Yesterday, I mentioned how adept Sony has become at flipping the bird to gamers, this time in regard to the "price cut" of the 60GB PS3 and the soon-to-be-released 80GB PS3 at $599.
Today, we get word that Wedbush Morgan Stanley gaming analyst, Michael Pachter, is predicting that when stock of the 60GB PS3 runs out the 80GB PS3 will replace it at the $499 price point.
I have to disagree. We're talking about Sony here; the company that can't make a smart decision when it comes to the PS3. Judging from the past, there is no evidence that Sony will lower the price of the 80GB PS3.
In fact, I think that the Sony execs will try to ride out the $599 80GB PS3 for as long as possible, even through Holiday '07.
You see, Sony already loses about $240 per PS3. Now, granted, the 80GB PS3 will not have the PS2 emotion engine hardware for backwards compatibility (it uses software emulation instead), thus saving a few bucks, however, even with that cost savings, they're still losing a good chunk of money.
Sony's thinking, I surmise, is that they're offering consumers a "better" PS3 for the same price as the former "lower end" PS3, so it really is a price cut. This is the Apple price structure. The iPod is always going to be $299, it just gets better hardware each time.
With that thinking guiding Sony's decision making, they think that they are giving the consumer a double bonus: a chance to pick up a PS3 for $499 (the 60GB) while also offering them a better PS3 for the old price. How altruistic of them?
But how does this appear to gamers? As my article mentioned yesterday , it appears as if Sony has flipped us the double bird.
But what if Sony does drop the price of the 80GB PS3 to $499 when stock of the 60GB dries up? Well, that will also serve to make gamers angry, particularly those who just recently bought the 60GB for $499 or bought the 80GB for $599. Both are screwed: the 60GB purchasers could have waited a few months and gotten the 80GB and the 80GB purchasers just paid $100 too much.
In this hypothetical, Sony is in a lose-lose situation and would simply be better off sticking to the $599 price tag. They could then, next Spring, reduce the price and get both a media and sales bump leading up to the 2008 holiday season when they'll finally have some blockbuster games.
On a side note, Pachter also made mention of some stocks to buy and not to buy. I agree with Activision, EA, and Ubi, EA being my least favorite. I also think that Gamestop and Nintendo are sure bets (disclaimer, of course, that I am not a stock expert, I just follow the industry and I am not responsible for your money).