$500 for a stripped down system? And if I save up after buying it I still can never have all the features the full $600 version has? When Phillips launched the CD-i at $800 it was clear they were insane. The PS3 will be cheaper but not by enough to make it clear that Sony are in their right mind.
Sony justifies the cost by saying there is a Blu Ray player in the system. Guess who designed the console. No, it wasn’t me. It was Sony. So they decided to put a Blu Ray player in the system. The Blu Ray players cost a thousand dollars so we are all getting a great buy, Sony says. If the PS4 comes attached to a Lexus and sells for 30 grand Sony will praise the system for being much cheaper than a Lexus without the PS4. This is stupid backwards logic marketing suits came up with in order to explain why their system costs as much as a PC.
The PS2 had a DVD player so why shouldn’t the PS3 come with a Blu Ray player, some argue. DVD’s had been around for three years when the PS2 launched. The Dreamcast launched earlier and partly because of this time gap, adding a DVD drive would have increased the cost of the system to an unacceptable point. Sega sucks at business, but they knew mainstream consumers would not spend half a grand for their console (nor apparently $200).
Blu Ray players don’t exist yet. This is a brand new technology we are being forced to pay for if we want to play PS3 games. The consumer is asked to pay hundreds more for the system without a guarantee the format will even succeed. Sony fucked up here by allowing the upcoming format wars to impact the upcoming generation of consoles in such a dramatic way.
Besides the price being absurd for the obvious reason that people can’t afford $600 game systems and the pay to test out our new format bullshit, the pricing threatens to change the console market as we know it. If the PS3 succeeds at this price point, subsequent generations of consoles will likely carry a hefty price tag as well. The era of owning all major systems will come to an end and with it our days of playing awesome games across all platforms. We will be forced to choose between Metal Gear 5, Halo 4 and Zelda 28, and that sucks.
In order to preserve gamers’ ability to enjoy all major consoles, the PS3 must fail at its announced price point. It may seem counter intuitive but because I want to play Shadow of the Colossus 2 and God of War 3, I hope the PS3 crashes and burns.
*Update – Ken Kutaragi defended the price of the PS3 by arguing the system is not a game console, PC, or entertainment center, it is all of those things. I’ve gotten some complaints on my view that game systems should only play games, but this is a good example of why. Game systems CAN do other things if you want to pay over half a thousand dollars for them.
To further prove his point of how cheap the PS3 is, Kutaragi compared the Play Station’s price to the SNES. This makes sense, if you’re a complete idiot. The SNES was an old machine and part of the preceding generation, the PS3 is very expensive compared to its direct competition. He might as well have said that the PS2 sold better than the Game Gear in 2004, despite the large price difference.
“Is it not nonsense to compare the charge for dinner at the company cafeteria with dinner at a fine restaurant?” he asks. Kutaragi is an arrogant asshat. I want to play PS3 games but now a good part of me wants to see the PS3 die a painful death just because Sony employs complete assholes.