“Recent channel checks indicate increased speculation for a PS3 price cut announcement from Sony in the next couple of days,” Janco Partners’ Mike Hickey stated, according to Edge.
“We think the company needs to reduce the current price by $100 to effectively restart unit velocity at retail. We believe the market is expecting a PS3 price cut in April or by June E3 at the latest.
“If Sony does not cut the price of their console, we expect the continuation of languishing PS3 hardware sales and the potential for publishers to accelerate their reallocation of resources away from the PS3 console.”
However, Hickey’s assertions should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt following an additional, and laughable, claim that Sony is prepping a Blu-ray free version of PS3: “We are also hearing continued speculation that Sony is working on a non-Blu-ray PS3 console, which could enable them to make the aforementioned hardware price reduction.”
Whilst the dropping of Blu-ray is of course nonsense (would Sony really announce a PS3 unable to play any PS3 games?), Hickey is hardly alone in predicting a drop in price for PS3. US retail GameStop stated in March 2008 that it expected a fall within the year, and renowned analyst Michael Pachter predicted a drop will be announced in April.
And with Sony suffering a year-on-year fall in PS3 unit sales last year in North America, PS3’s highest-in-category RRP is becoming increasingly problematic for the firm – particularly in the current economic climate.
An increasing number of observers have become certain that Sony will announce a PS3 price cut following the end of Sony’s financial year on March 31st, with SCEE boss David Reeves earlier this month saying: “Will PS3 be the cheapest player by end of ‘09? Probably not – but it will make progress.”
If one thing is for certain, it’s that Sony has lofty goals for 2009. Though LittleBigPlanet and MotorStorm were known to be in the works for PSP, the surprise announcement of the games yesterday – along with confirmation of Assassin’s Creed and Rock Band for the machine – was surely engineered to make a big statement.