I hear a lot of people whining about the high price of the XBOX 360, and now with the PS3 being announced, people are all-out bawling at the pricing. The PS3 will debut in Japan on November 11th and in the USA on November 17th, with pricing as follows:
$499 - 20 GB hard drive.
$599 - 60 GB hard drive, HDMI, WiFi, Flash Memory Reader.
Common Features: Blu-ray Drives, Bluetooth Controllers
This sure seems like a lot swag for a console, but what do you expect? It's inline with the general electronics market. Everyone likes to fall back onto about the old days when consoles debuted at $200-$300, then dropped down to $200 or less within 1-2 years. That was YEARS ago. Today, the whole paradigm of home entertainment is much more expensive. For instance, a quality HDTV is well over $1000. There is no plasma TV worth owning that costs less than $2000 (and if you did cheap out you're a moron). Even with value-centric options like DLP your still looking at $1500+ for a decent quality unit. People are paying these prices for TVs, and many people pay $5K+ just for a nice HDTV. Lets not forget that the "HD experience" requires at the very minimum a 5.1 surround setup. Sure, you can buy a HT-in-a-box for $150-$200, but if you want quality you're looking at another $1500 just for speakers and an amp.
So with an increasing number of people willing to spend at least $3K to watch TV and play movies, can you really say that the XB360 or PS3 are "over priced" considering what they offer? I would say, from a business standpoint, the prices are reasonable. Guess what - you WILL need about $2-3K invested in your entertainment system alone to fully reap the benefits of ANY next gen console. If you're still playing on a CRT TV you might as well stay away from current and next gen consoles because your crappy equipment is holding them back, big time.
Now we do have Nintendo with their Wii, and yes, the Wii is much cheaper than the XBOX360 is and the PS3 will be. The thing is, an XB360 and PS3 offer quite a bit more beyond simply playing games. The game console which was originally simplistic in nature has evolved in pace with related technology, so today you have an "entertainment console" more than a game console. For some people that may be too much, but for a lot of people it's exactly what they want.
The Wii is still the simplistic game console of years gone by (relatively speaking), and there is nothing wrong with that, but the same people who praise the Wii for its simplicity and affordability while bashing the 360 and PS3 for being overpriced and bloated are more than likely the same people who are going to end up with a 360 or PS3, while their Wii sits in a closet keeping dust bunnies company.
-= SsZERO =-