Too Much?

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Here we are one month after the events of E3, and I am still not over everything yet. For starters, it turns out that once again I was able to win a Sprint sponsored tournament, and that means yet another arcade machine for my home testing lab. This time, I will be adding a brand new Tetris arcade cocktail table. But still that is not the biggest thing about E3 that is going through my mind.

It is, of course, the exorbitant price that Sony is offering for the PlayStation 3. Just the thought of having to plunk over $600 to get the full PlayStation 3 package is insane as it is, but can you imagine the deluge of price gouging that will take place after the launch? And you thought you're paying a lot to fill your gas tank?

First off, let's check the retail market. You know beyond any shadow of a doubt that online retailers, namely EB Games and Gamestop, will do one of their favorite practices: forcing a bundle on unsuspecting customers. Is $600 not enough for you to spend? How about we add several junk D-level games to the mix, one controller way too many, worthless accessories and system skins, and raise the cost to quadruple digits?

Not enough? Fine. How about adding a top of the line plasma TV to the mix, in the same way that EB did for the 360 last year? I'm sure there are many people out there who can afford $5,000 worth of junk just to get their hands on the PlayStation 3.
Bundling not your thing? There's always eBay. Sure you won't be paying the retail $600, but that won't stop you, will it? Who knows? After making a successful bid, you might end up owning the actual BOX from a PlayStation 3, or rights to the domain name playstation3.com.

But if you do end up with a PlayStation 3 in a winning bid, just make sure you don't experience the same thing that some 360 bidders suffered: paying over $10,000!

Sure, the PlayStation 3 was reported to be expensive even before E3, but $600? The media backlash has been nothing short of amazing. Several humor based websites had their say as well. One of my favorites, www.ytmnd.com, took out their anger over Sony in unique ways. One of their creations has a picture of Solid Snake from the MGS4 trailer putting a gun to his mouth with the price "$599.99" flashing underneath. Another has a clip of Kevin Spacey as Lex Luther asking Kaz Hirai to say what he wants to hear.

Kaz says "it's Ridge Racer".RIDGE RACER!"

Lex Luther: "No, not that."

Kaz Hirai "Playstation 3 will retail for"five hundred and ninety nine US dollars"."

Lex Luther: "WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Even some of my friends got their say in. The moment I heard about the PS3 price, I called a coworker about it, as her boyfriend wasn't sure about buying it. Just last week, she told me that they decided on an Xbox 360. I told her she made the right choice.

Doesn't Sony realize that high priced systems have failed? Anyone remember the Halcyon? It was a voice controlled, laser disc system designed by Rick Dyer of Dragon's Lair fame. The system retailed for over $1,500, and with only a few discs available for purchase, the system failed quickly, and bankrupted RDI.

In Japan there was another laserdisc system called the Pioneer LaserActive. It went for about $1,200 here in the States, and despite having the ability to play both Mega Drive (Genesis/Sega CD) and PC Engine (TurboGrafx/Duo) games via modules, it didn't catch on either.

And then of course, there was the 3DO, Trip Hawkins' venture into the console market. It might have only retailed for $700 at launch, but that was still an extreme price for a console that consisted mostly of "edutainment" titles at launch. Eventually it dropped to $400, then $200, and featured some impressive original titles from Electronic Arts, as well as the best console version of Wing Commander III available, but it was too late. The system was doomed from the start due to the $700 price tag.

Needless to say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. It has been said many times before and once again it is coming true. With that in mind, I want to give Sony one last reminder.
During E3 1995, Sega surprised gamers by releasing the Saturn to specific markets, with a $399 price tag. This was announced during their press conference. When Sony had their press conference, one important factor was mentioned.

"$299." The rest was history.

And yes, Hirai-san, that was the price of the original PlayStation.

Then again, Peter Moore from Microsoft gave his own advice. If you have $600, buy an Xbox 360 first, and then buy a Nintendo Wii. Just that comment alone would almost make me forgive him for the Shenmue II incident.

CURRENTLY PLAYING: Rockstar Table Tennis (X360,) GTA: Liberty City Stories (PS2)

WAITING FOR: Prey (X360,) NCAA Football 07 (X360)

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