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PlayStation (Games)

EU Release of Price Cut 40 GB PS3 Confirmed 173

Posted by Zonk
from the no-back-compat-for-the-lose dept.
sinister rouge writes "The BBC has a story confirming a cut price PlayStation 3 with a 40GB hard drive and no backwards compatibility with previous consoles. The console is set to go on sale later this month in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. No word yet on that particular SKU for the North American market. '[Ray Maguire, head of PlayStation UK,] said: "The people who want to get into new technology early are prepared to pay a premium. We want to get the console to the next level; we have re-engineered the machine to bring the price down. We have invested a lot of money in reaching this price point." Sony is still losing money on each console sold, said Mr Maguire, but would lose less money on the 40GB machine. "We are in an investment phase," he said.'"
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EU Release of Price Cut 40 GB PS3 Confirmed

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  • No back-compat? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by steveo777 (183629)
    Yet another bullet in the foot? That's the only real reason I would be tempted to get a PS3 besides the prospect of Gran Turismo 5. The idea of playing some PS2 games with the full-screen AA and possibly faster loads would be rather nice. Sony should really have held off on this model until after they had a bigger library. There are some descent games on the PS3 right now, but not enough exclusive content for a non-back-compat version to be feasible. Wait for MGS4, GT5, and at least GTA4 (exclusive or
    • Given Sony's current "fix it in firmware!" style (they've added a metric assload of features), I'm willing to bet that they took out all the PS2 hardware to make a cheap console available now but couldn't get full software compatibility out in time. It's in their best interest to develop this, since then they can cut costs without cutting features along with making existing customers happy.
      • by steveo777 (183629)
        Their software-emulated back compat 60GB versions in the US are software back-compat. So if they're saying these are specifically not, it's either a PR move to keep people from complaining when it doesn't work 100% of the time, or they're just not implementing it at all.
        • by LKM (227954)
          Just to avoid confusion: No shipping PS3 has pure software backwards compatibility. Not all PS3s ship with the Emotion Engine, but all PS3s have some PS2 hardware to play PS2 games.
    • by Rayonic (462789)
      Gran Turismo 5 still doesn't have car damage, despite how pretty it looks. I've left the franchise altogether, personally.
      • by steveo777 (183629)
        Car damage hasn't ever been a real problem for me. Yeah, cars get busted up when you hit stuff, but when I play GT I'm usually doing the 'real' racing. Not like in other racing games where you nudge a guy into a wall to gain the edge. I like GT for the tuning and the physics. I've been considering Forza 2, but I really did not like the first one.
        • So you like this "real" racing where the AI controlled cars will ram into you from behind if you're in their pre-programmed racing line? I picked up GT4 shortly after it was released. I think I played it twice, then left it on the shelf, it was so disappointing. The AI pretty much refused to deviate from the pre-programmed line for anything.

          The Forza 2 demo is decent, it lets you sample a few different car classes.
  • by Andy_R (114137) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:57AM (#20869877) Homepage Journal
    The new 40Gb no compatibility, half the USB connectors, no memory card slot model is going to be £299 here in Britain, which is 610.61 US dollars at today's exchange rate. The 60Gb model is cut to 'just' £349, or $712.72 US.

    Yes, these prices do include sales tax, but it's still way, waaaay too much for me or anyone I know to consider picking one up, especially as the only PS3 game that really interests me (Gran Turismo) slipped from being a launch title and has now vanished into development hell, with no sign of a firm believable release date.
    • by Applekid (993327)
      If you look from a price drop perspectivel, though, it's a £50 difference, or over $100 US.

      Would I buy a PS3 if it was $100 cheaper without backwards compatibility, keeping in mind that I've already got a PS2, new PS2s are expected to get a price cut to $99 (with full PS2 and most PSX compatibility), and that PS3 backwards compatibility was never that great to begin with?

      IMHO, nah, it's still too expensive without enough unique and fun games on it. But the scales on "buy"/"don't buy" wouldn't be pegge
    • by Greyfox (87712)
      You could get a PS2 for under $100 (Probably less than the fare on the train from London to Heathrow heh heh) and you'd have EXACTLY THE SAME number of GOOD games as the old backward-compatible PS3. Unless you're a masochist and want to play "Lair"...
    • A common myth... (Score:2, Informative)

      by rbarreira (836272)
      VAT: 17.5%
      Import tax: 10% (right?) since the PS3 comes from outside the EU
      Retailer margins higher than in USA
      EU recycling fees.

      Add the above together and you'll probably see that Sony is getting about the same money they get in any other territory... Maybe a bit more, but not nearly as much as just doing a currency conversion makes it seem like.
    • by MattBurke (58682)
      The only games I ever bought for my PS2 were GT3/4 and the GTA games. However I've got an Xbox 360 now and I must say if you liked GT you'll love Forza 2 once you get used to the xbox controller's triggers. It's a great game which like GT3 puts so much focus on racing lines and technique. Very recommended way to spend a couple of hundred quid... Plus GTA4 is coming to the 360 - yum :)
    • Sigh... One day you guys will just have to accept the fact that the cost of life is lower in the USA than in the UK. Paying more (exchange rate wise) for non-essential consumer goods is PERFECTLY NORMAL.

      (Disclaimer: I'm not an American, nor a Brit)
  • by vlad_petric (94134) on Friday October 05, 2007 @12:03PM (#20869971) Homepage
    What they really needed is a console seller like Halo 3 for the holiday season.

    Of course, dropping the software-based PS2 emulation further shows how clueless they can still be.

    • by shoptroll (544006)
      Seriously. Seeing as how most of the late 2007 offerings have been pushed back to 2008, what the hell are people going to play once they're done with Resistence, Lair, etc?

      Also, this is suicidal for them as well. $400 is pretty hefty and honestly if I could get rid of my PS2 for $50 I would to help pay for it, but if that invalidates the majority of library, what's the point?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Gravatron (716477)
        We still have most of the 3rd party games that did't use UT3 engine, as well as all the first and second party stuff. This month alone brings Rachet and Clank, Folklore, Eye of Judgement, and Guitar Hero 3. Rachet should be awesome, Folklore has mixed reviews (obviously some are from the import, and dodge the story elements) Eye looks interesting and GH 3 should well, rock. I'm sure there are others comming this month, but those are my main buys.
    • What they really needed is a console seller like Halo 3 for the holiday season.

      Of course, dropping the software-based PS2 emulation further shows how clueless they can still be.

      They won't get one till next year. It takes time to do AAA titles like Halo 3, MGS4, GOW etc..

      The PS3 emu wasn't 100% software. Many complained that they wanted a game machine not a PS2 blue ray player. They obliged and got criticism the other way.
    • It's amazing how fanboy-drivel like this gets modded insightful.

      The first posts are usually just that - fanboy comments - because it takes no time nor thinking to come up with something to say, just rehash previous fanboy comments.
    • >software-based PS2 emulation further shows how clueless they can still be.

      I don't know. I bet there's a significant group of people who already have a PS2 (like me) and want a PS3 (like me) and don't mind swapping them out (like me).
  • If we look at the PC space, increasing hard disk size isn't terribly expensive. The difference between a 100GB drive and a 400GB drive might only be $10-$20 over a $60-$70 base price. Not insignificant, but not terribly large either.

    Are the economics significantly different on the console side? If not, wouldn't it be a bit of a coup for Sony (or, conversely, MS) to trumpet a 300GB or 500GB drive? At least as an option? It's a very visible number - and making it 20 times as big as your competitor's "20G
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Carnildo (712617)
      The consoles are using laptop hard drives. It also doesn't help that the specs were set two to three years ago: three years ago, a 80GB laptop hard drive was fairly expensive, and there's still no such thing as a 500GB one.

      Retail prices for OEM laptop hard drives from Newegg:
      250GB: $180
      80GB: $55
      40GB: $50

      Even if you assume the manufacturers are able to get the drives for half of what we pay for them, that's still a difference of $65 between the production cost of a high-end model and a low-end model.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      The PS3 uses a 2.5" SATA drive. Realistically that means you're unlikely to see them install anything more than 120Gb any time soon. I expect once the existing 60Gb drives are cleared out that there will be an 80 or 120Gb drive to replace it on the upper end model. Why they've chosen to go 40Gb in this new model probably has something to do with giving people one more reason to buy the more expensive one.

      You can also replace the drive for yourself. Unlike the 360, the drive is not housed in some proprieta

    • If we look at the PC space, increasing hard disk size isn't terribly expensive. The difference between a 100GB drive and a 400GB drive might only be $10-$20 over a $60-$70 base price. Not insignificant, but not terribly large either.

      Are the economics significantly different on the console side? If not, wouldn't it be a bit of a coup for Sony (or, conversely, MS) to trumpet a 300GB or 500GB drive? At least as an option? It's a very visible number - and making it 20 times as big as your competitor's "20GB" wo
    • by vakuona (788200)
      A little late, but my other theory is that there is probably a good source of cheap 40GB hard drives out there who no one else will buy. Sony probably managed to get a very good deal on those. I mean, who would actually buy a 40GB HD now. Going for a 120 GB one puts them right where they probably don't want to be, competing with the lap top makers and paying top dollar.
  • by rbarreira (836272) on Friday October 05, 2007 @12:48PM (#20870719) Homepage
    Sony keeps changing its mind... I'm paraphrasing from memory but Sony has said something similar to all the following quotes:

    1: Sony: It sucks that the 360 doesn't have full BC

    Now Sony releases this model

    2: Sony: Rumble is last-gen

    Rumble controllers will be launched soon in Japan, and in Spring 2008 in the rest of the world

    3: Sony: 360 has too many models, it's ridiculous!

    So far I count 4 Playstation models: 60 GB (discontinued in America but still being sold everywhere), 20 GB (discontinued), 80 GB, 40 GB. Also, notice that these models are not necessarily better as disc space increases. For example, the best one is the 60 GB (with full hardware PS2 compatibility)...

    Maybe there are more, but at least these three show how unstable the Playstation brand is lately. I'm counting on a big flop (and it's already happening).
    • To be fair, the backward compatibility thing is usually a big deal at the start of the system's existence and not so much so later down the road. It was obvious from the start that Sony threw in the hardware chip for better PS2 compatibility because they believed in what they said. However, as time goes on, its less and less valuable and costs them money, so it goes out the door. The PS2 shipped with a Firewire port too, remember (something I wish the PS3 had).

      At any rate, at least Sony evolves their har
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rbarreira (836272)
        PS1 compatibility was always kept on the PS2. And remember this quote:

        "Backwards compatibility, as you know from PlayStation One and PlayStation 2, is a core value of what we believe we should offer. And access to the library of content people have created, bought for themselves, and accumulated over the years is necessary to create a format. PlayStation is a format meaning that it transcends many devices -- PSOne, PS2, and now PS3" - Phil Harrison, Sony, December 2006.

        Guess what, the Playstation brand just
      • by bogie (31020)
        Actually it doesn't cost them money since the emulation is done in software. The execs at Sony are just being assholes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gamer4Life (803857)
      1. Sony needed to cut costs. They still have BC, but you need to buy the premium model. With the 360 you have no such option.

      2. What did you expect them to say? It's called marketing. It's not like Microsoft (or any other corporation for that matter) has never tried to turn a negative into a positive). I don't think for a second that they once felt that rumble was last gen, but they had to say something other than "Microsoft is making it hard for Immersion to license us Rumble technology cheaply".

      3. Th
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by rbarreira (836272)

        1. Sony needed to cut costs. They still have BC, but you need to buy the premium model. With the 360 you have no such option.

        They just said the 60 GB model is discontinued in Europe, check it out at kotaku.

        And remember this quote:

        "Backwards compatibility, as you know from PlayStation One and PlayStation 2, is a core value of what we believe we should offer. And access to the library of content people have created, bought for themselves, and accumulated over the years is necessary to create a format. PlaySta

        • 1. There is still an 80GB version with the original European BC, and yes, it is improving with time.

          2. Microsoft sued Immersion after they settled with Sony. Look it up. It wasn't a lie by the way, it's marketing speak for saying that it's not important. I don't see how that's a lie. I guess you don't know much about good business or marketing.

          3. How are you sure it won't confuse anyone? Not everyone is a Microsoft fanboy. There will be only 2 units in production. The 60GB is being phased out. Did t
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by rbarreira (836272)
            1. We're talking about Europe, there's no 80 GB unit. There may be one in the future, but that'd be another lie (kotaku has the details)
            2. Why didn't they say "legal problems" then? I'm sure all the fanboys would be sympathetic
            3. How are you sure the Halo model is still in production? Again, I stress. This is not about about Microsoft, it's about Sony's sayings and de-sayings.

            BTW I'm not a raving fanboy, I don't even have a next-gen console yet. And don't be patronizing, I am just looking at things and sayi
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        how did this get modded as 'informative'? it's riddled with opinion and factual inaccuracies.

        #1: go over to the joystiq site and read up - Sony saves $27 by removing the BC feature. They must be in dire straits to need that $27 per console. Also, this 40Gb model can NEVER do BC while every 360 is capable when an HDD is present.

        #2: Sony absolutely thought rumble was last Gen... because they said it specifically in those words multiple times. Also, what makes you think MS made it hard for Immersion to lice
    • It is ridiculous, but there were a myriad variations on the PS1 and PS2 as well. The PS1 was offerend in 23 model numbers that I can count.

      The original PS2 didn't have a network jack but you could buy one and add a hard drive. The ability to add a hard drive was removed later, with a top-loading slimmer model, but with a network jack, I think. There's an even slimmer, lighter model that was introduced later, now available in silver and black. Then there was the Japan-only one that was also a DVR.

      I would
  • Just waiting to be played. I've been actively buying the newer games as they come out and stashing them for when I own a PS3. Why? Because I want to play them all upscaled with AA on my HDTV. I was planning on buying this new PS3 because it was *finally* in my price range, but now that it has no backwards compatibility it is entirely useless to me. The PS3 library is too small and doesn't appeal to me at all, so there is no real reason to buy the thing yet.

    Perhaps the real reason the PS3 is doing so misera

    • by pokerdad (1124121)

      Why bother developing for the PS3 is they'll sell on the PS2 still?

      I was originally going to agree with you, pointing out that for a game company there are six platforms I would look at before choosing to invest in make a game for the PS3(PS2, DS, PSP, Wii, Xbox360, PC). However, then I stopped and looked at this from another angle.

      If you are Sony, the last thing you want is for game companys to be weighing making a game for the PS2 vs the PS3; its cheaper to make a game for the PS2, and prior to this announcement when you developed a game for the PS2, you had all PS3

    • Sorry man, but you're experiencing the old good-fast-cheap problem. You can have upscaled quality (good), and you can have it now (fast), but you'll have to pay through the nose for it (!cheap). Or, you can have the old PS2 quality (!good), you can have it now (fast), and it won't cost too much (cheap). Or, you can have what you want, high quality (good) and low price (cheap), but not for a couple years (!fast). Good, fast, cheap. Pick two.
  • I find this a little disapointing, I was under the impression that backwards compatibility was all in software for the PS3 now anyhow.

    I saw a post on mentioning the PS2 60gb original had the full PS2 guts in it, including some kind of video scaler chip or some such, the PS3 80gb (and European 60gb) has the video scaler but no CPU / guts.
    This third model has neither chip, without the 2 other chips it's apparently impossible, assuming of course that's true.
    I do understand them needing to remove
  • So they take out back compatibility, and cut the market for the PS2 games that they are still producing? Are they just sick of the fact that PS2 sales keep being bigger than PS3 sales? Maybe they feel that reducing PS2 sales might, as a % of their total sales, make their crap-tacular PS3 sales look better...

    Not to mention that software seem to be the only element of that "business" which actually makes money.
  • Microsoft rarely initiates anything beneficial for their customers unless there is competition, and without Sony, Microsoft would not have cut the price of the XBox. (And vice versa). If Sony does well enough, expect lower prices on consoles, games, and possibly free online play.

    I'm not sure why Microsoft fanboys are cheering for the XBox 360 to dominate. We all know full well what happens when Microsoft has a monopoly...
  • by FatherOfONe (515801) on Friday October 05, 2007 @03:25PM (#20872937)
    While I think this was a mistake, and have posted on it before. Here is my take on what "might" have happened.

    Capcom, EA and others development shops came to Sony and told them (some out loud), that the price of the PS3 is too high and that because the sales are not picking up they will focus all tier one development on the Wii and then the 360, then the PS2 then the PS3. I know second hand that EA basically said this to Sony. The PS3 was dead last on their "New" development and they would do crappy ports of 360 games over to it.

    So Sony probably had a gun held to their head and had to do whatever it took to get the cost down to below $400 this year in the U.S.A. (guessing on price), without pulling an Apple and pissing off all their early adopters. They knew that they would catch a bunch of heat over the backward compatibility but at the end of the day they could line up this new PS3 next to a 360 and show that you get more for your money with the PS3 on the hardware side and all the early adopters know they have backward compatibility on their older systems. Those early adopters are happy, new buyers can still get the 80GB version if they "demand" BC, and the vast majority of people that don't care don't have to pay for it.

    "If" they would have left out the wireless and kept in the BC, then that would make them look bad on the spec sheet when compared to the 360 Elite ($450). Now it is painfully obvious that the PS3 is better and actually cheaper, thus probably forcing Microsoft to lower the price of the elite down to $400 as well. At the worst case it makes potential customers of the elite this year look long and hard at the PS3 without some EB guy saying "Yeah, it is nice, but it cost $600".

    So, the only remaining large issues for Sony are:
    1080i issue
    Home Beta out ASAP.
    Little Big Planet out ASAP.
    Better development tools.
    More exclusives if at all possible.
    Pray that MGS4, HOME, GT5 and Ratchet and Clank are great games.

    Lastly, Sony is definitely different than Microsoft and Nintendo in the gaming space. Nintendo focuses totally on the "kids" games and Microsoft appears stuck in the FPS teenager to 30 year old males demographic. There doesn't appear to be a "typical" Sony buyer. You will have some that say MGS, others GT, others Resistance, others Uncharted, others FF, and a bunch like games like Ratchet and Clank and Ape Escape and Kingdom Hearts. Then there are the dance dance revolution types and the puzzle game fans. Nintendo is trying hard to get in to a broader market but the way they treat 3rd party developers makes me and others wonder if Nintendo will ever be a company that really wants 3rd party support.

    At the end of the day though, a $400 PS3 is better than a $600 PS3 if you are an average customer buying a console this Christmas.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      I think every one and their uncle was screaming for lower prices. The new model will probably mean the PS3 will catch up and surpass it in the next 12 months. I expect the new price plus all the games coming out to seriously spur adoption rates.

      For your specific issues.

      • 1080i issue. Sony are very unlikely to ever fix this issue. Basically it sucks for HD early adopters but Sony are not going to spend $$$ to support a very small and diminishing % of users. Buy a new set or live with mostly 480p games. Al
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brkello (642429)
      Now it is painfully obvious that the PS3 is better and actually cheaper

      I'm sorry. I don't care how good you think the hardware is or how good of a value it is...a console with few to no good games doesn't have a chance against the 360. That's the only thing that is painfully obvious to me.
  • I still think the PS3 is doomed, but ditching the extraneous backwards-compatibility stuff to cut costs was a smart move.

    They need to get the price down however they can, and NO ONE CARES about backwards-compatibility. It's something that people whine about a lot on the Internet, but the unwashed masses really don't give a shit. They aren't going to be buying a new console to play old games. I'm not saying BC is *bad*, just that it's not as important as keeping to cost of the console down (or, conversely, u
  • by Taulin (569009)
    All Sony has to do is remake FF7 with graphics comparable to Advent Children, like their tech demo was, and that will drive people in. People don't remember, but it was FF7 that saved the PS1's butt. No, it wasn't Tomb Raider. FF7 was actually a new dimension in RPGs in a LOT of ways. People wanted to experience it. THAT is what is needed. RPGs are perfect for selling consoles because they bring an experience, world, graphics, music, etc. Even if people barely play the first 20 minutes, as I KNOW a m
    • I have to disagree with you. RPGs don't sell systems, at least in the US. RPGs sell systems to RPG fans like you (and me, though my feelings on FF VII are for another flamewar). Even the big-name brands like Squeenix/FF are niche games, not to mention all of the smaller RPG companies (Atlus, NIS, XSeed,etc...)

      Speaking of Blue Dragon, WTF were they thinking with that font? I almost bought a 360 until I borrowed my brother's and tried it on my SDTV. I can deal with clunky graphics, but you can't even read it.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.