July 12, 2007

And I'm Back Too!

So yeah, I didn't announce my big vacation plans, but like Noumena I took some vacation time back on the good ol' West Coast. Saw the family and friends and all that, and I might post up some pics later on. In the meantime, the shadow of the formerly glorious E3 is going now and despite the smaller show there are some decently sized announcements.

First, EA has released the names of 15 tracks to be included in Rock Band. Here they are.

Also, the PS3 got a "price cut." I use to good ol' scare quotes because, as happens oh so often, the nerd fights are all ablaze about whether this actually counts as a price cut. See, last year Sony released two SKUs of PS3, the 20gb version for $499 and the 60gb version for $599. Now, Sony never intended the 20gb version to be the "real" system because they lost more money on it than the more expensive counterpart. To that end they never really produced many of those systems and eventually stopped producing it entirely. Then they decided to release an 80gb version, which they've now priced at $599 with the 60gb now at $499. I think both sides of the debate are, to an extent, right. The 60gb model is now $100 cheaper than it used to be. On the other hand, if I wanted to buy a PS3 last year, it would cost me at least $500. This year if I want a PS3 it will cost me at least $500. The cost of entry is the same, even if the purchase brings me a better product. To take the car buying analogy, some people go in to buy an Audi and buy one no matter what the price is. Most people, I should think, have a fixed budget; they'll buy the best car they can get for $20,000. It doesn't matter if the 2006 Audi has just received a price cut from $40,000 to $30,000, that person isn't buying an Audi. You can certainly characterize this as a price cut for the 60gb PS3, but for the majority of the buying public this is a meaningless price cut because it hasn't lowered the price of entry. I don't want to spend $500 for a gaming console so I'm not buying a PS3 until it just costs less, fancy new features or not.

As happens when I go away from the office, I'm pretty swamped right now, but hopefully I'll get some time to get back to posting regularly soon.

2 comments:

Drew said...

I just don't get the "not price cut" argument. It's a price cut. Will it be an irrelevant price cut, because of the factors you mentioned? Perhaps. Your analysis sounds pretty good to me. But it's still a price cut.

And it has definitely made me more inclined to buy the PS3 than I was this time last week.

MosBen said...

I think the unique factor this generation is the presence of multiple SKUs in the market. In previous console generations, when a company announced a price cut it meant you could now go buy Console X for less money. New features have never really been a part of the industry, so while the 60gb version is technically $100 less than it used to be, the price of entry to get a PS3 is the same. It's just that "price cut" has traditionally had a very specific meaning within the console industry.

This is somewhat moot though, as it was just announced that the reason for the price cut is that the 60gb version is going the way of the 20gb version, phased out to make way for the new 80gb version. So even though right now you can get a cheaper version, pretty soon a PS3 will simply cost $600.