Will They "Work More Hours?"

Recently, I have seen a whole lot of reports echoing Ken Kutaragi’s recent comment to Japanese publication Toyo Keizai that he hopes people will “work more hours” to buy a Playstation 3. This includes one report that goes so far as to claim in the headline that the hefty price is “unlikely to put off potential buyers.” I have also seen many bloggers criticizing the statement and commenting on Kutagari’s Kraziness.

What I have yet to see is anyone do yet is address the obvious question Kutaragi’s comments raise: namely, will people work an extra job to pay for a PS3? Or, more simply put, how much money will people be willing to pay for the next generation of systems?

Sure, it’s a hard question to get a complete, definitive answer for, but I haven’t yet seen anyone even trying to get a partial, starting-point answer. Merrill Lynch recently predicted Playstation 3 units launching at $400, which many of the above linked articles noted. Will people pay this much for a system at launch? How much would they expect or be willing to pay for games (which are also expected to rise in price with the next generation of consoles)? Does history predict success or failure for this price point (Probably… the PS2 launched in the U.S. for $400)? Is the Playstation brand strong enough to demand such loyalty? Is anyone else interested in these answers?

Making fun of Ken and his slightly wacky statements is fine for a day one story. Where are all the day two stories that use the statement as a jumping off point for some real reporting? Did I miss them? Are they coming? Has the media moved on already? Let me know using the comments link below.

Sorry for the lack of posts this week — lots of freelance assignments coming to and/or passing deadline. Look for plenty of backlog next week.

8 thoughts on “Will They "Work More Hours?"

  1. I think “They will work more hours” is a bit silly. More realistically, “They will wait longer.” Informed consumers, which a great number of us are, recognize that console price changes have been coming in relatively shorter times, current-gen consoles still have some life in them, and the first games on a new console are usually stinkers. If prices rise, demand falls – this is a no-brainer. Despite it being a new product, a $400 price tag accompanied by a “work more so you can play games” attitude follows from Sony’s mistaken vision of the market. In general, we, the gaming public, are well-informed and less frothingly hardcore than Kutaragi (and many others) would like to imagine.At least, I like to think so.

  2. “Will They “Work More Hours?”” That’s not the right question, the right question is “will Sony be able to get the costs of the machine down quick enough so that it can compete against the other machines on the market by selling to a larger audience than the ‘Lastest and Greatest’ crowd?” $400 is perfectly reasonable for the latest and greatest crowd, but it’s the second year ppl that will make or break the machine.

  3. My honest answer to that is “No, i wont and how dare you ask!” i mean really, we all love gameing but are we really whores? Besides unless you work for yourself why go out and work over time to fill your employers pockets just to get alittle over time cash to waste on an overpriced system..any way .. New tech always has a high price point, we’ve all come to realize and accept that, but theres a but; there always is ..But it also has to be pointed out,even as a loyal sony fan, the $400 price point is usually because they decide that we cant live with out some “super fantastic bundle pack!” when it comes out. Usually that will include the crappiest and un-hyped game or games of the systems launch catalog (that we werent going to buy unless they forced us) and a bunch of usless “trinkets” that will only collect dust and will never see the light of day.(Speaking from the experiance of friends “i’m looking at you vertical/horzontal stand”) Sony seems to be the ring-leader of the group when it comes to these tactics (and again i say this as a sony fan).. I just happend to be smart and wait for the PS2 Gran Tourismo A-spec bundle when that came out, a good game i was going to buy any way and nothing more. itlet me buy the memory card i wanted (since the colored ones were out by that time) and an extra controller if i needed it (which at the time i didnt)and the whole thing was cheaper then when the system launched. The ability to make a choice for myself is a wonderful thing.. Of course i know exactly what they’re thinking when they do that but i think i’d be happy paying up to $400 only if they let me have a choice in what i want to have. if it doesnt reach that price point at check out, then so what? they will still be making the sale in the first place rather then having me sit out and wait till the price goes down any way when they stop with the bundle crap.

  4. If they try to launch it at $400, that price won’t last long. $300 is about normal for new consoles, but they drop down to $200 within a year most of the time (looking at the last couple console generations). As long as Sony has enough PS3s to sell and not end up with the big problem of not being ready for the initial buying rush (like what happened to the PS2) they should be fine. Then again, they have to watch out for going like the GameCube (and the PSP, really) and setting their expectations for sales too high.

  5. I’m not sure if I will Pony up $400 for a next gen console. Sony has a habit of over promising and under delivering. I spent $100 on a PS2 hard drive that was supposed to give me access to downloadable movies, demos and additional content. What I got was a expensive paperweight that plays FF XI. Congrats Sony on your 32X

  6. I don’t know if “they” will, but I certainly won’t pony up that much cash for a first generation machine. Especially with Sony’s track record when it comes to reliable hardware.

  7. And if they wait longer, the PS3 is toast.Right now, because the PS2 was early, it got the games, and because it got the games, it sold the systems. And that creates a feedback loop. I have serious doubts that this is going to happen this generation, at least not as cleanly. And if the PS3 arrives late and more expensive…The niche and experimental games will go to the Revolution and the graphics heavy productions will be on the 360. Sony might find themselves on the outside looking in…Would that be like the end of Sony as a whole? I wonder.

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