Various Internet sites have reported that George Fornay, VP
for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, quoted a price of 499 to 599 Euros for
the PS3 during an interview with radio Europe 1. This translates to approximately
$613 and $736 US. Wow. That's a little more than I think gamers and analysts
expected. Sony has been saying for months that the PS3 would have a hefty price
tag, but many anticipated a price closer to $399 US (see this Gamespotarticle from June 2005).
Sony has yet to announce an official price and these numbers
may be an attempt to test consumer reaction. Engadget
also speculates that Sony might adopt a lower price for the US market, starting
the PS3 at $499. Regardless of the final price, it's clear that Sony will beasking us to pony up some serious cash for the PS3.
Will the average game consumer buy? Only time will tell and I'm
sure industry analysts will debate the point to death. But I'll give you my 2
cents worth. At $499 average gamers and families will likely purchase Sony's
new system. Microsoft's Xbox 360 retails
for $399 and $299 for the Xbox 360 Core system. I can see people spending
another $100 for Sony's "newer" system. At $600 or 700, I'm not so
sure. You can buy/build a decent computer for that price. Sony can argue all
they want that the PS3 is a "home entertainment system", and they're
probably right, but parents will still see this as a video game. Sure, many hard
core Playstation fans can and will spend their own money on the PS3, but I'mnot sure average electronics consumers will pay en masse.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.