Another Sony /facepalm moment: Why the PS3 isn't getting a price drop

Last week when I was reporting on Sony's new Playstation 3 versions, unveiled at their Tokyo Game Show press conference, I voiced the (not uncommon) opinion that Sony should've kept their smaller capacity models and offered them with a price cut.

Engadget had the opportunity to ask SCEA VP of marketing, handhelds and home consoles John Koller about the line of thinking that led to them holding the entry price of a PS3 as high as it is, and got the latest in a long line of Sony-style "LOL, wut?" responses.

Koller told Engadget:

"There's no price drop formally, but the thing that's been happening in the market over the last year or so is that there's been so many retail price promotions, and so many different gift card offers and all those things, being done by all of us (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony), that we've heard from our consumer, 'Enough with all these weird price moves. What we really want is content and games and value.'"

So I guess we should all thank Sony for not complicating our lives by lowering the cost on their gaming console.

Koller also mentioned that Europe is getting a 12 GB PS3 model which presumably will have a low price, but here in North America we love digital content too much to be offered such a system. Sony wants to make sure we can start spending money on PSN as soon as we get that box home without worrying about having to upgrade storage space.

Engadget contrasts this with Nintendo's policy (with the Wii U) of shipping the console with minimal storage and allowing the user to add more how and when he wants to. Got a USB hard drive kicking around? Plug it into your Wii U.

The irony is that the Sony PS3 is built with easy access to the hard drive, and comes with instructions on how to upgrade it. It'll also support USB thumb drives. So Sony is offering an expandable system; they're just opting not to offer a model with minimal on-board storage and a lower price.

As something of a PS3 fanboy, I'm incredibly disappointed that Sony is following this route. The PS3 will be 6 years old in November; there should be at $199 version of the console on store shelves for this holiday season, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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