Aug 23, 2009

PS3 Mixing Things Up

By Andrew Shin

Since the announcements of the new PS3 120GB and a price drop across all PS3 hardware offerings, Sony has no doubt added some heat to the console war fire. This at a time when gaming console sales have been in a calm, low heat simmer for a good amount of time. For Sony however, this was a long time coming. The company absolutely had to do something big to up the ante and try to push more sales of the PS3. So how will this price drop affect the PS3 sales? Well, it's too early to tell since the announcement and price drops have been in effect for about a week, but a month from now we should get a better view.

All that said, this likely places some amount of pressure on the other big two -- the Xbox 360 and the Wii. There have been some rumours circulating around the interweb that Microsoft plans on introducing a price drop on the Xbox 360 Elite with the 120GB harddrive to $299 - the same price for the new PS3 120GB and the PS3 80GB. To me, this would be a good move on Microsoft's part in order to compete toe-to-toe with the steamlined 120GB PS3. Microsoft has been selling Xbox 360s at a high, consistent pace the last two years, so a price drop aligned with the upcoming holiday season would help to sustain momentum.

Then there's the Wii. Nintendo is usually very quiet and leak-proof when it comes to news about their console's roadmap. The Wii has been the overall console leader; clearly outselling both the Xbox 360 and PS3 over the years. But take a closer look and there may be some reasons for concern. NPD hardware numbers for July 2009 show that while all three consoles experienced a drop in sales, the Wii was hit hardest with a 30% drop year-over-year. With the Wii selling for $279, Nintendo may need to be weary since it's only $20 less than the PS3 120GB and 80GB models. And if Microsoft decides to drop the Elite to $299 as well, then they'll have stiff competition all around.

So here's where we want your opinion.

How long will it take Microsoft and Nintendo drop their console prices in response to the PS3 price drop?



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