By Jared Newman | Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm
Effective immediately, Sony’s Playstation 3 is $50 cheaper. The home game system now costs $249 for a 160 GB model, or $299 for a 320 GB model.
As far as price cuts go, the PS3’s is pretty straightforward. Sony is offering a limited edition 320 GB console with Infamous 2 for $299, but otherwise there’s no additional effort to pack in a Playstation Move or to hook people into 3D gaming. (Sony will, however, offer a standalone Move and game bundle later this year, and plans to bundle a PS3, a game and small 3D TV with Playstation branding this fall, as announced at E3 in June.)
All eyes will now be on Microsoft to cut the price of its Xbox 360, which currently costs $200 for a basic 4 GB console or $300 when bundled with either the Kinect motion sensing camera or a 250 GB hard drive. However, Microsoft is dominating the U.S. console market right now, and may not feel the pressure to make a price cut right away. It’s safe to guess, at least, that Microsoft will do something to sell more Kinect units as it prepares a major Kinect software push for the holidays.
Nintendo, you’ll recall, already cut the Wii’s price to $150 after retooling its pack-in software. But I wouldn’t rule out some bigger bundles or lower prices as the holiday season approaches — especially with the Wii U scheduled to launch in 2012.
Sony probably knows that the holidays will bring good deals from Nintendo and Microsoft, and is cutting the PS3’s price now to get a jump on sales. Last time the PS3 got a price cut in 2009, retailers added free games to their PS3 bundles during the holiday shopping season. If you’re in the market for a game console but can hold off for a few months, you’ll likely get more for your money.