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PlayStation (Games) The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Possible PS2 Price Portent Pondered 302

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the craaazy-alliteration dept.
Londovir writes "Could Nintendo soon be sharing shelf space at the $99 rack? According to an article on IGN.com, an internal source at Target claims to have received printed fliers with the Playstation 2 listed at $99. If you remember from an earlier story from September, it was an advance newspaper ad from Target (again), as well as a leaked scan of a Wal-Mart ad, that told the world about the GameCube's price before it happened. Given how the GameCube is outselling the PS2 & XBox - would a price drop so low be so unexpected? One last tidbit to contemplate: Sony is ready to roll the manufacturing plants for their smaller 90 nanometer PS2 CPU. Maybe that price drop isn't so unbelievable after all..."
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Possible PS2 Price Portent Pondered

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  • but... (Score:2, Informative)

    by neilyos (671220)
    Will it include the network adapter still?
  • 2 thoughts (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by selderrr (523988)
    1. Even if they give them away for free, I don't think I'll play on a console : I'm used to playing with a mouse + used to switch between work & play for 5 minutes of fun between hours of stress. So I'll play on my PC for quite some time to come.

    2. Folks who bought a PS2 at $499 must really feel screwed now. And they say Apple has large profit margins !
    • Re:2 thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DoorFrame (22108) on Saturday October 11, 2003 @12:09PM (#7189903) Homepage
      I doubt they'll feel screwed. They did get to own and use a PS2 for a year (or more?) before the price dropped so low. It's not like those people are just receiving delivery on their PS2s today.
      • It's not like those people are just receiving delivery on their PS2s today.

        I actually received my delivery yesterday. The sega ages games were the first that interested me enough to buy the system, especially with the price of modding.
      • What about me, though? I got my PS2 last month (9/26 according to my reciept) at $180 and I can tell you right now I'm feeling very screwed at the moment. $99 is damn near half of what I paid.

        Sure, I still have the receipt, but I'm willing to bet I could hold my breath until I turn blue in the face until I see any sort of refund from EB.
        • Like This? [penny-arcade.com]
    • Re:2 thoughts (Score:3, Interesting)

      1. Even if they give them away for free, I don't think I'll play on a console : I'm used to playing with a mouse + used to switch between work & play for 5 minutes of fun between hours of stress. So I'll play on my PC for quite some time to come.

      Each type of system(console/PC) is strong at different types of games. RPGs and FPSs are usually best in the realm of the PC. Sports games on the other hand, I always find to be much more playable on a console. Different strokes for different folks and all
    • One thing a console does is isn't-ish gratification. IF I want to play GTA I put in the CD and play. With the PC I have to wait for it to load. put in the CD extra. I'm not saying PC's are better but if you haven't already got it running the consoles can be good

      Rus
    • Folks who bought a PS2 at $499 must really feel screwed now. And they say Apple has large profit margins !

      And rightly so, since the price (in US Dollars) at launch was $299.99. Unless they imported their unit prior to launch or we're talking AUS dollars or something, anyone who paid that much needs to put down the pipe.

    • Hear hear! Yes, you are right. I also will never buy a console for the following reasons...

      1. Graphics are inferior.
      2. No mouse control.
      3. Inability to mod games.
      4. Investment in console is not an investment in PC hardware upgrade or other PC games.
      5. Consoles depreciate faster than PCs.
      6. Inability to store several games at once?
      7. Internet gameplay almost impossible without service, even if free, is monitored.
      8. Inability to easily run servers.
      9. Requires development license for developers.
      10.
      • While I can't refure all of these points, I can refute some. 2. No mouse control. With the PS2's USB ports, any time a developer decides not to include Mouse/Keyboard options this is a developer choice. As well as with any system that has a mouse/keyboard availiable, it is the developer that chooses not to implement it. Should I hate Quake 3 if it doesn support my gamepad? (I haven't tried this, so it's just an example) 4. Investment in console is not an investment in PC hardware upgrade or other PC g
      • > 2. No mouse control.
        Games are designed to utilize controllers, not mice.

        > 4. Investment in console is not an investment in PC hardware upgrade or other PC games.
        And vice versa. Consider the price of the top of the line graphics card - more than the entire console.

        > 6. Inability to store several games at once?
        Huh? Even a standard PSX memory card has 15 save slots. The Xbox actually lets you have virtually unlimited saves on the hard drive.

        > 10. Poor games
        You've got to be kidding.

        > 11. De
      • 1. Graphics are inferior.

        Only if you consider pixel count to be more important than how it actually looks.

        2. No mouse control.

        Er, it's a "limitation" that game authors are aware of, hence console games don't need one.

        3. Inability to mod games.

        Is that something you do often?

        4. Investment in console is not an investment in PC hardware upgrade or other PC games.

        What you seem to write is that your PC expenses are too high for you to afford a console - which isn't so strange...

        5. Consoles depreci
    • Yeah, it's so much more fun to twiddle my thumbs waiting for a multi-CD install to finish, hunt down the latest patch because the game shipped buggy (oops! they haven't fixed that bug yet, better wait for the next patch Real Soon Now), and get five minutes into it before it freezes because it needs a newer version of the video card driver I just updated a month ago.

      Consoles have their benefits.

      And I paid US$300 to get my PS2 on release day. Are you maybe talking Canadian or Australian dollars? Not sure

    • Amen to the issue of a mouse. I tried playing 007:AUF on my Xbox and found that trying to play a FPS with a controller is pure frustration when I could use the mouse and click on their face in a tiny fraction of a second. However there are tons of people who just love Halo on Xbox to pieces, so there's obviously a huge market, and you and I are apparently in the minority.

      Apple needs large profit margins because they sell few units. For Sony, large profit margins are just icing. I don't know anyone who pai

  • Sales of the GCN are just a blip for the moment. There are lots of people who already have a PS2 or XBOX who are interested in the GCN simply because it has some really nice games. I know, I have a GCN that I bought just for Rogue Squadron II. However, as the PS2 is still the most popular system with the greatest selection of games it makes no sense to drop the price yet.

    Now the XBOX is a different case entirely, it really needs to be cheaper.

    I suspect Sony will keep the price where it is in the run up
    • " Sales of the GCN are just a blip for the moment. There are lots of people who already have a PS2 or XBOX who are interested in the GCN simply because it has some really nice games."

      Why the hell else would someone buy a game console? Because it matches thier curtains?

      END COMMUNICATION
  • PS2 + Linux Kit + USB Keyboard and mouse gives a socially acceptable Linux machine in the front room 300. Now thats something to smile about :)

    Rus
    • I should preface this by admitting I don't own one, but from everything I've heard, Linux running on the ps2 is extreamly slow.
    • Linux on PS2 runs on only half of the EE, at 300MHz. It must be booted from the CD, and it cannot read the CD-ROM, which means you need an external USB or 1394 cdrom if you want to read discs. The cost of such a system is $300, as you note.

      Linux on Xbox utilizes all of the processor, at 733 MHz or whatever it is. It can be booted at least from the hard drive and maybe from the CD with the right BIOS. It can read the CDROM drive, which as we all know is just a normal ATAPI DVD-ROM, but which you could prob

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday October 11, 2003 @12:34PM (#7190027) Homepage
    The XBox is not a business success. Microsoft loses money on the whole XBox operation, even after collecting fees from game developers. Lots of money.

    It's hard to see how Microsoft can get the XBox to profitability. The original game plan was that decreasing electronics costs would eventually make the XBox profitable at the original price point. But Nintendo and Sony aren't letting Microsoft maintain that price point. They've pushed the price of game consoles down from around $300 to $100. Microsoft was losing money on every unit at $300; it's worse now.

    The only way Microsoft can make money with the XBox is if they achieve market dominance and pricing power. That's not happening. They've found themselves in price competition against larger competitors with lower costs, an unusual position for Microsoft.

    Microsoft is trying to design a lower-priced XBox 2, which might bail them out of this hole. But that's still some time away.

    • "The original game plan was that decreasing electronics costs would eventually make the XBox profitable at the original price point. But Nintendo and Sony aren't letting Microsoft maintain that price point."

      Ah, competition... isn't it grand?

    • by Alpha_Nerd (565637) on Saturday October 11, 2003 @12:57PM (#7190144)
      It may not be profitable now, but wait unitl the XBox 5...
    • (and by bringing this up 'how to be modded as troll'.)
      Take every possible chance to slam the Xbox, even if the article isn't specifically Xbox related:

      1. tell everybody how it loses money on every unit sold.
      2. Evil Empire microsoft bad, evil empire Sony good.
      3. fail to realise that they ALL have their good and bad points, and there are still people futzing around with the Atari 2600, dreamcast, et. al. And when (if?) one of the three players fails, hey CHEAP GAMES!

      BTW, The judges are docking you points be
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday October 11, 2003 @02:41PM (#7190720) Homepage Journal
      Aside from processing power and graphics capability which are if not equivalent (though not identical) the PS2 is only half the machine the Xbox is. Remember that the Xbox has a hard drive and ethernet as it ships, it has better video output capabilities, it has four controller ports. To get all this on your PS2, even priced at $99, will put it well above the Xbox's price. Add to this the underground credibility of the Xbox due to its hacking potential - It might say Microsoft on it, but tons of people who would never run Windows own an Xbox and are not only using it to run Linux - I'd say that they'll have to do a whole lot more than this to beat up the Xbox.

      If Sony wants to kill the Xbox they will have to bring out a version of the PS2 which comes with the hard drive and ethernet interface, which can both run linux and play games on the internet, and which costs no more than the Xbox. Obviously their PSX system (It is terribly ignorant of Sony to name their new system the PSX, given that their old system is commonly known as PSX, but that's a subject for another rant I guess) is not going to be any kind of competitor, as it will price itself right out of existence for almost everyone.

      • "tons of people who would never run Windows" There are tons of them? Seems like a pretty insignificant percent of consumers last time I checked.

        The fact is, people will see the PS2 as 99 dollars and the xbox as 180, regardless of extra costs of necessary components, or older, slower hardware.. that's not what people see when they're looking at the advertisements making up their minds. They see: ps2 99 dollars, vice city 20 dollars, SCORE.
        • Yes, many people too stupid to do an overall price comparison will make that decision. However anyone interested in online gaming who is that dumb will later be pissed off at sony when it is revealed that they must pay more, overall, to play games online. Those slightly more intelligent will simply purchase the Xbox to begin with. Of course intelligence is not the primary factor; desire for specific games is. If the game you want is only available on one platform, that's the platform you purchase, regardles
          • Well, obviously, the market for online gaming on the PS2 is next to nothing right now. But it's not a very big market to begin with. Microsoft can OWN that network and still not have enough to get by, while they're having their clocks cleaned by Sony on the single-player side.
    • "The only way Microsoft can make money with the XBox is if they achieve market dominance and pricing power. That's not happening. They've found themselves in price competition against larger competitors with lower costs, an unusual position for Microsoft. "

      Unusual in the 20 year sense, but not in the 10 year sense. Microsoft's biggest problem (not unlike any new company) is proving that their initial success with Windows was not just a fluke. They outlasted larger companies by lost-leader techniques
    • The XBox is not a business success. Microsoft loses money on the whole XBox operation, even after collecting fees from game developers. Lots of money.

      Every time this gets discussed, people forget something important: Microsoft has all the money in the world to burn. Going into the console market, Microsoft knew that it would lose money on the first XBox. And the second. Maybe even the third. But Microsoft has way more staying power than Sony or Nintendo, and they can literally run the clock out on their c
  • Surely sundered sanity seizes sovereignty soon!
  • by Fervent (178271) on Saturday October 11, 2003 @12:40PM (#7190062)
    If Sony does this (somehow I doubt it, although a drop to $150 wouldn't be unexpected), MS has got to drop. Imagine picking up what's essentially a computer in a box for $99.

    To be honest, as a geek, Xbox has become my favorite plaything. The games have started to get very good (I've been playing Panzer Dragoon and Voodoo Vince pretty much non-stop) and, when you're ready to hack the system, all the parts are there. I actually have two: one legitimate one I use on Xbox Live and another I've sacrificed for hacking. Hard drive, Intel processor, networking, nice video: card all for $100? I'll pick up another. :)
    • by linzeal (197905)
      People don't care about the diff bewtween 150 and 200, you have to drop it to rounded off 100's to make anyone notice. People have been trained to like things close to 10, 100, 1000 increments by print and TV ads for centuries you can't change it now.
      • Seeing as Gutenberg made his press in the middle of the 15th century and that the first ads weren't printed until mass literacy came around, we haven't been exposed to flyers advertising stuff for 9.99 and 99.99 until very recently - maybe a few decades. Ditto for the TV ads.

        But your point is correct - people don't want to buy something that costs $10.00. They want it for $9.99 - maybe because it has less digits.
  • I've wanted a ps2 in my home for a long time. They sell it for 99 and they'll get one in my home along w/ FFX, Kingdom Hearts, the network addapter, maybe EOA, and the Dvd player stuff.
    • Tip: Do FFX before starting KH. I did 'em in reverse order, and it kinda minimized the impact FFX should have jad in its own right. They're different games, not sequels but play 'em in order anyway.
    • For the record, you don't need the DVD extra. All it provides is a wireless remote; you can play DVDs right away using a standard controller for the buttons. I think you need the extra for XBox (surprise), but not the PS2.
  • If the next generation of game consoles came out at $150 price point?

    You know how quickly they could saturate the market? Would the quikness hurt sales? I mean if PS3 came out at that point and Xbox2 was $300+ which one would you get?

    This would certainly help to have a huge user base to buy games which iirc are the main source of revenue and profits.

  • Okay, so this is slightly offtopic but...

    Monster Hunter [gamespot.com] for PS2 is like a multiplayer morrowind meets rune game that has USB kb support. Finally networked games worth playing on a console. =)

  • by Rolman (120909) on Saturday October 11, 2003 @01:29PM (#7190346)
    GCN selling at $99 is putting it as a temporary loss. Nintendo is not losing too much money to make it a dangerous thing, in fact, they could make it profitable again in the next manufacturing round.

    The GCN was designed from the very beginning as a low-price machine. The ATI and IBM chips are very well integrated and have a lot of room for costs reduction. At the time of launch, they were still made using a .18 micron process and that can be dramatically improved now.

    Many regarded the GCN's production halt as a sign of weakness, but this has been a normal move since the first NES. I can certainly see a more integrated GCN motherboard (can the thing be even better? It's already incredibly tiny and simple), maybe even putting everything on one die, just what ultimately happened with the SNES. Slashing costs even further is possible because the TSOP technology used is far chesper now than in 2000 when the GCN's spec was frozen.

    For Nintendo, this is something they had planned for so long and it's finally paying off. But Sony and Microsoft have much more to lose if their price point got to that low level.

    Sony just launched the SCPH-50000 model a few months ago, so I don't think they can roll out a .09 micron console so easily. Microsoft OTOH has not been able to make the Xbox much cheaper, they were supposed to show an "Xbox-lite" smaller console this year at E3, but the event came and went without any sign of it. Still, Sony and Microsoft may need to follow suit, if only to keep sales strong.

    This Christmas season suddenly seems a lot more interesting and leaves me wondering about the next one... Historically these price drops happen only when the next consoles are around the corner, which is definitely not the case here.
    • If you look at the financials for hardware expenditures and profits in the GC division Nintendo was making a hefty profit on the GC hardware before so they may not be incurring any losses at all while at the $99 price point. In addition Nintendo was farming out manufactoring to China which was expected to cut costs.
  • by MMaestro (585010) on Saturday October 11, 2003 @05:12PM (#7191378)
    Why? Simple; age, competition, and Christmas season (Those of you who worked in retail know what I'm talking about).

    How in the PS2 now? Almost 3 years old (In the US). Based on previous game consoles, that means the PS2 is nearing the average lifetime of a console (which is about 3~5 years).
    Regardless of sales and the numbers game, Sony is under pressure to continue the impression that they're dominating the market. The gaming industry may be big business, but as it is the gaming industry is a harsh, demanding market with little room for failures or mistakes. (Sega being the biggest example) If Sony was to lose footing due to the PS2's weak hardware (expansions don't really count) and fails to bring the PS3 out in time to compete, Sony will be in huge trouble.

    Christmas will be here in less than 3 months. What more can I say?

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