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Sony Unveils Slimmer PS3, Prices Console At $299
Sony Unveils Slimmer PS3, Prices Console At $299
August 18, 2009 | By Kris Graft

August 18, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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    27 comments
More: Console/PC



After months of rumors, image leaks, and "no comments," Sony confirmed Tuesday that it is introducing revised PlayStation 3 hardware that is smaller than the original, and priced $100 cheaper at $299. The new model houses a 120GB hard drive and launches the first week of September.

Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai introduced the new smaller, slimmer hardware at GamesCom in Cologne, Germany. The "slim" will go for €299, and ¥29,980 in respective territories. Sony also said that it is dropping the price of the current model PS3 to match those prices, according to an official Sony Computer Entertainment Europe liveblog.

The new model will have the same functionality as the previous model, Hirai said.

By introducing a cheaper, slimmer PS3, Sony might finally appease critics from the publishing and financial sectors who have been calling for a cheaper, more competitive price since launch. Until now, Sony had been typically going the "value-added" route, offering PS3 hardware bundled with popular games. The last PS3 price cut was about a year ago.

Sony was resistant to cut the price of the PlayStation 3 further as the company worked toward profitability. But recently, a Sony exec said that the company had reduced PS3 build costs by 70 percent.

At $299, the price is now considerably more competitive with Nintendo and Microsoft hardware. The Wii currently sells for $250, while the lower-end, hard drive-less Xbox 360 starts at $199.

Sony reported in late July that sales of PS3 hardware were down for the first fiscal quarter, from 1.6 million to 1.1 million year on year. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Andrew House said Tuesday that PS3 hardware has sold through 23.7 million units worldwide to date.


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Comments


Michael Pulst
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I want to see pics of this thing. Like good high res pics. I'm tempted to ebay my 80GB PS3 w/ BC and pick this thing up along with a PSPGo. I'm such a sucker for the sleek look of electronics.

steve roger
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"How's this for a description: it's a PS3, but slimmer

18:35 Jem Alexander:



smaller, lighter, all the same features your current PS3 has

18:35 Jem Alexander: It will be available for 299 euros, 299 dollars and 29,980 yen.

18:35 Jem Alexander: The price has also JUST dropped for all current PS3s on the shelf.

18:35 Jem Alexander: Like, right now.

18:36 Jem Alexander: Kaz has left the stage, to thunderous applause."



What would the advantage be to buy the ones on the shelf? Does the new version have the same features?



I am looking forward to watch the numbers roll in for Sony, just as much as the domino effect this will have on Nintendo and Microsoft.



This price drop is the one thing that Sony has that is more effective than a price drop on the 360 and Wii. Because you get a blue ray player and an awesome gaming machine for $299.99. Obviously, the Wii and 360 can't match that feature set.



This is why this business is so great, it is like a dramatic television series.

Dan Saundberg
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The next gen game console war starts NOW!

E Zachary Knight
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It takes amazing fortitude to hold onto a secret for so long when said secret has been circulating around the web for months. It takes testicular fortitude to deny those rumors even when you know they are true. I think Sony has had the hardest time this generation keeping any secrets.

Mike Lopez
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It's about #@$#$@ time. Hopefully M$ will do a further drop and those moves will kickstart retail video game sales back into growth.

Roberto Alfonso
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Looks pretty nice, and near Wii price. But to say the war starts now... that war is already finished ;-)

Liam Devine
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What a surprise. Like we didn't already know it was coming and that Europeans would also be charged more. How much longer will companies get away with converting Dollars to Euros at a one to one rate?

brandon sheffield
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Liam - probably forever.

Kevin Wei
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This is great news. But won't people that own the old PS3 feel jacked?

That's how I felt when I first got the PS2 and a few months later the slimmer, sleeker version came out.

Liam Devine
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Brandon you are probably correct but how can they justify a £70 difference between the US and UK version whilst keeping a straight face? It annoys the hell out of me.

Eric Carr
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Hmm, on the one hand I want to say it's too little and too late, since both the Wii and the 360 have already claimed most of the market share.

Yet, for $299 I wants one.

@ Kevin. Maybe. But people that bought an old one can be content with the fact that their's is full of components that cost a whole lot more to make.

brandon sheffield
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liam - I think they presume that europeans should have a higher standard of living and pay - but we know that's not really true!



and kevin - I doubt it - it's functionally no different, so why would they feel bad? only extreme gadgeteers will need the smaller version. I imagine people who bought a PS3 in the last 2-3 months would feel pretty crappy though.

Alberto Barbosa Cabrera
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@kevin



I bought my PS3 since it arrived in mexico, I paid like 900 us dollars for it. I didn´t feel bad when the cheaper versions came out, or this one, as I know that it will result in benefits for the whole community: more PS3´s - more and better services & games.

steve roger
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"Kevin Wei

This is great news. But won't people that own the old PS3 feel jacked?

That's how I felt when I first got the PS2 and a few months later the slimmer, sleeker version came out."



Well, if you bought it recently, like within the last 6 tp 8 months, it would be annoying. However, if you bought at launch, you are an early adopter (such as me). Early adopters always pay more. So, you can't be pissed, as lower prices are expected.



If you did buy in the last year, a price cut has been looming the whole time, so if you bought at full price you did so, fully expecting to see it drop. You shouldn't be complaining, but if you didn't know, because you are a casual user, then I feel for you.



I consider myself lucky because I bought on day one (They handed out numbers the morning before the gamestop store opened, I got number 5, and they had 9 of them.) Fifty some people walked away empty handed after sitting outside in the cold for hours. Also, I got one of those coveted completely backwards compatible models--that contains the PS2 chipset. Therefore, no sour grapes here.



However, I feel completely different about the PSP.

Aaron Eastburn
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What Steve said.



I got mine on Craigslist and paid quite a bit for a used one with the PS2 chip in it. I have played PS2 games on it as well as PS1. I use it every day to stream media that I have on a seperate computer to my living room. I also use it weekly to watch Blu-Ray movies I get from Netflix. Still runs fine, the only complaint I have is that when it is loaded with Linux it only has access to one core of the multi-core CPU and not much RAM.

Christian Nutt
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@Liam, Doesn't the MSRP in Europe include VAT or other taxes? In the US, it's $299.99 pre-tax, as tax rates are set by individual states. Of course, there is still a discrepancy even accounting for that, but it's part of the equation.

Dave Smith
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the only question is did they lower production costs to the point that its cheap and unreliable? im still a little wary. maybe i'll buy up one of the old ones.

Dan Saundberg
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This is a game changer, and "The Console Wars Start Now!" comment is due to the fact that we are on year 3 of the 10 year console cycle, so are not even half way thru the cycle.



Those that watched the E3 shows Sony was impressive, as was MS but NES had a less impressive line-up this year, they simply had nothing new or impressive to show. So MY prediction is that by the end of the cycle 2016 the PS3 is going to be the top console. See ya in 2016!



Not only at $/€ 300 is the PS3 a great console, (the most advanced feature wise)!

At 300 it's one of the best and cheapest BR players (it's cheaper than 90% of the players i have seen)!



Anyone in the market looking for a Blue Ray player that does not seriously consider buying a PS3 is not thinking right, and not thinking about saving money.

Z Z
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@ Dan



The 10 year cycle doesn't mean no other consoles will be released in that period. It doesn't mean that it is going to be Wii vs Xbox360 vs PS3 until 2016. It just means the PS3 is planned to have a cycle similar to the PS2 (i.e. it is still selling and selling software for a long time). An Xbox720, new Nintendo console, or PS4 could easily be released in 2 or 3 years. I don't think the 10 year cycle is something you just decide, the quality of your games decide if you have that 10 year cycle. For instance, Xbox360 should also easily have a 10 year cycle because of the quality of their games this generation in comparison to last. By 2016 we'll be talking about new consoles while the PS3 and Xbox360 will still be selling pretty well and played quite a bit.

ashish pratap
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Please launch PS3 in India at the same price... We end paying double becoz of taxes on console :(

Dan Saundberg
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@ B N The current "next gen" console cycle started 2006 and end 2016. That's a cycle. The consoles launched in that cycle are the ones that you can compare, all 3 manufactures have announced that this console cycle is 10y (i.e. I am not making it up from thin air).



If you don't compare oranges to oranges that does not count. If you count oranges to apples then the PS2 is the current console king and Sony has a very big lead if you combine the sales of the PS2+PS3 vs XBox+X360 vs GC+Wii.



In 2010 (~half way cycle) we have 2 platforms doing a refresh, by adding motion sensing solutions Natal, and Sony's HarrysWand. The Wii has the the technical lead on that field. Pretty much what i am saying here is that by having a new more reasonable and competitive entry point ($300) at the end of the 10 years there will be more PS3 units sold than X360's and Wii's. So see ya in 2016 and let's add up the numbers.

Peter Dwyer
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It would appear from first glance that europe and the uk are directly subsidizing the US price cut. 299 euro is 420 dollars. That makes the american units a full 120 dollars cheaper than the european units. Even given taxes and shipping (which applies to both the US and europe) there is at least a 100 dollar descepency in the exchange rates.



Nice announcement tainted by underhanded pricing structures. Especially as companies have been blatantly raising prices due to what they call the weak pound, euro etc. etc.

Alex Chiang
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Too little, too late IMO. Why get a PS3 now when I'm so invested in my 360?

Tyler Peters
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The iphone (and previously ipods) got annual memory upgrades and often price drops at the same. Seldomly have people complained. It's the curse of being an early adopter. After nearly 2 years out there, I think most of us who bought the original model don't feel scammed.

Still, I'm buying the new one.

Roberto Alfonso
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@Dan: I already wrote this somewhere else, but can't find it anywhere.



* 8 bit generation: NES (1983 - 1995), Master System (1985 - 1996*)

* 16 bit generation: SNES (1990 - 2003), Genesis (1988 - 1997)

* 32/64 bit generation: N64 (1996 - 2002*), Saturn (1994 - 2000), PS (1994 - 2006), DC (1998 - 2001/06/09)

* last generation: GC (2001 - 2007), Xbox (2001 - 2006), PS2 (2000 - ??)



Note that Nintendo launched the SNES 7 years into the NES (which survived for 5 more), while Sega launched the Genesis three years into the MS life (and which survived for 8 more). Then Nintendo launched the N64 6 years into SNES (which went on for 7 more), while Sega launched the Saturn in 1994 (6 years after the Genesis launch, which went on for 3 more).



Numbers in * are approximations (usually last licensed game).



So, knowing this generation is almost 4 year old (with the Xbox 360 launching in 2005), if the generation will last 10 year, it should surprise nobody if we start seeing new announcements next year for consoles launching on 2011 or 2012. It has passed in the last 25 years of the industry, so why shouldn't it continue happening? There is already a clear winner and a clear loser ;-)



By the way, to Europeans complaining about euros and dollars, do you earn your money in dollars or euros? So tired about that complain! I wish it would cost $299 in Argentina, which would be like USD 80!

Leo Gura
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As the disclaimer goes: Past results don't necessarily indicate future performance.



Nintendo has always kept to about 7 years per generation. Sony 10 years. Microsoft... well, there's really not enough history there. That said, I think it's obvious that this generation is going to be abnormally long given the higher development costs. Graphics just aren't driving games sales right now and it's taking longer and longer for the price-point to become consumer friendly. All that, plus factor in the economy and Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo would have to be crazy to launch a new console any time soon. The industry has changed a lot since the 90's. I'll make an exception for Wii HD :)

Liam Devine
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"By the way, to Europeans complaining about euros and dollars, do you earn your money in dollars or euros?"

Neither I get payed in GB Sterling and your point is?



"So tired about that complain! I wish it would cost $299 in Argentina, which would be like USD 80!"

You seem to be missing the point. $299 would be about 1150 Pesos and this assumes the cost is living is equivalent between the countries. Out of interest how much is the PS3 slim in Argentina?


none
 
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