Playstation 3: Do you care it's $100 cheaper?

Sony drops the price of its unpopular gaming console. But it's still more expensive than anything else on the market.

By Farhad Manjoo

Published July 9, 2007 8:46PM (EDT)

After weeks of rumors suggesting as much -- rumors that the company went to the trouble of denying -- Sony confirmed that it's dropping $100 off the price of its lagging Playstation 3 game system. In the face of tough competition from the far cheaper Nintendo Wii ($249) and Microsoft XBox 360 ($399 for the most popular "premium" system), the Sony machine will drop from $599 to $499. In addition, in August, the company will unveil a new PS3 model with a fatter hard drive -- the 80 GB system (compared to the current 60 GB model) will go for $599.

I suppose this could seal the purchase for anyone who's been on the fence about the PS3. The bad news for Sony is that others can play the price game too. Speculation now centers on Microsoft -- will it lower the XBox sticker? Analysts are reporting that Microsoft will in fact do so, slashing each of its XBox editions systems by about $50 (the premium version will go down to $349). So PS3 will still be more than $100 heftier than anything else on the market -- and even then, Sony's going to lose money on each unit it sells, while both Nintendo and MS won't. (The price cut will eat into MS's tiny $75 per-unit profit, though.)

So go ahead, buy your PS3 today. But maybe if you wait six months the real firesale will begin!

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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