GamesCom in Cologne is coming up soon and while there are lots of developers there showing off their games, I only really want to focus on Sony because the big news is almost certain to come from them.
Cutting to the chase, there have been so many rumours about the PS3 Slim that it has to happen at that event. IF it doesn’t, I think Sony will have the most depressing show they could imagine. Everyone is going there looking for a PS3 Slim, and not just that, a PS3 Slim at a lower price.
The rumour I heard recently was published by the Telegraph newspaper. They say that a 40gb PS3 Slim will be released for £260. Now I very much hope that this isn’t the case. If it is, then I have to say Sony don’t care about the console race or reaching new customers.
40gb for that price is too much, The current 80gb system with 2 great games is £300 right now and £40 isn’t enough of a discount especially when you get half the hard drive space. As someone who had to upgrade his 60gb launch PS3 to a 250gb drive, I can tell you that 40 at this time, when PS3 installs require a hefty amount of space, and downloads becoming increasingly important, it makes no sense to bring out a new system that has less space than the launch version did 2 and a half years ago.
If Sony have business sense, and considering they recently stated that the manufacturing costs of the system have gone down by around 70% since launch, a £250 system with an 80gb drive is not out of the question. I personally believe that to get the buzz going about the system again, and to keep pace with and gain ground on Microsoft, they need to have the system at £250 or less. Anything less than a £50 price cut won’t make a big enough impact to improve sales.
If they must insist on having multiple SKUs then I would still say they should stick to the maximum price at £250 and then have a cheaper system at around £200. That might be pushing things a little too much. However, they were losing money on the PS3 when it came out, now they’re making money, so why not push your profit margins on the hardware a little tighter and recoup that money with game sales, and with the lineup Sony has, I think they can do just that.
Whereas Nintendo makes the majority of their money on hardware sales, Sony can make a lot of theirs on software and I think they should be being as aggressive with pricing as they can, because in a few months when people are buying for christmas, most people, especially parents buying for kids, don’t look at the technical specs, they look at the price on the box, and Sony need to do something to rectify this.
The only other thing left to say about PS3 Slim is that I’ve heard people say that it’s not the way the system looks that matters, it’s how much it costs and the games available for it that really count. Therefore if Sony announce a slim and keep it the same price as the current model, virtually no one will care. The price cut is what a lot of people want.