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]