, and Sony needs to counter that with an offering of their own. Not only that, but 40GB of space is lots for some people, but for others (especially those in other territories who will have a PVR built into the PS3 soon), it’s not enough. So we need an option with more disc space. I suggest that Sony upgrade the 80GB PS3 to 120GB.
  • Sony Needs BC
    Sony needs a model with PS2 backwards compatibility. I use the BC in my PS3 quite often, and I think it’s great. I wish it was even better! (Some of my games don’t work.) Sony had previously made a commitment to BC, and I think that they should honour that commitment by keeping the higher priced SKU with BC.
  • Stay Price Competitive
    The competition is priced much better than the PS3 right now, and the PS3 needs to stay competitive. Say what you will about value in the box, the fact is that the 40GB PS3 is $399, which is still a lot of money, though doable.
  • You Decide!
    Are there any other reasons?

What do you think?

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