Sony really had the perfect opportunity to shake up the console games industry and overtake the current HD leader, the Xbox 360 when it launched its new Super Slim PS3. Instead, the newer, sleeker, cheaper-to-manufacture console came in at pretty much the same price as the older Slim, leading to scratched heads and chins the world over. Maybe a pre-holiday price cut would fix things…only that’s unlikely to happen.
Numerous analysts, speaking to Gamasutra have weighed in on the possibility of a price-cut – and they’ve pretty much all said the chances of it happening are rather unlikely.
“Sony dropped their console prices $50 in 3Q11 so I don’t expect another price cut this holiday season. I don’t think Sony will have terrible game sales results this holiday season but I also won’t be surprised if they come in third when it’s all said and done,” said DC Research’s Lewis Ward.
PJ McNealy, from DWR Research has said there’s little point to a price cut at this stage.
“The fundamental question for Sony right now is how many incremental PS3 units could they sell at this point in the cycle if they cut price now? My opinion is that it likely wouldn’t have a big impact for Sony this calendar year.”
“Sony is trying to minimize losses right now after posting terrible financial results in the past year. I think the solutions for them right now are more focused on a slim PS3 with bundles.”
EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich also believes that instead of price cuts, we’ll be seeing more bundles – which is the Sony way of doing things.
"It is clear that all the current generation consoles are getting a little long in the tooth and unfortunately releasing new models or upgrades is not as strong a motivator as in prior years. What we are likely to see is a strong presence of hardware bundles this holiday season. Offering current holiday hardware discounts, but the inclusion of more and even better software.”
The NCA’s Mike Hickey doesn’t believe the super slim will be selling in huge numbers; unsurprising, as you can pick up a regular slim with more storage for the same price.
"I don’t think they’re going to get a lot of movement out of the super slim PS3. I don’t see it being a real catalyst for driving hardware, and at this point in the cycle you have more of a value buyer, and those consumers are incentivized through a price cut. Without one you’re not going to see any pickup in demand, other than some seasonal ones."
The PS3 will be getting a price cut at some point; probably soon before the release of the PlayStation 4 expected next year, which is probably what Sony’s hedging its bets on.
I still can’t help but feel that the slimmer PS3 was a wasted opportunity – and that releasing it for a similar price to its predecessor was just a huge waste of R&D and manufacturing resources; resources that Sony could ill-afford to waste.
Last Updated: October 17, 2012