Update: Hastings has since issued a cease & desist letter to Joystiq, requesting we remove the image. According to Hastings' director of merchandising, the ad is "blatantly false," although we have good reason to believe otherwise. SCEA's Patrick Seybold also offered a rare comment, saying the ad "is fake." Thankfully, he did not do this to us.
While we're respecting the request of Hastings, it's clear that a significant change is happening to Sony's business strategy regarding the PS3. As seen above, many European retailers are already cutting the price of the PS3 [Image credit: niels]. Reports from Engadget and Engadget Spanish also confirm cuts in multiple stores in Europe.
Lending credibility to the image we received, the ad in question was sent to Joystiq before SCEA's announcement yesterday of the Greatest Hits version of Uncharted, though precisely that was part of the Hastings ad. Coupled with the C&D and Europe's retail actions lead us to believe a price drop is happening. We've included the original post (sans image) after the break.
You may have seen a number of PS3 Slim-related retail ads, all of which have been proven fake. However, this ad which we received certainly looks much more believable. Hastings, a Texas-based retailer with 153 stores in 21 states, is also showcasing the PS3 in an upcoming ad, one that makes no mention of the PS3 Slim.
According to the ad, the current stock of 160GB PS3s will be cut to $400, a $100 savings over the original. This follows the footsteps of other retailers, like amazon.com, who have already dropped the price of that model to $450. Of potential importance is the phrasing: the ad mentions the PS3 is experiencing a "price cut" versus a temporary "sale." The cut begins September 8th, weeks after Sony's press conference at Gamescom.
The reduced price could be exclusive to Hastings, and isn't necessarily indicative of a nationwide price drop. However, a price drop on current PS3 models can clear inventory and make way for a possibly upgraded one. A representative for Hastings told us over the phone that they could not offer any comment on this offer.