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80GB PS3: Just Low Stock?

I know I just quoted this article, but I’ll do it again. talked to SCEA’s vice president of product marketing, Scott Steinberg, about the 80GB PS3 and sales. Here’s what he had to say:

Last year we saw the price drop, coupled with the introduction of new SKUs and the discontinuation of some SKUs in certain territories. It still doesn’t seem to be very settled. Can you talk about any plans for this year in terms of finally settling on hardware?

We’re still looking at a lot of that stuff.

The lessons from the fall were pretty acute to us. We expected to sell a lot more of the USD 399 system than the USD 499 system. We entered 2008 pretty dry on the 80GB at USD 499 because of the equilibrium on sales for both systems.

We found that the hardcore guys were willing to spend that extra hundred dollars, and the more casual consumers without the bells and whistles were quite comfortable with a Blu-ray machine that, from a consumer electronics comparison, is still much more expensive than USD 399.

We weren’t quite predicting that. We weren’t predicting the evenness of those sales numbers and we got pretty light on the 80GB. You’ll see that correct itself as we get deeper into the year. We are still sort of evaluating what that means from a going forward strategy. We’re pointing to that commercial flow in the fall as a reason why we are still a little bit light at retail for those 80GB machines.

So maybe Sony’s problem right now is that they just don’t have enough 80GB PS3’s lying around to satisfy the demand. Once some more are manufactured, you’ll be seeing it on the shelves again.

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