Sony resists PS3 price cut despite rival Xbox 360 dropping by US$50
Sony’s Play Station 3, with its integrated Blu-ray disc (BD) player, has given many millions of consumers their first taste of the high definition format.
But hopes that the makers of the US$399 video game console would give Blu-ray a further boost have been dashed by Sony chairman Howard Stringer.
Prices of stand-alone BD devices are widely regarded as remaining too high to persuade many viewers to ditch their DVD players.
The Sony chief claims Microsoft’s decision to cut the price of its Xbox 360 by US$50 is evidence that it’s falling behind the PS3 in overall sales.
Microsoft has no intention of adding a Blu-ray drive to the Xbox. David Gosen, the company’s vice president of strategic marketing for Europe, said they weren’t looking towards Blu-ray as a long-term format.
Instead Microsoft will concentrate on distributing media through its Netflix rental service in the US, which should also be pushed into Europe in due course.
However, after trailing Microsoft’s console in 2007, sales data from the NPD Group show that PS3’s US sales have surpassed the XBox for the first five months of this year, although both consoles still trail Nintendo’s Wii.
The Wii had sales of 2.8 million units during the five months through to May, according to the NPD Group. Sony sold 1.2 million PS3 consoles and Microsoft sold 1.12 million Xbox 360s.
New exclusive games, such as Metal Gear Solid 4, and the rise of Sony’s Blu-ray as the dominant high-definition DVD player have been instrumental in giving PS3 its lead.
Stringer said: “We’re selling a lot of PlayStation 3s now and it’s still the best way to buy a Blu-ray player.’”
But speaking after reports that Microsoft was cutting the price of its 20-gigabyte Xbox 360 from US$349 to US$299 while supplies last, he said: “We’re not considering lowering the price.
“We don’t have to be nervous about what Xbox 360 does. We’re in fine shape.”
As well as a price drop, Microsoft have just announced that Universal, and NBC Universal programming, is coming to Xbox Live, delivering The Office, Monk, Battlestar Galactica, The Mummy, Bourne Supremacy and others to the service.
Xbox Live Video Marketplace now claims over 10,000 movies and TV shows on the marketplace, which it says puts it as the number one HD provider.
MGM and Constantin are pushing things forward in Europe, having just added 700 new titles to the library.