Monday, October 23, 2006

The $600 Playstation

So Sony is sending out an a new Playstation in November. This one will be called the Playstation 3. It's kind of a Plain Jane kind of name but looking at its direct competitors (the upcoming Nintendo Wii and the XBox 360) maybe plain is better. In an interesting move by Sony the console will cost a staggering $600. I can count the number of things I've spent $600 or more on with two hands and still have enough digits left over to show Sony what I think about that price (I'd only need one digit and it wouldn't be a thumb). That's hideous. My TV cost $280. My first car was only $1200.

Am I alone here? I mean sure it's going to be a BluRay player too (that's a DVD-like disc that plays HD movies) but wouldn't I need an HDTV to appreciate that? Does anyone on this group even have an HDTV? I almost bought one but it didn't work because my plan to buy the non-working one dirt cheap, then buy the exact same model new, and then return the broken one by passing it off as the new one was foiled by the manufacturer printing the stupid serial number on the box. But other than that, anyone?

Then Sam Kennedy (the editor of a gaming site 1up.com) had the audacity to say, "The thing about the PS3 you can't forget is that it's a Blu-ray player, too." How can I forget when the bulk of the $600 price is because of the BluRay player?

And speaking of BluRay, it's not even the only upcoming disc to play HD movies. There will also be one called HD-DVD. Do we really expect the makers of the veneralbe Betamax format to be capable of pushing a new video format when another one already exists?

I know I'm not the target audience here, but is the target audience even going to get this thing? I'm sure they'll want it but since that target audience is preteen to teenage males, they're going to have to talk their parents into buying it for them. Are parents going to fork over that kind of cash for a gaming console? As much as parents have a tendency to shower money on their children nowadays, I have to think more than a few of them will take pause at spending this kind of cash (or more likely credit).

What are your thoughts on this issue? I wanted to find out what the non-nerd world thinks about this $600 gorilla of a gaming system.

10 comments:

liberalandproud said...

Ridiculous! I sure hope most parents resist the pleadings of their teenagers. I know several teens who are making pretty good money right now. Most of them are making that money helping the over 50 set understand and use technology. Unfortunately, I'd bet at least half of them will shell out that big chunk of change to have this latest tech toy. The rest will get it from parents or grandparents for Christmas. If that doesn't work, they'll combine their wages with all the Christmas cash that'll be coming in come December and afford it that way. Then again, maybe today's teens are smarter than either we or the tech toy industry give them credit for. Maybe they'll realize that the price is just too high and their money would be better spent. Maybe.

Patrick Armstrong said...

I don't even think this product is geared towards teenaged males as much as it is marketed to 20-30 something single males with entry level jobs, willing to make a stupid decision because video games have been such a part of their lives.

But, those teenaged males who do get it will be the ones with wealthy parents who are already buying Little Jimmy his brand new Infiniti coupe or Escalade soon as he turns 16.

Buzzzbee said...

Yeah, $600 is a lot. Especially when you can get an Xbox360 for half that. Ever since I was a kid and my parents bought me an Atari when everyone else had a nintendo (my dad loves Galaga), I've managed to stay at least 1 step behind the latest in gaming technology. I have a regular Xbox, but honestly, I'd be as satisfied with a SuperNES. Especially now, since I don't have time to play either.

However, since I used to both sell electronics and work with a total gamer-addict I do have a bit insight here. When I would explain HD, and HD DVDplayers to customers, I would use the betamax v. VCR example. The reason is, that's where the two are right now. BluRay and HDDVD are fighting over which is going to be the new format. Both have released players and some movies have been released in both formats. One big problem, which patrick mentioned, is; HDTV sales haven't exactly taken off yet. They're ok, but that's only because you can't buy a NonHDTV over 42in. now, per Uncle Sam. Starting next year, you won't be able to buy a tv in any size that can't play an HDsignal. Why buy a BluRay player or HDDVD player, if you don't have an HDTV and there are only two movies out in each format?

The interesting thing about this is that Sony has a vested interest here. Sony is part of the "BluRay Disk Association (BDA)" and they've already placed their bets on BluRay. Aside from it's videogame and electronics operations, they're also in the movie industry and have begun releasing some of their movies in BluRay format.

The point is, Sony really want's BluRay to take off and this is a way of pushing it. Whether this is a good idea or not, is yet to be determined. $600 is a lot of scratch and BluRay capability isn't going to sell that extra $300.

Buzzzbee said...

correction, I should've said "as Dante pointed out" when I was talking about the HDTV sales, not Patrick.

patsbrother said...

Dante, as you wanted lay opinions on the subject, here it is:

I don't give two wits about the "stupid tax" some corporartion places on an unnecessary gadget for which there are multitudinous alternatives, likely in one's own possession, especially when those most likely to pay the stupid tax possess expendable income and time. Perhaps growing up on a silly-rich island I had the time to get used to the stupid tax and those that pay it.

Something else does seem odd here to me, Dante. For someone who previously has seemed so in favor of a libertarian vision of the economy, and who (if memory serves) takes the "don't like it, don't buy it" eh approach, I find your response to PS3 a bit humorous. When Pat cares about the wages and practices at Walmart: eh. When the needless PS3 costs more than you want to pay: it's bird hunting season and the middle fingers are the first to fire.

I'm all about idiosyncracies, and I am amused to have finally found one of your's.

Signed, PB
(who is wildly content with N64, MarioKart, Goldeneye, Mario Tennis, and Tetrisphere)

Dante said...

"Something else does seem odd here to me, Dante. For someone who previously has seemed so in favor of a libertarian vision of the economy, and who (if memory serves) takes the "don't like it, don't buy it" eh approach, I find your response to PS3 a bit humorous."

I'm not entirely sure why.

My primary focus (as far as I was aware) was that Sony priced their system too high and the things that they're relying on to justify the price (HD content and parents paying for their kids' gaming consoles) may not be there for them this time around like it was with the PS2.

Sony has every right to charge what they want for their console and I don't doubt some people will buy it. At the same time I can give them the middle finger for them expecting me to pay $600 for a gaming console. I think they've priced it too high to be competitive. I don't think anyone should interefere with Sony's pricing. I just think the market won't tolerate it. I know I won't. I was curious if the rest of you thought the same.

If this causes some sort of idiosyncracy, I am not aware of it. I am generally speaking a very cheap person. If I don't like the price I won't buy the product, but I may complain, and I may speculate that I think the price is so high that the product may fail.

S.A.W.B. said...

I am one of those folks with an HDTV. I've even got a HD Sattelite reciever for my DirecTV, which makes my English Premier League games come in that much more sharply. I've also already stated to SWMBO that I WILL be shelling out the $250 for the Wii.

I've disliked the Xbox since it came out, mainly from some design issue standpoints. I've never been impressed with what Sony has put out with the PS1, or PS2. I may be a 'Nintendo homer', but I like the product that they put out, both hardware and software wise, a whole lot better than what the other two guys are putting out. That, and Nintendo is putting out the product for less than the other guys dreamed of, consistently.

patsbrother said...
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patsbrother said...
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S.A.W.B. said...

Attention Roxy, the spamming idiot. Your comments have been deleted, and will continue to be so, unless you try to stay on topic, and not spam for hits on your miserable blog.

Thank you for playing.

The management.