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Sony nixes price drop for older PS3 models

Even with the new PS3 SuperSlim, you'll pay the same for a Slim

Sony is releasing a brand-new, top-loading model for the PlayStation 3 in 250GB and 500GB versions, but Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president of marketing John Koller says that doesn't mean you should expect a price drop on the older models. In an interview with Engadget, Koller said that consumers don't even want a price drop.

"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,'" Koller told Engadget's Ben Gilbert.

Sony is offering the larger models to reach North America's more "digitally inclined" consumers, even though those consumers have always had the ability to upgrade hard drives on the Slim and original PS3. Koller said most consumers are averse to purchasing more storage space, instead opting to buy another PlayStation 3.

"When you look at some of the earlier chassis, and the really early adopters -- the 20GB, and the 60GB -- that consumer had a choice. They could either go out and buy another hard drive -- and it's an easy install, so we make it easy for the consumer if they want to take a hard drive off the shelf and plug it in, they can do that. They had a choice of doing that, or purchasing another PlayStation 3. And what's been happening is we're seeing a lot of adoption of second consoles in-house," he said.

In contrast, Sony competitor Nintendo is touting the fact that consumers can upgrade their Wii U with a USB flash or hard drive of their choice. Nintendo's new console is also playing heavily on its new tablet-style GamePad controller. Koller said that the PlayStation Vita provides similar functionality when paired with a PlayStation 3, but the company isn't forcing it on developers.

"We tell our PlayStation fans all the time that what the Wii U is offering is something that Vita and PS3 can do quite easily," he said to Engadget. "It's dependent on the content. So we need to make sure the content isn't force fed. And, to us, making sure that the gamer receives the right type of experience is what's most important. So we're going to pick our spots, but that technology does certainly exist here."

Using the $249 Vita as a controller for the PlayStation seems to be an expensive proposition, but Koller explains that most Vita consumers own PS3's anyways. And Sony always has the option of a PS3/Vita bundle for the holidays.

"As we look at the lineup, there are going to be some opportunities to do that. Whether we want to bundle the hardware together remains to be seen," he said. "In the meantime, you look at the Vita consumer and a very high percentage -- almost all of them -- own a PS3. So you see that crossover works."

[Image via Engadget]

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Latest comments (11)

Jeremy Gifford4 years ago
So long as the HDDs and capabilities of the old PS3 Slim and new are the same, I see no problem with keeping the same price. Sure one is a bit smaller, but if they do the same things, big whoop.

For PS Vita owners all owning PS3s... Well I think that is kinda sad. I take that as proof that the Vita only appeals to core Playstation fans. I also own a PS3 and Vita.

The PS Vita (and PSP) are great portable consoles. Both are also largely without a software niche. Why play cellphone games on a Vita? Why buy console ports?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeremy Gifford on 20th September 2012 11:08pm

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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
"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.'"

Um.. I think you've heard wrong from your consumers. What they really want is to pay less for your console.

Also, yes, I'm also a Vita + PS3 owner, and it's not a substitute for a Wii U. The few cross-play functionality things that exist work poorly (UMVC3 drops my "Ultimate Controller" connection constantly) and input lag is noticeable, unlike Wii U. On top of that of course we're talking about twice the cost of admission for a PS3/Vita combo versus a Wii U and 1/100th the software support for the second screen feature.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
"Koller said that consumers don't even want a price drop

Thats not what he's really saying though. He's saying that his consumers are tired of all the multiple skus of the PS3. And to alleviate this for their consumers Sony is....making even more new skus?? Ok. Like Nicholas said above people just want to pay "LESS" for a new PS3, especially if we are to believe the other thing Koller said:

"And what's been happening is we're seeing a lot of adoption of second consoles in-house," he said.

Which was in regards to:

Koller said most consumers are averse to purchasing more storage space, instead opting to buy another PlayStation 3.

And so you really think your consumers want to keep paying more to upgrade their hardrive? I have two PS3's(a launch unit and a slim) and luckily I have plenty of storage space but if I did want another one for more hd space I'm pretty sure I'd want to pay less than I paid for my slim a few years ago. Maybe I'm just weird like that.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 21st September 2012 1:35am

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Show all comments (11)
James Prendergast Research Chemist 4 years ago
Haha, so the second console in-house wasn't to replace a dying old gen system? NOOooooo! Of course not!
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters4 years ago
Koller said that consumers don't even want a price drop.
"Would you like 50 quid off?"
"Nah, thanks, I'll take it at full price."

Show me the person that says this.
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Paul Murphy Owner, The Vita Lounge4 years ago
I've put off getting a PS3 for some time, and thought that this second revision would spark a viable cheaper entry point to the platform.

I thought that was the point of these revisions, to cheapen it at both ends? It seems that I'd be better off just getting a V1 slim 160GB than a 12Gb and the HDD. Perhaps I am missing somrthing, but isn't the 12Gb flash unit essentially useless?

Everyone that wanted a PS3 probably has one, those on the fence with £150-£200 odd quid that has a nice to do budget may be tempted at a decent price. But I'm not paying £200 for a PS3. And I'm sure, since sales for both the Vita and PS3 aren't exactly flying, the majority agree.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Murphy on 21st September 2012 11:44am

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"Pay less for that overly expensive thing that I want? Nah!"

...said nobody ever.
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Nick St Aubyn Director, Assidian Limited4 years ago
You can certainly tell he's a salesman...
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game4 years ago
""Pay less for that overly expensive thing that I want? Nah!"

...said nobody ever. "

Except maybe an Apple fan.
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AHHH... beat me to it :D
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers4 years ago
"Pay less for that overly expensive thing that I want? Nah!"

...said nobody ever.

lol Thus sums up what the natural reaction is to this argument. Koller is paid to make a sales argument based on what he's got, and in this case, it's a tough one.
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