It’s hard to believe that less than three years ago, the 60 GB PS3 was released for the low, low price of just $600, with a slightly gimped 20GB version coming in at $500. Sales for those two systems were understandably disappointing, and over the past three years Sony has been desperately slimming not only the price of the PS3, but the size of its components.
The PS3 Slim made its debut appearance here on PSLS, with an official unveiling at GamesCom 2009. The unexpected price point of $299 not only makes the PS3 a more viable platform for developers, but also a more attractive purchase for consumers. There’s a lot of cutting edge technology in the PS3 Slim, making it not only the most powerful game console around, but also the most feature-packed hardware on the market.
But how does the price of the PS3 compare to other platforms? And just how much have prices changed for the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360? Check out the figure below for the answers.
It’s surprising to see just how much of a price gap there was between all three consoles’ launch prices. While anyone could pick up an Xbox 360 Core SKU for $300, the cheapest PS3 was $200 more, a steep investment for even the most hardcore videogame enthusiasts. Yet now the 360 is $50 cheaper than the Wii. PS3 still has the highest entry price, but it’s no more expensive than an Xbox 360 Elite. But pricing doesn’t tell the entire picture, as the Xbox 360 Arcade SKU is missing a hard drive, an essential piece of hardware for many 360 games that have online functionality.
With both Sony and Microsoft’s consoles so aggressively priced, Nintendo may choose to drop the price of the Wii by a small margin to $200 in the future. Though Microsoft maintains that the Xbox 360 Arcade is sold at a pivotal price point, the truth is that having multiple SKUs is slightly risky, and as the Elite SKU drops in price it will become impossible for them to maintain the $100 price gap between their SKUs. PS3 Slim, as far as we know, will only have one SKU. But recent rumblings from our source hint that a more expensive Slim may be in the cards.
Check out the next page for our comparison of the feature set for all three consoles.