With the existence of the PS3 Super Slim leaked back in July, the only real surprise that Sony had for the announcement of the redesigned system was its MSRP and the fact that they didn’t lower the price of their existing PlayStation 3 hardware. Speaking to Engadget, SCEA VP of marketing John Koller explained that the reason for maintaining the price point on the existing systems is because consumers don’t like “weird price moves”.
“There’s no price drop formally, but the thing that’s been happening in the market over the last year or so is that there’s been so many retail price promotions, and so many different gift card offers and all those things, being done by all of us (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony), that we’ve heard from our consumer, ‘Enough with all these weird price moves. What we really want is content and games and value… [this answer is] kind of a long way of saying ‘no, no formal price drop’ [on the limited supply of the older PS3 models]“
Since no consumer in the recorded history of people buying things has ever complained about paying too little for a product, Koller’s answer is obviously pure corporate spin.
The real reason that the new 250GB and 500GB PS3 Super Slim prices matching exactly the $250 and $300 price point of the current 160GB and 320GB models has everything to do with Sony’s dismal financial position.
Sony as a company is losing money hand over fist, and has been for quite some time. Pathetic PS Vita sales and the strengthening Japanese yen are killing their Game division. Basically, they can’t afford to drop prices on any of their products right now, even on the cheaper to produce PS3 Super Slim.
I truly feel bad for SCEA. If the company was in a stronger financial position they could use the redesigned PS3 to reduce prices, thereby undercutting the upcoming Wii U on price and putting themselves in a better position to compete with the Xbox 360 this Holiday season. As it stands now, they will likely get massively beat up on price by Microsoft and are offering old hardware that is extremely close in pricing to newer hardware from Nintendo.
Assuming this situation doesn’t change in any significant way, my advice is to purchase as much stock in red ink as soon as possible. Sony is going to be buying it in bulk when it comes time to print their financial reports.