Published on July 13th, 2007 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder9
60GB PlayStation 3 Production Stopped in US after July?
Right after Sony left E3 with a trail of positive PR a mile long, someone decided to mess things up. That someone is SCEA President David Reeves.
Remember that PS3 price drop that was announced not too long ago? It wasn’t so much of a price drop as it was a clearance sale. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Reeves clarified the price drop:
“All they’re doing is taking their stock in trade that they’ve got at the moment of the 60GB model, marking the price down and it will all be gone by the end of July.”
When asked to clarify if this will mean the end of the 60GB model, Reeves answered, “In America, yes.”
Way to shoot yourself in the foot.
I can’t deny still being a lot more interested in the PS3 due to the exclusive games announced for this year and beyond, but this interview seems to be a downplay of the ‘price drop’ rather than a genuine interest in more market penetration.
In the long run this can be corrected, though. They can correct this in one of a few ways:
- Ship the 60GB PS3 that’s used in Europe that doesn’t have the Emotion Engine (PS2 chipset) at the reduced price of $499. That way they still keep losses to a minimum by introducing the reduced price chipset to the US Market in two iterations of the console.
- When the 60GB stock runs out, reduce the price of the 80GB PS3 to $499 without the pack-ins. The $599 PS3 would still be a viable option for those planning on getting MotorStorm and an extra controller. They could even sweeten the deal by adding either a Memory Stick or more HDD space to the higher model.
- Drop the price of the PS3 to $499 before the holiday season.
“As announced this week, SCEA’s product offering in North America consists of a 80GB PS3 available in August at $599 and a 60GB PS3 available now for $499. We have will have ample supplies of both models to meet the needs of our consumers for the foreseeable future.”
I’d love to believe that but Kaz Harai, SCE President, told Scandinavian website VGTV:
“[We do not] have a 2 SKU strategy in the US, we learned very quickly customers respond better to having one SKU than two. We dropped the price on the 60GB model, as you know that model is no longer in production, once it’s no longer on store shelves it will just be the $600 SKU.”
So now a ton of the PS3 purchasing community, myself included, could very well be confused as to which version of the console to get. I’m not interested in the $600 price point, so either I would have to get one now while the 60GB is still on the market or hold out for another price drop.
They’re not doing themselves any favors right now. After the announced price drop, a ton of people were more interested in it. A local GameStop spokeswoman I spoke with just yesterday told me that since the price drop, a large amount of people got PS3s.
The question I have for Sony is this: If nearly the entire industry is telling you that you need to drop the price of your console to penetrate more homes – so they can develop games exclusively for your console, mind you – why would you completely disavow their knowledge? If you’re serious about your customers, why make news of a price drop when it really isn’t a price drop at all?
If Sony really plans to sell more consoles and keep developers exclusive to their console, this isn’t exactly the way to start that. If the 60GB PS3 is discontinued, that means there are two versions of the console that have been scrapped since it’s arriving on the market eight months ago. Regardless of whether the hard drives in the system cost “Euro cents” differently, keeping one of the ‘lower’ models on shelves at a reduced price would be better than nothing.
Now that the 20GB is off the market, each version of the console will very likely keep the same specs regarding Wi-Fi and memory card reading. Tech-savvy consumers already know that you can replace the HDD in the PS3 so they’ll receive the HD size they want any way you look at it.
Why not just release the EE-less 60GB PS3 in the US at $499 and get your product into gamers’ homes? They all have Blu-Ray and they all have sufficient HD space that developers will utilize it. All you need to do now is get the product into more homes, and the best way to do that is to lower the price.
The amount of people waiting for a price drop is evident. All Sony has to do now is allow it. The ball is in your court now, Sony. What you’ll do with it, however, is up to you.
E3: No more 60GB PlayStation 3 in US after July, says Reeves [GamesIndustry.biz]