Sony announced on Monday a $50 price cut to its Playstation 3 gaming console, during the Gamsescom conference in Germany.
The console will now cost $249, which is $351 less than its original asking price of $600. The console, which came out in 2006, has struggled in sales against its main competitors, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii. The Wii was the frontrunner in sales for a while, but its momentum has halted dramatically and the Xbox 360 has taken over the top slot according to research firm NPD Group.
"With the breadth and depth of services and content available for the PS3 system, including its impressive BD software line-up and the expansive portfolio of more than 60,000 games and video content available on PlayStation Network, the new price will make the platform more accessible than ever and will appeal to a wider audience looking to buy the best entertainment system for their home," Sony said in a statement.
Sony, along with Microsoft, marketed the PS3 in its later years as an all-around entertainment platform. With Netflix, Blu-Ray, Internet and other services, it's shifted away from the strictly gaming console label. The Tokyo-based company has tried to use this as a way to get more consumers, but price has always been a sticking point.
"Consider the difference between this generation, PS3 and last generation, PS2. The PS2 was under $200 after only 18 months of being on sale. This is still over $200, even after this most recent price cut, after five years," Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told IBTimes.
While most video game analysts agree the Wii's best days are behind it, PS3 has still failed to overcome it and the Xbox 360. The price cut could be a desperate move from the company to try and gain traction in an industry that has seen reduced sales. Scott Steinberg, veteran video game analyst at http://www.toptechexpert.com, sees it differently, however. He sees it as a savvy aggressive move from Sony.
"This is a proactive strike from Sony," Steinberg said. "They have a great product, a strong software catalog, leadership in 3D gaming and strong digital offerings with Playstation Home. Now they need to command attention and dropping the price of the PS3 does just that. It ushers in new users that may have been previously sitting on the fence."
Steinberg says by dropping the price of the PS3 to the same cost as the Wii once was, it is making a great case as to why it should be in the living room. Pachter says it's a bold, smart move, which puts the onus on Microsoft.
"If Nintendo doesn't react, Sony has a big advantage," Pachter added.