A brief discussion on the recent price drops and what it means for us, the gamers.
Price cuts, I love price cuts!
Recently Sony announced the new PS3 slim model priced at $299. A few weeks later Microsoft reduced the price of the XBox 360 elite to $299 as well. Both represent a $100 cut off their earlier prices. So who wins this round?
For Sony, a price cut was long overdue. They had third party game developers screaming for it and threatening to stop publishing PS3 games. Now the PS3 slim represents a great value, including a Blu-Ray player and internet browser with their game system which comes fully equipped with Wi-Fi built in. The new unit does not, however, include backwards compatibility with PS2 games. This is a bit of a problem due to the lack of quality exclusive titles for the system (I count about 4).
Microsoft, on the other hand, already had a $299 system, and this "price cut" really represents nothing more than a minor hardware upgrade (from a 60GB hard drive to 120GB). The 360 runs off of standard DVDs, but has Netflix streaming to back that up. It also has backwards compatibility but doesn't really need it. The elite unit still does not have Wi-Fi built in and Microsoft wants an absurd $99 (MSRP) for the add on. This is dumb considering you have to pay a subscription for XBox live and the online features of the system are what really keeps it ahead of the PS3 in my opinion.
Wouldn't it be great if Sony and Microsoft would exchange strategies on these units? Microsoft would pack in Wi-Fi and ditch backwards compatibility, whereas Sony would cut out the Wi-Fi chip and replace it with the PS2's emotion engine for full compatibility. What a wonderful world that would be, playing to both systems strengths. (The 360's online system and Sony's huge back catalog.) Oh well, it was a thought.
I'd have to say, that if you don't own either system, the PS3 represents a better value right now. The problem for me is that I already own a 360 and there's no reason to play a game available for both systems on the PS3, whereas on the 360 I get achievements. For most people, I think the choice will come down to "what system do most of your friends have?", for the simple reason of wanting to play online with them.
Let's hear your thoughts on these price cuts in the comments you bucnh of Jimmys!
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