PS3 Slim hardware still losing money

The Times Online had a sit-down with Sony Computer Entertainment boss, Kaz Hirai, after the big Gamescom show last week in Cologne. You remember, the event that saw the official launch of the PS3 Slim. The Q&A is an interesting read in whole, but the answer that stands out comes in response to a question about whether the lower-priced $299 PS3 Slim will be sold at a loss relative to its cost to manufacture. "Yes," was the quick answer from Kaz. That's a surprise for two reasons. First, the PS3 Slim benefits from more efficient 45-nm manufacturing processes used on its smaller, less power-hungry Cell processor. Also, just last month Sony's CFO told investors that manufacturing costs of the PS3 had dropped by "about 70%, roughly speaking" -- that comes to about $240 based on original manufacturing estimates of $800 when the PS3 launched back in 2006. Regardless, a console being sold as a loss-leader is nothing new in the gaming industry and, as Kaz points out, will almost certainly be offset by looking at the PS3 as a platform that includes the hardware, software, peripherals, and services.