Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has no plans to respond to Microsoft’s aggressive price-cuts of the Xbox 360 video game console in the European Union and the United Stations with similar moves concerning the PlayStation 3 this holiday season, the head of SCEI said in an interview.
“The answer is ‘yes’, if you’re asking, ‘Are these the prices we’re going with this Christmas?’” said Kazuo Hirai, president and group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Microsoft recently reduced the price of its Xbox 360 Arcade game console to $199 in the U.S. in response to lowering demand and financial crisis. The company has also consistently cut the cost of the Xbox 360 consoles in other regions, including Asia, Europe and Japan this year in a bid to attract gamers to its latest video game systems.
Obviously, the least expensive Xbox 360 Arcade does not offer certain features that are available on Sony PlayStation 3 ($399) and more expensive Xbox 360 Pro 60GB ($299) game console since the latter have hard disk drives, whereas the PS3 even has Blu-ray disc optical drive that transforms game console into a high-definition video player. In fact, a number of exclusive titles and value proposition have already made Sony PlayStation 3 nearly as popular as the Xbox 360 in some regions and allowed Sony to even leave the rival behind in some others. Still, neither of the consoles is as successful as Nintendo Wii, which usually outsells both PS3 and X360 combined in the USA.
However, for the majority of gamers the X360 for $199 is likely to be an option they will be satisfied with. As a result, there are reasons for Sony to worry about: more Xbox 360 game consoles on the market means that game developers start to give the systems higher priority compared to others, which ultimately leads to higher amount of higher quality titles, which further popularizes the platform.
In common with the rest of the video game industry, Mr Hirai expects video games to be resilient in the economic downturn because consumers buy video games rather than go out.
“As long as we can generate excitement, then we will be less affected than other industries,” the head of SCEI told the FT.