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PS3 Price Drop?

19 Mar, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Playstation 3

During January and February, analysts predicted that Sony would soon be forced to drop the price of its PlayStation 3 ($399 80 GB model), to catch up to the household penetration of rival — and lower-cost — gaming systems Xbox 360 ($199) and the Wii ($249).

Mike Hickey, analyst with Janco Partners, reiterated to Bloomberg News March 16 his February prediction that a price drop of $50 to $100 was just around the corner for the PlayStation 3. Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter echoed that prediction in January, saying April would see a $100 drop for the PS3 80GB model, with Microsoft following suit and dropping $50 off its Pro model in the summer.

However, Peter Dille, SVP of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), told the news service that there are no immediate plans to drop the price of the PS3. “Everybody in the development community would love for the PS3 to be free, so they could just sell razor blades,” he told Bloomberg.

SCEA marketing director John Koller told Home Media Magazine in December that Blu-ray Disc is a key driver in the success of the PS3. He predicted that the PS3 would eventually overtake the Xbox 360, thanks to Blu-ray.

“Blu-ray has really increased, in terms of purchase intent,” Koller said at the time. “We’re fully bullish in our expectations going forward, and we’re thrilled with where we are. We’ve got a number of great years ahead of us, and Blu-ray has a lot to do with it.”

The NPD Group reported that the PS3 sold about 276,000 units in the United States in February, compared to 391,000 for the 360, and 753,000 for the Wii.

“The Xbox 360 realized its biggest non-holiday sales month, save for September 2007, when the Halo 3 release brought in a large group of new owners,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. “Compared to last month, the PS3 realized the greatest month-over-month unit sales increase of all platforms.”

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