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PS3 to Sell at Over $800 in UK 379

Posted by Zonk
from the dollar-to-pound-conversion-gets-me-every-time dept.
joe 155 writes "The Register is reporting that ' the PS3 will cost £425 in the UK - over $800'. SCE UK Managing Director Rat Maguire said: 'I don't think it's an expensive machine - I think actually, it's probably a cheap machine. If you think a Blu-Ray player by itself might be £600-700, and we're coming in at just £425, it's a bargain.' Can a console really be viable at this price?"
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PS3 to Sell at Over $800 in UK

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  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday May 19, 2006 @11:57AM (#15366037)

    From TFA (emphasis mine):
    Interviewed by Eurogamer, SCE UK Managing Director Rat Maguire said: "I don't think it's an expensive machine - I think actually, it's probably a cheap machine.
    Now the question is: was this merely an innocent mistake, or actually a subtle commentary by Tony Smith, who is probably pissed that he has to shell out £425 for a PS3?
    • While it is certainly a humorous gaffe, I think it's part of a larger marketing ploy by Sony. Over the next 6 months, we are going to be bombarded with quotes saying that 600 bucks is "really quite cheap." The thing is, knowing how much the average consumer thinks about things, this Jedi mind trick will probably work. Come November, you'll see lots of people stating with perfectly straight faces that "600 dollars for a console isn't expensive."
      • by VJ42 (860241) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:30PM (#15366328)
        Execpt sitting right next to it will be Nintendo's offering at around £200 (probably nearer £150 or £175). I know which one I'm gonna buy, I had the same choice when I went into the shop and saw the PSP bundle at £270 and the DS bundle at £120. I chose the DS, people will buy the Nintendo, especially as it's going to come out at more than 1\2 the price in the UK, and about 1\3 the price in the US
    • You're right! That's embarrassing! It should have been:

      Interviewed by Eurogamer, SCE UK Managing Director Weasel Maguire said...

      Heads will roll for this.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 19, 2006 @11:58AM (#15366040) Journal
    If you think a Blu-Ray player by itself might be £600-700, and we're coming in at just £425, it's a bargain.'
    Buddy, if your logic rests upon the consumer thinking about this being a blu-ray player, then you had better change your marketing strategy.

    When I look for a gaming console, I don't care if it plays 8 tracks. I want to be able to play fun games and I would like to do it without too high of a price tag. If you want people to buy it for blu-ray functionality, you better market it as such because the gaming & movie crowds might overlap but one is far larger than the other.

    And that's not even bringing up the problems me and my friends experienced with first generation PS2s and their ability (or lack thereof) to play DVDs. I haven't played a DVD in a PS2 for years ... now I've learned my lesson and don't care what a console can do aside from gaming.

    Do one thing right and don't bloat your hardware please. You haven't had a spotless track record for testing prior to release and more functionality means a lot more testing.

    Do you want me to see this as "The Playstation Three" or "The Sony Blu-Ray Player"? Pick one and make a solid product.
    • Pardon?

      Do you have any idea how many people went to the store to buy a PS2 for the reason that it can keep the kids happy AND play DVDs? Your previous post assumes that the largest part of the market is into this for the games; it might very well be so that this isn't true. I don't know, either, but what I do know is that not everybody is a hardcore gamer who just wants to have a console for the games.

      I also don't see what's wrong with playing DVDs in the PS2. I bought a PS2 because I wanted to play games
      • by Rydia (556444) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:09PM (#15366145)
        1) The PS2 didn't cost 400 freaking quid
        2) DVD was an emerging standard with a huge and noticeable advantage over the popular storage medium of the time (VHS), while BR is not
        3) Sony will lose money hand over fist if people just buy it as a player without games. However, this doesn't happen, because people do buy consoles for games. The entire business model is driven by this fact.
        4) Did I mention it cost 400 freaking pounds?!
        • The PS2 didn't cost 400 freaking quid

          How much is 400 pounds? It used to be that it was about $575, which wouldn't be so bad (compared to the US price, that is). But apparently that's now $800, which is awful. But is that just a sign of the weak dollar, or does it mean that 400 pounds is a lot harder to earn in Great Britain now?

          Put another way, the Wii at $250 seems like a fair deal to me if it is good. But if that means it will cost the equivalent of $350 in Great Britain, that doesn't sound so goo

          • by hattig (47930)
            about 5 years ago the dollar-pound rate was around 1.4 dollars for a quid.

            So £400 would have been $600.

            Now it's around 1.9 dollars. £400 would be $760.

            Of course, the PS2 launched at $299, I think it launched at £279 over here ($530 with today's exchange rate). That means that in the UK at least, people were willing to pay around $500 for a console (taxes included). If the $499/$599 prices were converted to pounds sterling fairly, they would cost around £329/£389 over here, incl
        • by barawn (25691)
          DVD was an emerging standard with a huge and noticeable advantage over the popular storage medium of the time (VHS), while BR is not

          And, of course, DVD had already proven that it has a market - that is, there were people willing to pay $250-300 for a DVD player.

          Blu-ray drives aren't on the market yet. They might debut at $1000, but if no one buys them there, someone's gonna have to work real fast to drop the price down.

          I sure as hell wouldn't buy a glorified DVD player for $1000.

          Of course, I do wonder if th
      • by eln (21727) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:12PM (#15366177) Homepage
        The problem is that when the PS2 came out, there was still a significant portion of the population that didn't own a DVD player, so it was a real bargain (especially when decent standalone DVD players at the time were close to $200).

        Now, everyone already has a DVD player, and a standalone player can be had for $50. Sure, Bluray is a new technology, but to most people it's just a fancy DVD, and they already have a DVD player. When the PS2 came out, DVD technology had been out for years, and it was in the middle of the transition from "early adopter" product to "mass market" product. Bluray hasn't even really come out yet, and is still in the very early stages of the "early adopter" market.

        Basically, while Microsoft and Nintendo are offering game consoles that immediately appeal to the mass market, Sony is putting in a very expensive cutting-edge technology that pretty much guarantees their primary market will be the affluent early adopters. While this is certainly a viable market, it's a much much smaller one. While this may not matter in commodity electronics, in the gaming industry, where the number of units you can sell has a major effect on how many developers make games for your platform, shooting for such a small market can kill a console before it ever gets off the ground.
      • by iainl (136759)
        "I bought a PS2 because I wanted to play games, but also because I wanted to play DVDs. The PS2 does that well enough, right?"

        In a word, no. At least in the UK, they deliberately crippled the player by only allowing it to output DVDs in composite. By quite a large margin, the PS2 is the worst DVD player I've ever had the misfortune to watch.

        Now, having discovered this last time, why would I hand over £425 (£425!!!) for the follow-up on the grounds that will output BluRay images. We already know
        • > At least in the UK, they deliberately crippled the player by only allowing
          > it to output DVDs in composite.

          Guh-wha? Are you sure? Or did you just not get the right adapter (the PS2 has a
          proprietary video output jack that you need to plug an adapter cable into--if
          all you have the composite adapter cable, then composite is all you can do)?
          My PS2 here in the US does S-Video just fine, thank you very much.

          Chris Mattern
      • My PS2 DVD player would fade in and out, and also had a greatly lowered max volume (to the point that if the traffic was busy outside and the windows were open, I couldn't hear the movie sometimes)

        I fixed the dimming effect by running the PS2 through an RF adapter, degrading the signal.

        So, no, the PS2 didn't meet my expectations for a DVD player and I had to buy another one. Which was part of the reason why I bought the PS2 in the first place, unfortunately.

        • Were you, by any chance, running it off of a daisy chain with your VCR? If so, many VCR's will fade your picture in and out so you can't copy your DVD's to VHS. I'm not sure if they mess with the sound at all. Might be the reason for the fading.

          I've used my PS2 as a DVD player for many years and it has been more than adequate for that purpose.
        • Fading in and out was possibly Macrovision (as another poster suggested), but the quiet audio problem was a well known issue with the PS2. Possibly it was fixed with a later revision.
      • There is a big difference now. Not that many people are gung ho on buying an HD DVD.
        Most people already thing that DVDs are high def. I know they are wrong but it DVDs are for the most part "good enough" kind of like MP3 audio.
        Now you have two different formats and everyone knows that one will fail. I don't know about you but I am waiting for the shake out and only then will I invest in a HD-DVD player and movies.
        I am totally shocked at the amount of really bad press Sony is getting over the PS-3.
      • The PS2 does play DVDs, but there are some issues with it. For one thing, we had this problem where if anyone messed with the controls while watching a movie, the movie had to be started over from the beginning. That's probably because we couldn't understand how to use it correctly and we were trying to use the dual shock controller to play movies. However, I shouldn't have to be a rocket surgeon in order to play a freaking movie on the PS2.

        So, it was far easier just to buy a DVD player.
      • by Xugumad (39311) on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:35PM (#15366985)

        A few points:

        • The PS2 came out at £299, not £425 (or, as I like to call it, almost 50% more).
        • DVDs had been out for several years, and not only were an established format, had a sizable catalogue available (1,000+ titles, I believe). Blu-Ray will have been out for a few months, with a catalogue best measured in dozens.
        • DVDs showed a clear advantage over the previous format, on almost any TV. Blu-Ray shows a noticable advantage (and even less noticable if you've ever tried an upscaling DVD player) on HDTVs... which are still in the minority even in the US, and very much in the minority in the UK.
    • by Evangelion (2145) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:09PM (#15366143) Homepage

      They can't.

      I don't think Sony is capable of NOT trying to control a format. The PS3 is simply thier attempt to get an installed base of Blu-Ray players, fast, and beat out HD-DVD. The rest of the company is simply using the PS division to futher thier own ends.

      WHY they need to control a format is up for grabs -- it's possible it's just thier culture, or the dogma handed down by the leaders that has been followed for decades. But this is the exact same thing as Beta, MD, Memory Sticks, and UMD -- all of which failed to get any support outside of Sony products.

      The PS3 is expensive, but it's the only player in it's domain in Japan -- the Xbox 360 has, somehow, been less successful than the original Xbox over there.

      There's also an interesting column about E3's fallout in Japan [next-gen.biz] that makes the next-gen battle much different over there. It's interesting to note that if the PS3 will be bringing demo/content delivery services to Japan, it would be a revolutionary first, given that Japan's gaming landscape is much different than North America's (difference: Nintendo managed to get game rentals outlawed there back in the day. So game magazines have much more clout, which a demo download service could disrupt.)
    • When I look for a gaming console, I don't care if it plays 8 tracks

      You might not care if the game plays off 8-tracks but remember when Nintendo announced that their N64 system is going to be CARTRIDGES? Nintendo came upon a lot of attack for doing that when the Playstation and Dreamcast were advancing to CDs. So yeah, people care about the medium they're playing on. Whether they care about Blu-Ray remains to be seen, though.
      • "You might not care if the game plays off 8-tracks but remember when Nintendo announced that their N64 system is going to be CARTRIDGES? Nintendo came upon a lot of attack for doing that when the Playstation and Dreamcast were advancing to CDs. So yeah, people care about the medium they're playing on. Whether they care about Blu-Ray remains to be seen, though."

        um how old are you? you do know the problem with carts more than anything else was not that they stored less but that they are wicked expensive. Comp
      • It's not that they don't care about the media, it's that they don't care about other formats that same media is used for.

        Take PS2 for example. I LOVE the fact that they use DVD discs instead of CD's. The DVD's can hold a lot more content and really makes for better games. That being said though, I don't give a flying flip whether or not my PS2 could play DVD movies . I already had a DVD player for that (that cost a lot cheaper than the PS2 did), and I'd get one if I didn't have it. The PS2 was just ne
    • Do you want me to see this as "The Playstation Three" or "The Sony Blu-Ray Player"? Pick one and make a solid product.

      Sony's been rather clear that their long-term strategy, since, at least, the PS2 was on the drawing board, with the "gaming console" was to move toward an integrated entertainment media platform. Whether you agree with it or not, it seems rather unlikely that their going to suddenly change direction between now and the release of the PS3 and have much effect on what the PS3 ends up being.

      • Those are their words, yes. Their actions have been to release a DVD player that doesn't successfully compete with other DVD players, attached to a console that competed very successfully. Will the PS3 Blu-ray player be the same, or different?

        Does it really make sense to try to release an absolute-first-gen player to the mass market (given that most bleeding-edge first-gen buyers are typically both wealthy enough to buy the first round of players, and wealthy enough to quickly upgrade to 2nd or 3rd-gen p

        • I'm not trying to say the Sony strategy is right, or even well-executed. Merely that they've been open for a long time about what it is, that the PS2 was a first step in that direction, that (even around the time of the PS2 release) the next console would be a bigger step in that direction, etc. I'd say, so far, that their marketing hasn't been well directed for what they've been saying in the business press is their strategy for a long time, OTOH, if they want to push it as a Blu-ray player, there is no r
    • by sterno (16320)
      People will buy the PS3. In fact, a lot of people will buy the PS3. The price is high yes, but not so high that it's pricing people out of it. Yes, 425 pounds is $800, but then the dollar has been tanking.

      Are people going to buy PS3 as a blu-ray player? No. But then that's not the point. The point is that when movie studios are looking to support HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, and there's already millions of Blu-Ray players out there because of all the PS3's, what are they going to choose.

      Practically speaking ver
  • by LoverOfJoy (820058) on Friday May 19, 2006 @11:59AM (#15366052) Homepage
    So does anyone know how much the Wii and the 360 will cost there? If everything there just costs more then saying $800 is meaningless.
    • i would think that the wii will be about £200, maybe that with a game, I think you can get a new 360 for about £300. I know we pay loads more for things though. tut.
    • According to Amazon.co.uk a X360 (non-core) costs £279.99, which is about $525 (it's probably a bit less though).

      Naturally nothing has been officially said about the price on the Wii yet.
    • There is no price set for the Wii for any region yet (though reasonably it will be between $200 and $250 in the US), and the X-Box 360 costs 279 GBP (roughly $530~ish).

      See, the real indication about the absurdity of the price is that in any country using Euros, the price has been announced at 499-599 euros, which is already higher than the US price by a significant margin. That converts to 338-405 GBP. It seems they slapped an extra 20 GBP onto the expensive model for no reason whatsoever bringing it ev
      • Before you get too bent out of shape, remember that VAT is mandatory in the EU and adds 17.5% (IIRC) to every purchase. Imagine if every state with sales tax in the U.S. had to post the actual price instead of dinging you at the register and you'll be closer to the EU and British schemes.
    • by Fred Or Alive (738779) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:10PM (#15366159)
      The premium Xbox 360 is £280 (~$530), the crap pack is £210 (~$400), the basic (not value / giga pack) PSP is £150 (~$280) and the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 1 both launched at £300 (~$570), although the latter dropped in price very quickly, and Microsoft ended up giving away some controllers and games to early adopters in compensation. All prices rounded up, and include 17.5% VAT.

      The Pound Sterling price is slightly (about £10-20) more than the Euro one, those British plugs must cost a bomb.
    • I live in UK, but I am not from here and I just get £700 monthly to live. I am *really* looking forward to buy the Revolution (Wii), from the way I have seen prices are driven in UK, it will surely cost £199 (if it is $200 in USA) or ~ £239 if it is $250 in USA.

      I can not understand how this people let themselves get screwed so hard, of course they tend not to feel it. No matter how I show them on Amazon, Ebay, etc they just do not get it. But, if we see for example my girlfried who is wor
      • Re:+1 insightful (Score:2, Insightful)

        by robthebob (742982)
        You say we let ourselves "get screwed so hard" and "they just do not get it" but what can we actually do about it? We know the prices are significantly higher, for no good reason, but we still have to pay them if we want the product. American companies enjoy getting their free 30% markup over here, and they even charge more here than Europe, despite the fact that they don't even need to do any translation here.
      • Anyway, I hate the way Sony is trying to push the PS3, saying "OMG it is almost a gift for what it does!!!"...

        Would that be a gift from the consumer to Sony?
  • This just in.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:00PM (#15366059) Homepage Journal
    Extremely Rich Man doesn't think £425 is a lot of money.

    In other news, a homeless man retracted his suicide plans upon finding a tenner in the gutter.

    • In other news, a homeless man retracted his suicide plans upon finding a tenner in the gutter.
      In other news, Luciano Pavarotti has been found in a gutter.
  • So... not only will the PS23 not sell, but your telling me blue ray is going to be even worse? ...the hell is wrong with you?
  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:05PM (#15366109) Homepage
    This is normal practice in the UK. Our prices are always higher than overseas, it`s nothing new.

    They don`t call us "Treasure Island" for nothing. After all, what are you going to do? Buy an import PS3 and UK games won`t work, plus import tax will kill any saving. Go to Europe to avoid region coding and taxes? How many people actually will?
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      I read somewhere on /. a few weeks ago that the PS3 supposedly has no region locks. Apparently it's the only legitimate defence modchippers have so they removed it.
    • Actually PS3 games would work if you bought an import - Sony have declared that games will be region free.

      But you'd have to make sure you got a 230V model from somewhere otherwise you'll have to buy some ugly line voltage converter to make it work.

  • Not that expensive (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jboost (960475)
    Remember the Neo Geo and 3DO, they were well over $800 (with inflation adjustment). See: http://curmudgeongamer.com/2006/05/history-of-cons ole-prices-or-500-aint.html/ [curmudgeongamer.com]
    • by sqlrob (173498) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:14PM (#15366196)
      And how successful were those consoles?
      • And how successful were those consoles?

        I think that might have been his point. You know, "not that expensive" juxtaposed with same-price consoles that failed--it's obviously sarcasm. Now he's modded a Troll.

        Hey mods! Can you folks read between the lines, or at least practice giving benefit of the doubt?
    • We're comparing it to the NG and 3DO? I thought the point was to be SUCCESSFUL. "Expensive" isn't some sort of absolute comparison to everything that's come before it, it's what people consider above a reasonable price ceiling. The only point you could make with that data is that the PS3 is too expensive, because it's closest comparable compatriots were monumental flops!
    • by rizawbone (577492)
      Remember the Neo Geo and 3DO, they were well over $800 (with inflation adjustment)

      Yeah, and now both companies are bankrupt.

    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday May 19, 2006 @02:26PM (#15367494) Homepage Journal
      PS3 has one major difference to Neo Geo and 3DO: it's only on par with the competition, not leaps and bounds ahead as the various marketing types would have us believe.

      When Neo-Geo came out, we were still playing with 8-bit consoles. Neo-Geo was meant to basically be an arcade-level piece of equipment, and marketed to the class of people who could afford to stick a real Street-Fighter cabinet in their rumpus rooms, but who wanted to swap out games as easily as with a console. NG was even basically the same level of hardware as their arcade machine, which nobody believed could happen back then. And 3DO was a whole different animal, attempting some weirdass hybrid level of interactive video machine during the height of the FMV craze, before everyone had a PC with a CD-ROM.

      Sony, however, doesn't have much to push. Hardcore techies can go on about poly counts and HD, but your average Joe will be able to look at the same demo played on PS3, 360, or Wii and not see any noticeable level of graphical difference. This isn't an 80s arcade-vs-console battle, or even a SNES-vs-Genesis-vs-NES deal where anyone could see the extra detail and capability. The only noticeable difference to anyone without fanboyish loyalty to one brand over another or a particular exclusive killer app to look forward to, is the honking big price tag on one of them.

  • by Orrin Bloquy (898571) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:06PM (#15366115) Journal
    "Outraged chavs complained that it would take saving two or three welfare payments to afford the PS3, and that being unfamiliar with how banks worked they were being unfairly discriminated against."
  • by Ckwop (707653) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:08PM (#15366132) Homepage

    It's not going to stay that price. All the consoles have come down in price relatively quickly. So the question is not whether it is viable but more whether it's a sensible decision.

    The way consoles are sold is quite a clever exercise in capturing the consumer surplus; that is, segmenting your market according to their willingness to pay. You launch at a price that is very high to start with and you capture the relatively small segment of the market that thinks your product is really worth that much. You then slowly lower your price so you hoover up more and more of the people who are willing to part with their cash when the price is more reasonable. Eventually, as you near the end of production, you cut your prices further to get it off the shelves and get the people who want something for nothing.

    The problem Sony has neglected to contemplate is that this Playstation is not launching in the same conditions as the previous versions of the brand. It is not the first to market with the new generation of console. This is crucial, because now Microsoft is already ahead of the curve with the price strategy I described above. At every stage in the price lowering, we'd expect Microsoft to be cheaper than the Playstation. The Xbox 360 is likely to have more games at any given instant than the Playstation 3.

    Another factor here is BluRay. I'd estimate that 80% of Playstation 2s are hooked up to a small TV in some teenageers bedroom. They're not going to go out and buy a High-Definition set for their Playstation 3. They will get no benefit from the enhanced resolution of BluRay and therefore see no reason to buy it.

    For this reason, I expect the Playstation to under perform by a long way. It may even cause the Playstation to fade much in the same way the Dreamcast caused Sega to wash out to see. These are interesting times to be alive.

    Simon.

    • ... The problem Sony has neglected to contemplate is that this Playstation is not launching in the same conditions as the previous versions of the brand. It is not the first to market with the new generation of console. This is crucial, because now Microsoft is already ahead of the curve ...


      I'm not a Sony fanboi or anything (in fact, I'm a self proclaimed Nintendo Whore). With that out of the way.

      I beg to differ.

      2 Words:

      Sega Dreamcast
    • I agree with most of what you have said but there is one thing that stands out

      The Xbox 360 is likely to have more games at any given instant than the Playstation 3

      I don't know if that will be the case by default... remember a bulk of the original Xbox games where multi platform titles (the same is true of the 360 so far... also many games where released first on the Xbox as "exclusive" and then later on the PS2 (some even having the better designed port on the PS2)). Developers will continue, I think, to

    • Funny you include the Dreamcast in your comment and forget that the Dreamcast was the first of the last gen of consoles, shipping a year before the Playstation2 and having a nice assortment of games at the PS2's launch. Yet it failed miserably against Sony's advertising.
      It's true though that the PS2 was certainly stronger than the DC, spec-wise, while the PS3 is not that much stronger than the X360.
    • by vistic (556838) on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:11PM (#15366755)
      "These are interesting times to be alive."


      Indeed! If it weren't for the console wars, life would just be so uninteresting that I would just rather DIE!
    • There is one thing you're neglecting, however. The cheaper console does not necessarily win. It's content that's the ultimate arbiter of the winner. Unlike the previous shift, from Nintendo to Sony during the N64 versus PS1 contest, you're not seeing a mass defection of content providers away from the PS3 to the XBox 360. Moreover, I'd argue that much of the 360's potential head start has been squandered by an underpowered library. It's not unusual to see a crappy set of launch titles on a console, but with
  • by Bastian (66383) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:10PM (#15366150)
    It's only a bargain if I want a Blu-Ray player.

    If I what I'm really looking for is a game console, the added cost for the Blu-Ray player sounds more like several hundred dollars down the toilet.
  • by Wampus Aurelius (627669) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:10PM (#15366157)
    ...Jack in the Box has announced that its new burger, the "Jumbo Jack 2" will be priced at $250 and contain a generous portion of "the finest Russian caviar."

    Jack in the Box CEO Jack said, "I don't think it's an expensive burger. I think it's actually a cheap burger. If you think that that much caviar itself might be $300-$400, and we're coming in at only $250, it's a bargain."

    But...I just wanted a burger.
  • Seppuku? (Score:2, Funny)

    by thepropain (851312)
    In my mind's eye, I see a samurai named Sony running a katana through his belly...
  • This was a great feature of the PS2. You want to know why? It was launched a couple years (maybe more or less, I'm not really sure) after the DVD standard launched, allowing it to have a relatively cheap drive people would _actually_ buy. I remember about a year before I got a PS2 I got a DVD player because I needed one. The PS2 was $300, and I got the DVD player for around $100. I think it will be a long time until a stand-aloneBlu-Ray player can sell for that price. Maybe in a few years when they ca
  • ... only when I'll se the real machine running games!
  • The UK != The US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lave (958216) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:29PM (#15366320)
    I have a couple of points to make about how they are marketing it as a cheap way to get a blu-ray player. This worked brilliantly for the PS2 in the UK. In the same way we all told our parents we needed a PC for "homework" when growing up. This won't work for a number of reasons.

    1) DVD -> Blu-Ray != VHS -> DVD. VHS were terrible. Crappy quality and wore out fast. DVD players let us use our current equipment to get much better picture quality. It was a one purchase upgrade. And it's only become universal in the last few years (now that a dvd player is £30). With Blue-ray moveis I need a new TV or it's meaningless. And a new TV will never reach £30. most people won't upgrade till our current TV breaks.

    2) PAL != NTSC. When I've been in america I have to say - the picture quality is terrible. I can see the desire for HD television there. But in the UK we have very good quality broadcasts. There is less desire for the upgrade.

    3) Freeview. This - in my opinion - is the clincher. Our normal terrestial broadcast (channels 1-5) is the primary method of recieving TV. This will be shut off between 2008 and 2010 to replaced with the currently available "freeview" this provides 30-40 free channels for the price of a set top box. There is much annoyance about this - even when set top boxes are only about £30. "Freeview" doesn't have the bandwidth to provide HD content. So knowing that cable channels in the UK have always been niche, there is no way that people will be willing to upgrade from freeview till at least 2010.

    To me, this suggest that these consoles are a generation early with HD in the UK. And this should have profound effects. In my opinion of course.

    • PAL vs NTSC... do you think it's neccesarily the format, or just how the signal is getting to your place, signal strength and all that? The USA is a big place, so we switched to coax cable fairly early, and often the quality is really blah.

      I'm just guessing though. I mostly know about PAL vs NTSC from programming for the Atari 2600...I know NTSC is "Never The Same Color", but it had a better framerate...
      • There's really nothing wrong with NTSC per se. PAL does have slightly higher resolution than NTSC, but on a closed circuit, e.g. from your DVD player to your TV, it's perfectly fine. It does tend to suffer more than PAL over broadcast, though, which is where it gets its reputation for "Never The Same Color" etc.

        To your point on frame rates (and the original poster) ... every time I go to Europe it takes me a couple of days before I can look at a TV and not see the flicker from the 50Hz refresh rate (vs. the
      • by hattig (47930)
        It's probably the SCART connector between the player and the TV that's showing the good picture quality for PAL vs NTSC. SCART (Eurotel) carries RGB signals, which are far better than composite (although SCART also carries composite in case the TV is cheap and only has 1 RGB compatible SCART input). SCART's been standard in the UK for around 20 years too, so everything has it (apart from the PS2, if the PS3's the same then it can sod off back to Japan).

        PAL (Picture Always Lousy) was only lousy with analogue
  • A Blu-Ray player is completely worthless until there is content for it to play.
  • Just for fun, here's my cross-country price comparison.

    To explain the format a bit, the first column is the country and the native price of the console in that country. The next three columns are THAT price converted to the respective currency. Originating currency price is marked with ='s. Hope this is a clear enough explanation.

    All prices are rounded off. Conversion done via: xe.com

    PS3 Premium
    [Country] [ USD ] [ EUR ] [ GBP ]
    [US: 599] [=599=] [ 467 ] [ 317 ]
    [Eur:599] [ 768 ] [=599=] [ 406 ]
    [UK: 425] [ 80

    • thanks. this is really interesting (I know it might read sarcastically but it's not). I've never really seen the prices all put out in pounds before and I'm shocked that we're paying over £100 more than people in the US. This further highlights what I hate about distribute who make games/films/music. They use the free market to get the stuff made at a really low price in the far east, then put a region code on the stuff so you can't buy it where it is cheapest - blocking the free market. it's even w
    • Note that european prices include VAT.

      UK VAT is 17.5%.
      EU prices vary between 17% and 25% IIRC.

      Sadly everyone picks a safe conversion rate, so instead of the current $1.87 == £1, they'll pick $1.70 to absorb any variancy in their favour.
  • Breaking News: Sony Overcharges for Needlessly Proprietary Electronics! Film at 11.
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday May 19, 2006 @03:29PM (#15368022) Journal
    I think you have to look at the psychology behind console sales. The buyer wants a fun gaming experience, and the ability to pay for the whole thing piecemeal.

    Why didn't you see PS2's bundled with a 5 or 10 pack of games, or even including a memory card and 2 controllers, right in the original box? Simple! Because the typical consumer feels much more comfortable shelling out, say, $600 as $200 here, another $50 here, and maybe $90 there, etc. until reaching that $600 total, rather than bam - $600 up-front.

    I barely know *anyone* who uses a PS2 who didn't buy that 2nd. controller and a memory card, and owns at least 5 or 6 game titles! Yet almost none of them would have paid for all of that in one box, even if it was discounted a little bit as a bundle!

    This is going to be the PS3's problem too. Even if consumers *do* wind up wanting blue-ray players shortly after the thing is released, and feel it's a good value for all the cool games it plays, plus the blue-ray capability - they won't want to swallow the whole cost up-front. It'll just feel like too much of an investment in something that's far from a necessity.

    If Sony wants successful adoption of these units, and this really is close to the cost to build 'em, they're going to have to take a big loss up-front on the sales, and find a way to nickle and dime the buyers on all the "must have" extras and games so they can make it all back in the long-haul.
  • But.... VHS sucked (Score:4, Insightful)

    by popo (107611) on Friday May 19, 2006 @05:44PM (#15369102) Homepage

    That's why DVD inclusion in the PS2 wasn't a dumb idea.

    DVD's were a massive leap over the pathetic quality (and "sequential access") of VHS.

    By contrast, DVD's don't suck. So Sony, if your potential market is people who have HD Televisions AND want to be early adopters of unproven media AND don't mind waiting for a meaningful list of available titles to become available AND don't mind shelling out goofy amounts of cash per title... then congratulations on your "niche".

    For a second there we thought you guys were trying to make a mass market product.

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