This morning SCEA President & CEO Jack Tretton posted to the PlayStation Blog an announcement of a price drop for the PS3. The 160GB PS3 and 320GB PS3 will now be available for $249 and $299, respectively. In addition, a limited edition inFAMOUS 2 bundle was announced, which includes a 320GB PS3, a copy of inFAMOUS 2, and a 30-day membership to PlayStation Plus. Despite the inclusion of the game and membership, the bundle is listed at the same price as a normal 320GB PS3.
There was no word as to how this would affect PS3/PlayStation Move bundle prices.
Analysis: This move is long overdue. Sony’s top-model PS3 was retailing for $349, while the Xbox’s was $299, and the Wii was selling for a paltry $149. Sony is notorious for making questionable decisions with their business (who really and honestly thought that launching the PS3 at $599 was acceptable?), and refusing to budge on issues they should really reconsider (e.g. not launching the Vita globally during the holiday season).
However, one of the issues this price drop highlights is the high launch price of the Vita. This price drop means that when the Vita launches, you can buy a PS3 for the same price as the Vita. Traditionally, home gaming consoles have always cost more than their handheld counterparts. Attempts to release handhelds at the same, similar, or higher prices have been met with failure. To be fair, the PSP was successful in Japan. Unfortunately for Sony, succeeding in one market alone is not financially viable; otherwise, Sega would still be in hardware.