The console industry is gasping its last breath! Oh no! Everyone panic as the world you knew crumbles around you transforming into something wholly different and frightening! Microsoft’s shipments of the Xbox 360 have dropped 35 percent! People say the Wii U will drive Nintendo out of the hardware business forever! Dogs and cats living together; mass hysteria!
What of the PlayStation 3, the last bastion of home video game entertainment that fiscally drowning Sony clings to 6 years on from its troubled release into the HD console world? It’s not selling too great these days, but Sony’s got the cure for those end-of-console life blues: A system redesign! FCC filings uncovered earlier in July revealed that Sony is planning to unleash the PlayStation 3 4000 model, a smaller, likely less expensive successor to the PS3 3000 series introduced in 2009. When will the PS3-4000 make its debut, keenly timed to hit before the holiday rush?
It won’t be at the Gamescom conference in Germany come August. At least that’s according to VG247’s source. The unnamed informant said that Sony will forego a new PS3 model announcement at its Aug. 14 press conference during Gamescom. Why is Sony holding back? The stockpile of current PS3 models glutting Sony warehouses and retailers is still too high to introduce a new machine into the wild. Sony is waiting for the back stock to thin out, but with no major PS3 release in the immediate future and a price drop set to coincide with the new machine, Sony may be waiting past the ideal window to put the PS3-4000 out in international markets.
Speaking of that price cut, how cheap is Sony going to go? Another source said that Sony is going to introduce a model with less storage space in addition to being tinier, just 16GB of flash memory compared to the hundreds of gigs offered by hard drive sporting models currently out there. This 16GB model will retail for just £99 in the UK, around $154 by current exchange rates. That model will be joined by more expensive 250GB and 500GB SKUs, likely sold at the same $250/$300 price points as the current 160GB and 320GB models.
As we noted when the FCC filings for the PS3-filings hit the net earlier this month, remodeled consoles have always been a boon for Sony. The window is closing on when this will make a significant impact on the PlayStation 3’s market standing though. Sony needs to strike now, before the holiday release blitz, and it needs to partner with publishers for bundle deals on new games to get the gadget in people’s hands. Is it too late to coordinate with Activision on a Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 bundle? Not at all.