With the Tokyo Game Show
in full swing, it's not surprising that there is plenty of game-related news to go around. While much of what was showing was fresh trailers for some new and interesting games--what is it about the number five out there? Dead or Alive 5, Soul Caliber 5--but there was some fresh hardware news as well in the form of a brand-new slimmed-down PlayStation 3
The new slimmer PlayStation 3, which will be coming out worldwide over the space of a month, will offer up a variety of prices depending on the region in which it's released. In North America, a version with 250 gig of storage will hit September 25 for $269, and a version with double that will follow shortly after on October 30 for $299. Europe gets a special version with a 12 gig flash drive first for 229 Euros on October 12, with a 500 gig hard drive version preceding it on September 28 for 229 Euros. Japan, meanwhile, gets both versions on October 4, but will shell out 24,900 Yen for the 250 gig version and 29,800 Yen for the 500.
On the surface, this looks like a pretty good deal. Fairly low prices for the best in video game hardware
--at least, tied for the best--and right around time for the Christmas shopping season
? Not a bad idea, except for one critical point: the hardware in question has basically already been on the shelf for about, oh, the last six or seven Christmases already.
Sony, by the look of it, is trying desperately to put old wine in new bottles and hoping frantically that someone thinks enough to buy it. Now, I don't deny that a price drop is a smart idea. Get some of the Xbox 360 gamers to consider adding a second console to their home entertainment systems, see what all the fuss is about. Maybe pick up with Ratchet & Clank or Twisted Metal or something that they can't get just anywhere.
But this...this is a move that smacks of the weakest of sauce. Both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are aging hardware at best. Let's face it; both have been around for the better part of a decade and there's at least another year to go before the next one launches. For Sony to bring out a "new system" that's the exact same thing as the old system, just slimmed down and with a fresh coat of paint on it, is a sad move indeed.
Frankly, I'm eager to see the new systems, though that isn't likely to happen before the next E3 makes its appearance. Still, Microsoft and Sony need to make a move soon. With Nintendo putting out the Wii U all by its lonesome, they're going to make some significant headway with Christmas sales. Meanwhile, the remaining gamers will be making do with the old gear for another year.