PS3 Testing Developer Patience and Gamer Wallets

Dennis Faas's picture

Recent findings by gaming insiders predict that the Sony Playstation 3's (PS3) hardware and software will end up costing consumers considerably more than originally thought. The rise in cost is primarily due to the PS3's use of next-gen Blu-Ray DVDs its lavish hardware configuration.

The inevitable result will be titles that cost the average gamer more money, making the already expensive PS3 ($499 USD for 20GB hard drive, $599 USD for 60GB hard drive) a system only appealing to those with fire money -- the kind that burns holes in your pocket.

Japanese gaming magazine Ge-Maga recently released survey figures from a poll of the PS3's most vital developers. The results were hardly encouraging for Sony: 90% of those surveyed disagreed with the proposed price point of the system, and another 56% felt the price divide (based on hard drive, also used by Microsoft for the Xbox 360) is a fruitless venture.

Perhaps most revealing is a growing lack of confidence in the PS3 amongst the developers responsible for its growth: 62% of those polled believe Sony will fail to meet its goal of 6 million units sold by March of next year. (Source:

The competition in this case is certainly not Microsoft's Xbox 360. The North-American developed console with North-American interests in mind has continued to fair poorly in the land of the Rising Sun, despite efforts to reverse this trend for the current generation. If the PS3 fails, expect support to be picked up by the Nintendo Wii, which, because of less-ambitious hardware, will again be available for much less than either the 360 or PS3.

Cost might just be the decider of the next generation of games. Sony is clearly assuming that the gaming community has aged, and instead of supplying teenieboppers, now views its audience as those buying junk bonds and chrome wheels.

In an interview with U.S. gaming magazine PSM, Kaz Harai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America described rumours of increases in all next-gen games. The fact is, Microsoft has not yet forced a major hike; most 360 games retail for $49.99 or $59.99 USD, with first-party (and often the most popular) games finding the lower price point. Harai's suggestion for PS3 prices wouldn't be off such charts, as he tells PSM magazine, but they could fall somewhere between Microsoft's standard of $59.99 USD and $99.99 USD. (Source:

Regardless of the outcome, Sony is challenging both its developers and gamer wallets to keep up with its own ideas for the next generation of gaming.

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