Translation: Playstation 3’s management is retarded.
Below is an article that sheds light on their recent retardation:
By Philip Silva
Fans of the Playstation 3 that wants to get the game console after the price drop should probably do so now. Only days after announcing a price drop on its 60 GB Playstation 3 console, an interview with the head of Sony Computer Entertainment International, Kaz Hirai, by a Norwegian game news outlet VGTV, revealed that Sony will be discontinuing the 60 GB Playstation 3.
At the recently concluded E3 Media and Business Summit, there was an initial confusion surrounding the price drop of the 60GB Playstation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced last Monday that it would be dropping the price of the 60 GB Playstation 3 then in an interview with gamespot, David Reeves, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said that the price drop was merely a markdown of a model which has been discontinued. Hours later, a Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson said that what the press quoted from Reeves was not accurate.
The issue finally became clear in Hirai’s interview with the Norwegian game site. In the interview, he was quoted as saying, “From a hardware perspective, the $499 price adjustment we did for the 60GB version for the American market, we’re no longer in production for that product. Once that product is gone from the retailer shelves, then we’re back to a $599 SKU only, so it’s not like we have a two-price strategy in the US market. We found out very early on how consumers react to having just one SKU as opposed to two.”
The Sony Playstation 3 was at first available in the US in two models, the 20 GB model and the 60 GB model. The 20 GB Playstation 3 was then discontinued last April 2007 because there was no demand for it.
In the interview, Hirai said that Sony has still no plans to adjust the price of the Playstation 3 in other territories.
In the follow-up interview of gamespot, Dave Karraker, Sony Computer Entertainment America Senior Director of corporate communications has then confirmed the discontinuance but said that the 60 GB Playstation 3 will be available in North America for $499 until supplies last. He said that the company still has enough inventory in North America to last for several months to come.
Critics had said that the promotion of the $499 price drop and then not announcing the discontinuance amounted to bait. Karraker responded by saying that this was not “bait and switch” but they are offering the Playstation 3 at a lower price for months to come to allow consumers the opportunity to acquire the model at an adjusted price.
Kaz Hirai Interview, URL: (http://atvs.vg.no/player/?id=10235)
GameSpot Rumor Control. URL: (http://www.gamespot.com/news/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=25772777&tag=top_stories;story;4)
Goddammit, the idiots selling the “PSTriple” have done it this time. They first denied there was a price drop for the 60GB model like the Rape of Nanking when retailers such as Target, Sears and even Circuit City confirmed there was a price cut based on their leaked in-store marketing and print ads.
Next thing we know, Sony’s stock is taking a hit on the financial markets as a result of the news, which analysts predicted months before Sony made the move and it was also interpreted as a severe weakness on Sony’s inability to move their PS3 consoles to end users.
While many kids were rushing to their local Best Buys or Sears to buy the discounted PSTriple (including my friend), journalists covering E3 learned that it was not really a price drop but just a move to clear out a discontinued model to make way for the new 80GB PS3 containing software-based backward compatibility, which will now be the one and only Playstation 3 available on the world market. Way to go on the “bait and switch” Sony!
Well, it’s always great to know that my 60GB PS3 with an emotion engine is now an obsolete piece of hardware. Maybe it’s time I treat it more as a cheap blu-ray player with wireless Internet access. Good thing I pre-ordered 300 for blu-ray and downloaded all the upscaling firmware updates so I can watch my DVDs in sharper resolutions.
The supposed price drop didn’t go too well with most of Sony’s major developers either. SquareEnix was quoted as being unimpressed with the price drop while the head of Konami said it was not enough and implied MGS4 may no longer be a PSTriple-exclusive because of the console’s piss-poor sales.
On the other hand, Nintendo had a strong E3 showing with the introduction of WiiFit, and Super Mario Galaxy, which seems to indicate that the company is positioning their modified GameCube as both a lifestyle machine to appeal to non-gamers and as a second console to supplement existing Microsoft Xbox360 users (sorry Sony). It’s just times like these that I wished I had invested in Nintendo stock during the summer of 2006 and pre-ordered a Wii on buy.com instead of saving up for a PSTriple that was riddled with problems.
Sony’s E3, on the other hand, was lacking compared to Nintendo. Although this year’s conference did not have any embarrassing soundbytes involving “Giant enemy crabs”, “$599”, or even “massive damage”, it really didn’t impress me at all. Sure, they announced a revised PSP, which looked basically the same as the original that’s being crushed by the DS; some games that are also available on the 360; continued support for the PS2 (since it’s their only strong point right now); and the 80GB PSTriple but none of this was really impressive since it was predictable. Besides, Microsoft managed to steal Sony’s thunder by nabbing exclusives while Nintendo kept it fun and simple through their innovations. It was also noticeable to see Hirai Kazuo lose much of his American mannerisms and accent from last year after returning to Japan to replace Kutaragi Ken.