Denki News

January 14, 2007

Is the PS3 really overpriced?

Filed under: Video Games — icruise @ 11:11 am


If you spend any time at all discussing the next-gen consoles, someone is bound to bring up the idea that the PS3 is overpriced. But is that really the case? There’s no mistaking the fact that it’s expensive — too expensive, in fact for many people to afford. But of course that’s also true of the Xbox 360. It’s too bad that this generation of game consoles (with the exception of the Wii) seems to be out of reach of so many. I think this is a big reason why the portable systems and the PS2 are so popular. But is the PS3 really overpriced? (More after the jump.)

The rallying cry of many Xbox 360 fans seems to be that the PS3’s $600 price tag is outrageous, and that it isn’t worth paying $200 more than the Xbox 360. But that’s a misleading argument for one simple reason: it doesn’t make sense to compare the 60GB PS3 with the Xbox Premium System. Just because they are the “high-end” versions of each system does not mean they are comparable. If you want to make a meaningful comparison, you have to compare the models that are most similar. In this case, it is the 20GB PS3 and the Xbox 360 Premium System.

Look at their specs. Both the 20GB PS3 and the high-end Xbox 360 have 20GB hard disks, wireless controllers, and wired internet. The PS3 doesn’t come with component cables or an audio headset like the Xbox 360, but it does include an HDMI port and a Blu-ray drive. When you look at the price of Blu-ray/HD-DVD drives, the $100 price difference between the PS3 and the Xbox 360 seems quite reasonable. After all, the Xbox 360’s add-on HD-DVD drive costs $199, and there’s no way to add HDMI even if you wanted it.

The 60GB PS3 should not be thought of as the “real” PS3. It should be thought of as an “upgraded model” that includes wireless networking, an additional 40GB of hard disk space, and a memory card reader for an extra $100 over the price of the 20GB model. For people who need these extra features, it’s a reasonable deal. After all, Microsoft charges $99 for their wireless Internet add-on alone. In fact, if you were to outfit an Xbox 360 as closesly to the PS3 as possible, you would spend considerably more. (An Xbox 360 with HD-DVD drive and wi-fi costs $697 — almost $100 more than the 60GB PS3, and it still has less hard disk space and no card reader).

What you CAN criticize the PS3 for is not giving the consumer as much choice as the Xbox 360. Sony’s inclusion of the Blu-ray drive in the PS3 is largely what drove up the price, and Microsoft’s decision to keep the HD-DVD drive optional has allowed them to achieve a lower theoretical price. Still, when you make your comparison based on features, the real price difference between the two systems is at most $100, which gets you the ability to watch HD movies and allows games on the system to make use of the massive storage of Blu-ray discs. With new games now costing $60 apiece, I’m not sure it makes much sense to choose your console based on a $100 price difference. Especially when that $100 gets you so much.

(Note: This isn’t meant to be a jab at the Xbox 360 — I have one and think it’s a great system. But I’m tired of people claiming that Sony is bilking their customers when it’s simply not true.)

4 Comments »

  1. Yeah, I can’t tell you how much I agree with it. I get VERY tried of people complaining about PS3 ONLY costing $600, when there’s a $500 model available, that gives you everything you need. I bought a 20GB and I’m perfectly happy with it. I really wish Sony did push that model more, because it is cheaper and I feel more are willing to pay $500, since $600 is a bit steep in the gaming industry IMO (despite the great features you get). It kind of bothers me because some act like the 60GB model is the one they want, but they complain about the price. One friend of mine, who just bought a PS3, said he bought the 60GB model, only because he thought it was missing something important (like MS did with 360), but I told him that wasn’t the case (at least he didn’t have a problem paying the price for a PS3). It’s kind of sad because I see 60GB models everywhere (next to no 20GB models around), mostly because scalpers assumed people wanted the more expensive model (or un-informed people early on) causing a higher demand for the 60GB version, so Sony manufacturers more of them (instead of the 20GB, which I believe would sell just as good, if not better).

    I also get tired of people saying Sony needs to drop the price of the PS3 by $200 to be able to compete with 360. IMO, if Sony were to lower the price, it should be $400 for the 20GB and $500 for the 60GB. Yeah, oh course the 20GB model lacks a headset and component cables, but I really don’t think that’s as bad as what some may think. Many who own a PS2 may already have a USB headset, which works on PS3, and some may already have a bluetooth headset. I can understand about the decision to not include component, because since PS3 has an HDMI output, I’m expecting the market to split almost evenly, using HDMI or component. Also, I figure some PS2 supporters may already have component on their PS2, which will work on PS3 (Very glad Sony did that, made their cables compatible with eachother). PS3 has HDMI and blu-ray, which 360 does not, so I feel that does justify $100 more, although it would be tough to convince the general market that (or even people at CAG). One friend of mine (who isn’t very knowledgeable about the inside of consoles) feels that Sony is just charging a lot to make a lot of money, so I told him they lose $200-$300 on every console sold, and he felt that’s what they want you to believe (when it was a third party doing a research in the first place).

    Overall, I feel the PS3 is well worth it, even at it’s price. I’m glad blu-ray was included (instead of giving people a choice), because that will allow developers more space for their games (instead of a split market owning an add-on).

    I like the Xbox 360 also, but I’m getting very tired of people claiming that Sony is bilking their customers too.

    Comment by The Mana Knight — January 14, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

  2. dont forget Xbox live service for five years would be $250

    Comment by Joe — May 1, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  3. I THINK YOUR COMMENTS ARE FAIR AND CORRECT ALL BUT ONE THING, XBOX HAVE A FAR BETTER DASHBOARD AND THEIR XBOX 360 LIVE IS ALOT EASIER TO USE AND LOOKS BETTER MAYBE SONY CAN TAKE THIS ON-BOARD AND RE-THINK ABOUT PRESENTATION

    Comment by steve — October 25, 2007 @ 3:43 am

  4. the PS3 is console or is a blue ray player…???? do i want to play games or see movies….????, those are the question people needs to answer first before going to boy the PS3 overpriced console, i think Sony including a Blue ray drive does not make it for hardcore gamers, blue ray does not mean good graphic, even more, means your drive reads way to slower than normal dvd players so from my point of veiw the console is way to overprice, and what i want is a video game console not a blue ray player i really love DVD, there is no movie already made in blue ray, i mean, there is no movie that can really use the 50gb, well i will keep using my Wii until i can affort getting this pieace of shit.

    Comment by Danny — April 2, 2008 @ 7:33 pm


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