Borderline monopolistic gaming retail giant GameStop has a whole lot of clout here in The States. When you’re the only major gaming-specific retail chain left, you can do things like randomly dropping the prices on video game consoles that are normally immune to such price cuts due to the razor-thin profit margins manufacturers have built into their business model. We won’t bore you with an in-depth explanation of why this scheme works out quite well for Sony et alia, as the important news here is that GameStop now offers the 160GB PlayStation 3 Slim system for a mere $200.
For those keeping score at home, that’s $50 less than the price tag attached to the system as recently as last night.
The reasons for this drastic price cut remain a mystery, and GameStop doesn’t seem to be offering any insight on the decision, but there is a large amount of speculation that this is a pre-emptive attempt to disgorge the company’s backstock of PS3 consoles before the impending (yet still hypothetical) release of the next console generation. Specifically, it is widely presumed that Sony may be announcing its next console at the annual E3 conference this June, and it seems likely that GameStop would want to move as many PS3 units as possible before prospective buyers become more keen on just waiting for the PlayStation 4 instead.
Regardless, the system is far from dead, and big-name releases are still hitting shelves on a pretty regular basis. For instance, Assassin’s Creed 3, or the recently announced, PS3-exclusive God of War: Ascension. Point being: If you suddenly have the urge to pick up a PlayStation 3, you wouldn’t be dropping that $200 on a moribund system. If anything, you’ll have the benefit of being able to pick up all of those PS3 titles you may have missed over the system’s last half-decade of existence for far less money than the early adopters who convinced themselves that frugality is for losers. So go, spend money, consume. It’s the American way.