PS3’s Price Pinch

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The pricetag Sony has announced for PlayStation 3 is going to hurt them a lot in this round of the glorious Console Wars. (The system will cost $499 for the version with a 20GB HD, $599 for the 60GB.) The undisputed current-generation leader, usually shrewd and ruthless with the timing and content of its announcements, has committed quite a boner here.

It's late November 2006 and you're in the market for some new gaming

hardware. You can drop $400 on an Xbox 360, which has been out for

almost a year and has a lot of available games, $200-$250 (estimated)

on Nintendo's Wii and play the new Mario or Metroid -- or at least $500

for Sony's new box. Final Fantasy XIII and Metal Gear Solid 4 look really good and all, but five hundred dollars good? Tough call.

Why so expensive? Basically, Sony committed a long time ago to

include two new technologies in the PS3 -- the Cell processor and

Blu-ray ROM drive. They're both still hellishly expensive to produce

and will remain so for the forseeable future. And unfortunately,

neither technology offers a clear advantage at the system's launch. So

basically, the only thing that can offset PS3's higher price is

whatever exclusive games Sony can muster. Despite a handful of

legitimately great titles slated for PS3, looks to me like Sony's going

to take a real beating this time around. Hey Sony! Unlike you, we ain't made of money!