If there are some people out there right now who are in the know when it comes to what the hell is going on -- we mean really going on -- with Sony, it's those investment firms. But even barring their research analysts getting all kinds of privvy information from direct executive input or connections on the supply side, it's kind of funny when one of these investment firms lets loose some juicy gossip. Like that Sony's albatross PlayStation 3 is going to cost them $800 per unit at launch (they list $900, but apparently Lynch financial analysts can't add their own totals). $800 per unit? Doesn't sound unreasonable considering what Sony's trying to get under cram under the hood of this thing; Lynch calls it an "expensive and difficult-to-manufacture product" because of the Cell processor and Blu-ray drive, which account for the lion's share of the backend parts costs (see above). Granted, most of this analysis comes off as estimation and prediction, but we'd like to make a prediction of our own: the PS3? She's like Kutaragi's Spruce Goose. Oh she'll fly alright, but at what cost?

P.S. It's worth a reminder that game companies always sell these things at a loss at launch, so we shouldn't have to worry too much about ponying up about a grand for a PS3. Eh, maybe only six or seven hundred.

[Warning: PDF link]

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PlayStation 3 costs $800, sez Merrill Lynch mob