Yesterday at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony officially announced a new PS3 model, with the same design that was leaked several months ago. It sports a slimmer build, impressive specs for its size, and a fair price tag of $270–but none of that will help Sony in the least. The addition of this new model just shows that Sony is running out of ways to compete with Nintendo and Microsoft. While the next generation XBOX is already in development and the Wii U is slated for release this holiday season, all they can do is wave around a brand new model that has the exact same capabilities as their older Slim version. Although I’m a fan of many of Sony’s games and products, I have to say that their showing at TGS was very lackluster and only shows that the company has hit a rut as far as marketing creativity is concerned.
While this new version’s price is fair, it’s far from competitive. For just a little extra, consumers can purchase both a new console and a tablet for their homes, and that Wii U also doubles as a next-generation console. Regardless of whether you consider it to be next-gen or not, the Wii U is still a powerful machine on the market, and will be receiving more games than any of the other consoles this holiday season. Considering the new PS3’s unchanged price, even with a smaller and more efficient design, it’s obvious that Sony is pocketing money that they could always mark down instead. This move is an absolutely terrible one with both the Wii U and 3DS directly competing with their PS3 and PS Vita in both price and capability.
With no awesome exclusives in the PS3’s holiday lineup (excluding PS All-stars Battle Royale, which may not be up to everyone’s taste), the PS3 has nothing to show for this holiday season and no way to compete with the Wii U. The most that their new model will generate for them is buzz–but overall, there’s no way for them to outpace the upcoming Wii U on that alone. They need actual content and actual price cuts to entice the consumer, and frankly, they haven’t done any of that in any of their recent shows. Nobody has been holding out for a PS3 that is slightly smaller. At best, people will dive for the older slim as it goes on clearance, especially since it has all the same capabilities as the new version, plus the bonus of a slot-loading disc (the new version chooses to get rid of this to save on manufacturing costs, despite sharing the same price tag).
It may seem selfish to say so, but it’s true–what gamers really want out of Sony right now is a PS4, not another model of the PS3. With the next generation on the horizon, it’s obvious that Sony is lagging behind their competitors. The Wii U will likely outsell the PS3 and the Vita because it is more reasonably priced. Overlooking something like a price drop when consumers have been waiting for one for months spells the PS3’s loss for this generation once and for all. It’s a shame that they could not emulate the success of their PS2 console, but there’s always next generation to look forward to…whenever Sony decides to catch up.