PlayStation 3 set records as one of the most expensive game
consoles ever released. When Sony (NYSE:
) shipped the console in 2006, it offered two different packages,
one at $500 and another at $600.
Since the former was only available in limited quantities,
most consumers ended up buying the more expensive model.
), NeoGeo and other electronics manufacturers had attempted to
sell expensive game consoles in the past, but none of them were
Not even Sega, which sold the Saturn for $400, could get away
with charging more than the $200 to $300 benchmark. By charging
$300 for the first PlayStation in 1995, Sony undercut the Saturn
by $100 and was only $50 more than Nintendo 64, which was not
released until the fall of 1996.
Sony reiterated this strategy with PlayStation 2, forcing
) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:
) to keep their prices in check.
Microsoft broke the mold in 2005 when it announced that Xbox
360, its second game console, would sell for $300 and $400. The
cheaper package was stripped of the hard drive and wireless game
controller, reducing its value. The $300 model was also hampered
by limited quantities, which encouraged consumers to spend an
This no doubt inspired Sony to take a risk with PlayStation 3
and charge even more for the console. The included Blu-ray player
was another reason, as standalone Blu-ray players often retailed
for as much as $1,000 at the time. Having experienced a great
deal of DVD success with PlayStation 2, Sony hoped to rekindle
that magic with its third console.
That strategy failed, however. While the company successfully
forced filmmakers to abandon the HD DVD format, sales of Blu-ray
for more than four years.
PlayStation 3 also sold at a much slower pace (and sold far
fewer units) than its predecessor. PlayStation 2, which Sony
, has sold more than 153 million units over the course of its
The vast majority of those units were sold
during the console's first five years at
. In order for PlayStation 3 to catch up, it would have to sell
78 million units in the next five years. Considering the fact
that the console only sold
75 million units
during first seven years at retail, it is highly unlikely that
Sony will reach that goal.
That said, PlayStation 3 is still a huge success. In addition
to the higher price tag and a lower number of exclusive games,
PlayStation 3 endured stiff competition from Microsoft (which
sold 74 million Xbox 360 units) and Nintendo (which sold 98.8
million Wii consoles).
Now, after falling to second place during the current
generation, Sony is rumored to be applying a more competitive
price to its next console: roughly $430. The price comes from
, which translated a report from a Japanese newspaper that
claimed PlayStation 4 will sell for 40,000 yen.
If the rumor is accurate, that price should make it difficult
for Microsoft to charge more than $400 or $500 for Xbox 720. It
would also guarantee that Nintendo will once again offer the
cheapest console, as Wii U currently sells for $300 (for the
standard console) and $350 (for the deluxe package).
A new deluxe Wii U set has also been
-- this one retails for $390 and includes a copy of ZombiU, as
well as the Wii Pro Controller. It will also come with the touch
screen gamepad and a 32GB hard drive.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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