Its no secret that Sony just might reveal their next-generation Playstation console, the PS4, on February 20th. They’re holding an event and promising to show the ‘future of Playstation’.
This future might include a 4G PS Vita model that no one really asked for but all signs point to the biggest news of this event being the Playstation 4. Sony may not show all their cards at the event, they could display a few tech demos and share a limited amount of specs.
They will not announce a release date or price for their next-generation system if rumors of it releasing this holiday are true. It would be too earlier to do that. Nonetheless logic points to this new console releasing later this year and most consumers will assume that. With all this next-gen talk its easy to forget Sony’s current generation console amongst all this excitement.
Whatever PS4 content Sony shows off is likely to overshadow the PS3 entirely. Yes, there are several great games still coming to the PS3 this year like The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto V, Bioshock Infinite, Battlefield 4, Beyond: Two Souls and more. But once consumers see that a next-generation system is around the corner they might not purchase PS3s this late in its lifetime. The perfect way to combat this is to drop the PS3′s along with the PS4′s reveal.
It makes sense, why purchase a PS3 now (if you don’t already own one) when presumably the PS4 might be able to play those older games and new ones this holiday? I can’t imagine Sony launches the PS4 for more than $450 so it may not be that much more expensive than a PS3.
Don’t get me wrong, the $130-$170 potential price difference between the PS3/PS4 isn’t something to sneeze at but at the same time I think the type of people buying PS3s this late in its life are likely the type of people who wouldn’t mind waiting a little longer and saving a little more for a superior product.
That’s why its important for Sony to drop the PS3′s price after the reveal their next generation console. So that the PS3 isn’t lost in the shuffle amongst all the PS4 excitement and to give consumers a reason to buy their stellar current-generation console right now instead of waiting. There could be 9-10 months before the PS4 hits shelves and with North America never being the PS3′s best selling region it could use a price cut.
The PS3 hasn’t dropped below the price of $249 since 2011, Sony even raised the price of the console with its super-slim redesign last year. My belief is that this small price hike was Sony getting one last push of selling the PS3 at the highest price possible before having to drop the price dramatically.
If Sony knows what is best for consumers (and with rumors of a 4G PS Vita as they’re answer to price cut demands they may not) they will drop the price of the PS3 soon after announcing the next Playstation console. They could sell a SKU with no Playstation Plus or games for $149-$169 and keep selling their new Classic White Playstation Plus system bundle for $199-$229.
It help keep consumer interest in the PS3 leading up to the PS4′s release later this year. While Sony has done a terrific job selling over 70 million PS3 consoles since release in 2006 there are still a lot of people who don’t buy new consoles until they hit sub-$200 price points. Now would be a great time to give those people what they’ve wanted for years, a $199 or less PS3 system with a large library of great exclusives.