There it is; I am finally bashing Sony. Cold day in Hell or something, or some would just say I have finally seen the light known as 360. Actually it has nothing to do with the 360 or brand loyalty. I can and do buy the gaming systems that capture my imagination, but the Xbox and 360 have never done it for me.
Honestly I am not worried about the price; I can absorb a $600 video game system because I do not often waste my hard earned money on frivolous purchases. Money to burn if you will. Buy why burn money? In my opinion it is frivolous to spend $500-600 on a game system before you throw in any games, online subscriptions, extended warranties (you better buy insurance on the thing given Sony’s PS track record), extra controllers, etc.
Maybe Sony figures that consumers will fork over $600 for a Blu-Ray system that plays games. That is what happened with the PS2 and DVDs; sales of DVD movies went nuts. At the time many analysts debated if this was due to the lack of a decent game library or just the cheap (relatively speaking compared to DVDs players at the time) entry point into the world of DVDs. No games worth playing, so why not watch a movie? I know one of the big advantages for me was the built-in DVD play. So Sony may assume this will happen again with the Blu-Ray format, but I am not in the market for a $600 Blu-Ray player that happens to play games. I bet many others feel the same way.
Lucky for us Sony has decided to be benevolent with a cheaper PS3 alternative that is only $500. I guess that is a different discussion from this post, but that stripped down system is a damn joke. I have to believe that the two versions of the system that came out of E3 are going to shape up differently before the US launch. I could be wrong. I suppose it is actually conceivable that Sony actually has a plan of attack to prove the naysayers wrong.
I cannot believe that Sony is so damn foolish (some would say arrogant) to believe that the mass market will absorb a $600 system. There is no way that is going to happen. Sure the initial shipment may be a slam dunk among the hardcore Sony faithful and those in the market for a Blu-Ray system that plays games, but I fully believe that the average Wal-Mart shopper could care less about system specs (or any other perceived advantage that Sony thinks it has over its competitors).
So where does all this leave me? I assume I will pre-order a PS3 and flip it for double on eBay, but for now I am content with my PS2. But for how long? Will EA offer up some compelling sports title (NCAA Football, Madden, NCAA Baseball) that is exclusive for the PS3, or maybe a version of one of these franchises that has some sort of must have exclusive PS3 features? The next version of Gran Turismo? Some killer hack-and-slash action RPG? An awesome new racing experience? Maybe the next coming of Elite? I just do not know what Sony is going to do to try to convince me that I have to have a PS3 regardless of the price point.
For now I keep window shopping for 360s, and looking for more Wii information (price? release date?). I have to believe that there are many PS2 owners besides me that feel the same way. Even owners that show tremendous faith in Sony have to be wondering what the hell Sony is thinking.
Gates? Gates has to be giggling. Yes, it is still early days, and maybe Sony does have some inconceivable plan to capture this generation of System Wars. As for me, I think Sony has made a tremendous mistake assuming the American market is ready for the PS3 at its current price point.