Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Console Post of the Week

Multiple sources are reporting that the 360 will have a "real" price reduction in early September. Ars Technica was first, and here's what they're predicting $50 cuts for the Pro (to $299) and Elite (to $399), and an $80 cut for the Arcade (to $199).

For Microsoft's sake, the rumors better be true, because they appear to be running third in their strongest market (the U.S.) right now.

Will this put pressure on Nintendo? No. You can argue all day that a 360 at $199 is a much better deal than the Wii at $249, but no one is listening. It's very easy, though, to make the argument that a $299 Pro is a significantly better deal for gamers than a $399 PS3, and it's going to put significant pressure on Sony.

In other news, Scott Steinberg, SCEA's VP of product marketing, violated the cardinal rule for executives: don't be a dickhead in interviews. Here's an excerpt from his interview with GameIndustry.biz:
And as a brand, Nintendo's got their thing, and we're not trying to get the senior citizen group to get into gaming, we're looking to convert the PS2 owners and the tens of millions of installed base that were playing DVDs and playing games on their PS2, to now play Blu-ray movies and Blu-ray games with their PS3.

Scott, you do realize that Nintendo is stomping on Sony's, um, balls right now? Seriously, how patronizing can you be when you're getting absolutely crushed? Dude, they own you.

Here's what I don't think people have figured out, and I have absolutely no data to support this theory yet, but I strongly believe it's true: PS2 owners are buying the Wii in huge numbers. Yes, there are some non-traditional gaming demographics involved, to some degree, but it still doesn't explain the mammoth numbers involved. The only possible answer is that the Wii is selling into the PS2s customer base far better than anyone has realized.

I think analysts will start asking this question in the fall, and at that point they'll start asking Sony some difficult questions, particularly if the PS3 doesn't get a price cut soon.

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