UK PlayStation 3 comes in at ?425, Sony loses its marbles

Sony has officially announced the U.K. price of the Playstation 3 as £425, representing the fully featured PS3 which comes in at $599 in the U.S. and 599 EUR in Europe. GamesIndustry.biz suggests that Sony won't be selling the cut down model over the pond, although this isn't confirmed. The PS3's price in England is higher than the console's price in the United States and Europe but we're not entirely surprised by this: British consumers are used to paying more for their consoles (although traditionally the U.K. gets identical or lower prices compared to Europe). Here's a breakdown of the U.K. premium over U.S. and EU prices:
  • £109 more than the U.S. "Premium" PS3: the U.S. price is $599 which converts to £316. Take this away from £425 and you're left with a £109 premium.
  • £20 more than the EU "Premium" PS3: the EU price is 599 EUR which converts to £405. Take this away from £425 and you're left with a £20 premium
Now check out the price when compared to the Xbox 360:
  • £146 more than Xbox 360 Premium: the Xbox 360 Premium is £279. Take away this figure from the PS3's £425 price and you're left with a £146 premium.
  • £206 more than Xbox 360 Core: the Xbox 360 Core is £219. Take away this figure from the PS3's £425 price and you're left with a £206 premium.
If we were in Sony's shoes, we'd feel very uncomfortable right about now: the combination of a chunky U.S./U.K. price divide combined with the absence of a cut-down PS3 bundle doesn't stack up well against the PS3's main competitor: the Xbox 360. But wait! When we stepped into those Sony branded shoes we forgot to take the free prescription of Prozac hidden in the heel! Ahhh, much better. Now we'd say something similar to the Sony marketing rep tasked with announcing the news:

"I don't think it's an expensive machine; I think actually, it's probably a cheap machine
... If you think a Blu-Ray player by itself might be GBP 600-700, and we're  coming in at just GBP 425 - it's a bargain."

Sony's "but it plays Blu-Ray" line works if you're addressing early adopters and hardcore users. However, the British public (the majority of which associate "PlayStation" with games console, and not much more) won't take kindly to hearing "bargain" and "cheap" in the same sentence as "four hundred and twenty five pounds".

[Thanks, Elmer]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.