back to article Sony poo-poos £299 PS3 claims

Sony has played down claims that it's about to announce a cut-price PS3 for the UK. Of late, the net's been alive with rumours that a USB-less PS3 would be offered to UK consumers in time for Christmas. The price? £299, rather less than the £425 the existing 60GB model retails for. But in addition to the loss of USB ports - …


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  1. Ash

    I've heard this before...

    It's the Apple price-plan! Screw the early-adopters, then knock off £150 and sell more to the rest while STILL making a disgusting profit. Compare price with an iPod Touch on a postcard for a demonstration.

    I wonder if they'll offer some £10 vouchers to spend on PS3 games for the early birds? One per purchase, obviously...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must be true then...

    Looking at Sony's track record, whenever they vehemently deny something it usually turns out to happen exactly as predicted - despite what their Chairman or the official Spin Doctors may say.

    The story of an imminent price cut of a PS3 seems remarkably familiar. Anyone else remember the American discount that wasn't to be.... until - surprise surprise - it suddenly happened.

    If I was thinking about getting a PS3, I wouldn't be getting one right now... I'd save £125 by waiting until Sony backtracks yet again on what it has promised won't be happening. It's not in their interest (nor that of the developers) if all potential PS3 owners hold off for a couple more months, but it's definitely in my interest to do so.

  3. Nick Palmer


    ...there's a division of Sony actually dedicated to coming up with new ways to gimp their consoles for the Euro market, I'd have thought this was pretty unlikely.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's a shame

    Yeah, I agree, the rumour doesn't sound like it has much substance to it. It's a shame though, because £300 has always been the price point at which I'll buy a PS3. I've got more than enough money to pay £425, but it's simply too expensive for what it is and for how few quality games are available. Perhaps I'll buy one when GTA comes out finally - the price will have come down properly by then.

  5. Chris Haynes

    What would benefit Sony the most?

    Ten people buying the current version of the PS3 for £299, or no one buying the current version for £425?

    They should just drop the price to a more reasonable level and watch as people actually start to buy it.

    Until the price drops to such a level, I'll be keeping my money firmly in my wallet.

  6. Tim Lake

    Maybe true but strange

    The essential story may be true, but I agree with the author that the rumoured cuts seem strange. The controllers are charged through USB, external hard drives/keys etc are usable through them and future devices such as the new Playstation Eye will use USB as well.

    Also, the backward compatibility is software in Europe (unlike in Japan and the US where actual PS2 hardware is used) so there is no saving to make there. If they were suggesting a smaller harddrive and no card slots (like the 20gb model that was orignally planned for launch in Europe) then it might make sense but I can't see anywhere else they can make much of a saving in production costs.

    Of course, a straight reduction on the existing model is still in the frame.

  7. Darren Coleman

    Chinese whispers

    Whilst it's possible they could release another variant with hardware removed as the article states it would be counter-productive to remove software which doesn't cost them anything to bundle (development costs are already paid) or USB ports which surely have a trivial build cost and are integral to recharging the wireless controllers.

    More likely I guess is that the unit would come without a BD drive, surely the most expensive component. Do current games come on BD discs regardless of the capacity used?

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  10. Luke Wells

    Sonys usual line....

    "There are no rootkits on our music CD's"

  11. Mike

    Agreed about the £300 price point

    £300 is the "sweet spot" where suddently the PS3 becomes an impulse buy.

    Frankly I'm ashtonished Sony hasn't realised this and taken the hit in order to push Blu-Ray as the definitive HD format to own. Especially whilst Microsoft are still playing around with an external HD-DVD add-on to their Xbox. Bring the PS3 down below £300, push Blu-Ray for Christmas when people are splashing out on HDTV and suddenly you've captured the market, shirley?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe half true...

    Removing USB ports would be stupid, sony make alot of money from accessories (eyetoy, etc) and they hardly add much cost to the unit compared to other things. Plus it would completly cripple the system from an expandability point of view. Removing the card reader might be more likely.

    Removing BC support is more likely, there is still hardware in the PS3 specific to BC (The PS2s GS GPU is still in there, since it's not emulated yet).

  13. AndyB

    Profit and loss


    IIRC, Sony make a loss on every sale of the PS3 (figures over £100 have been bandied about). So unless the bits they chop out of the PS3 'lite' save a whacking amount of production costs then they are going to make things even worse for themselves (if this rumour is true, which I doubt).

    IIRC Nintendo are the only one of the current console makers that makes a pukka profit on each console sold.

    MS, supposedly, just about break even with the '360, though figures bandied about differ wildly.

  14. Iain

    I've heard this before...

    A version with worse backwards compatibility for less money? What, you mean like the one that Sony stiffed Europe for _MORE_ money than the US and Japanese versions on release?

    It's a really dumb idea, which is why it's so believable.

  15. Alistair MacRae

    This can't be true

    There's no way they'd drop USB support.

    They can't really cut anymore features now.

    I'm not sure what Sony thinks it's doing with the PS3. Its market share of the "next gen" is around 20%

    They must drop the price.

    The only reason I can think of them not doing it yet is because no big selling games are out.

    The trouble with that idea is that no new developers will want to make a game for a console that has such a poor market share. (Not to mention how difficult it is to work with)

    I would pay £250-280 for the PS3 provided they had a game I medically needed

  16. Greg's already £300

    Hate to chuck a spanner in the works of the old "waagh it's too expensive" argument, but *certain* retailers are already doing PS3s for £300...

  17. Mark Williams


    Maybe Sony could cut out the Blu-ray, the USB ports, the wireless, use old PS2 controllers and increase the PS2/PS1 compatibility, and drop the price. They could call it a PS2!

  18. Tony Barnes

    Current price is irrelevant... the long term. They won't be making a profit on current units, this won't bother them, they never intended to.

    They will make a profit on the millions of them that they sell after they get their manufacturing costs down. This won't take too long, then they will coin it in.

    In the meantime they should be making a killer profit from game sales. Ah, what's that you say, all the games are crap?? Oh well, looks like they'll just have to put up with massive loss of income for now...

    The "dropping" of bits is laughable - ffs, they won't do it, so don't even entertain it. A price cut because they have suddenly overcome a technology price problem (/ Mr Dave in China has come up with a "new" version of something...) is a possibility, though not a big one.

    Personally, I'm waiting for it to hit sub £199, come with a bigger hard drive, and have vibration in the six-axis controller...

    ...luckily I'm patient, and happy in the knowledge that by the time it reaches that price, developers world wide will have properly got their heads around coding for the cell chip.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep It

    They wont drop either usb or emulation lol!!

    They Can keep it even at £299

    Thats Still $604 US

    For what i suspect is a 40gig model

    Usa Pays $499 for a 60gig model with hardware ps2 and 7 blueray disc's

    and ad the moment we are paying $850 for a 60gig with no ps2 hardware

    and no blueray

    People in this day and age dont like being ripped off so badly

  20. Ross Fleming Silver badge

    RE: Current price is irrelevant

    "They will make a profit on the millions of them that they sell after they get their manufacturing costs down. This won't take too long, then they will coin it in."

    Er, you mean like Microsoft did with the original XBox? Report in September 2005 about the $4billion loss they made just so they could crack the market? I doubt the situation improved much. It's a long term strategy that would only come to fruition after the PS4... Behold MS and the XBox 360!

  21. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Doesn't make sense

    There's no way Sony could make serious inroads into the price of the PS3 without compromising the compatibility of the machines.

    It can't reduce the number of Cell processors without interfering with the development of games - the dev kits are already out there with seven processors. And the last thing the machine needs is any interruption to the trickle of games arriving to market.

    It can't scrap the Blu-ray drive. Not only is BD Sony's trojan horse into everyone's living room, its the money spinner they need for the next decade - owning the patents, codec, pressing plants and distribution system for media is how Sony intend to remain rich into the future. But also, PS3 games are being shipped on BD - there's no way companies would switch back to DVD, they'd abandon PS3 first.

    Strip out components? Which ones cost enough to make a real difference? A 20Gb drive isn't much cheaper than an 80Gb model, WiFi is a couple of pounds, USB must be a pittance by now. I strongly suspect there is no fat to be cut on the PS3. Thye have to wait for volume and Moore's Law to push down the price of the high value components.

    And it can't afford to subsidise the console further, the PS division is barely breaking even at the moment, the rest of Sony isn't nearly as healthy as it once was. The shareholders aren't ready to take a loss.

    Sony has to wait it out and hope the differences between PS3 and 360 start to become apparent in the market. The next year or so the differences won't be huge, greater power in PS3 will be matched by (programming expertise with the 360 (which is producing some stunning games right now) but I'd expect that increased familiarity with the PS3 development environment will show up by the time E3 comes along next summer. Then the PS3 might become the console to own for the next gen (next next gen?) experience.

    Their biggest problem is that Sony seems to have inherited Microsoft's old marketing team. Just as Microsoft unveil some seriously cool marketing around the 360, Sony deliver - well, the PS3 adverts. Dreadful, horrible, nasty, unintelligible - doesn't even begin to cover their marketing. Where are the TV ads for the games? Where are the playable demos? Where are the posters?

    What must worry Sony is the possibility that Microsoft will to gain a jump start on the market by announcing a 360 successor ahead of the usual product cycle. It worked for 360 and gave the console 18 months in the market without a serious rival. Do it now and people might hold off PS3 entirely waiting for the next console. It must be tempting to try and push on with another XBox, but the strategy has been horrifyingly expensive - even for Microsoft. The XBox division is still not profitable and they've just taken a massive hit over shoddy, rushed to market hardware*. What would a reliable XBox 720 cost to develop and market? No idea, but the price will be well in excess of 'ouch!'

    * That's one thing Sony have got right - the PS3 has the quality you expect from Sony. It's beautifully finished, quiet, cool, compact and comes sans huge power brick. And there doesn't seem to an equivalent of the red ring of death. They should be proud of the engineering in the machine.

  22. Andy Bright

    Erm, they already have one..

    It's called a PS3 and it costs $399 - or 200 quid + the power adapter required to use US devices in the UK, about 50 quid or so.

    As long as you plug it into a proper display device, say an HDTV or LCD monitor, then your sorted - one PS3 for 300 quid.

    Oh and none of the features have been removed and it has real PS2 compatibility.. which you'll need while you wait for them to release a single game that has any sort of originality or depth of game play.

  23. Ben

    @Andy Bright

    "it has real PS2 compatibility"

    Not really if you're using a US PS3 outside of the US. Although PS3 games are not region locked, PS1 & PS2 games are region locked when using them on the PS3.

    I have an Asia PS3 and it won't play EU PS2 games.

  24. Neil


    Whilst it may have proper PS2 hardware compatibility, it will be NTSC only. So all your UK PAL games won't work.

    Of course, you can just keep your PS2 as well.

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  26. Dam

    This console just sucks

    €600 PS3 or €240 Wii ?

    Look here, I just want to play, not buy a console that'll only be worth it on a 2 meters wide HD TV with ultra double max plus dolby surround live gold (tm) compatible speakers.

    The Wii is kinda innovative, very reasonably priced and has _fun_ games as opposed to _realistic_ ones.

    Games on my Sega Genesis/Megadrive weren't realistic, but hell were they fun.

    Sony's getting it all wrong.


    And don't get me started on game prices:

    Wii: €40-60

    PS3: €50-70 (more?)

    Did I mention that the Wii is modchip'able so you can dump your very own games and play on DVD-R, as opposed to the very fragile original DVD your 4yo son is gonna disintegrate just by looking at it, and that the vendor won't replace ?

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