PS3 60GB phase-out "false" claims SCEA

SCEA has denied "inaccurate" reports that its $100 price cut on the 60 Gig PS3 is simply a move to clear stock before offering solely the higher priced 80 Gig version. But different stories are coming off of the company all the time. Kaz Hirai seems to think the $499 SKU is a goner.

A spokesperson for Sony told Next Gen, "As announced this week, SCEA's product offering in North America consists of a 80GB PS3 available in August at $599 and a 60GB PS3 available now for $499. We will have ample supplies of both models to meet the needs of our consumers for the foreseeable future."

Officials at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe - including president David Reeves -had said that the US price would still be $599 because that would be the only model on offer once 60 Gig stocks ran out. If true, this would have rendered the $100 price cut a virtually pointless gesture, meaning that PS3 had not been cut in price, but was simply being offered with extra memory and a bundled game.

SCEA has reacted with puzzlement to the European perspective, suggesting that there may have been an incorrect interpretation. The spokesperson said, "Those quotes from David Reeves are not accurate. He said that if they had lowered the price in Europe, that territory would have run out of their current inventory by the end of July."

Nevertheless, Kaz Hirai himself says the one SKU strategy is the plan. He told Scandinavian website VGTV, "[We do not] have a 2 SKU strategy in the US, we learned very quickly customers respond better to having one SKU than two. We dropped the price on the 60GB model, as you know that model is no longer in production, once it's no longer on store shelves it will just be the $600 SKU."

Previously, a senior PR at Sony in London had backed Reeves' statement, confirming that he had been talking about the US market, though the PR later distanced London from the remarks, telling Next Gen, “I believe that is the plan, but SCEA has not formally made an announcement on any timeframe. As it affects the US you should confirm with SCEA.”

SCEA subsequently denied the story entirely. However, questions will now be raised about the company's long term plans for the 60 Gig version and for its $599/$499 pricing strategy as well as its ability to stay on-message. We're waiting for clarification on some of these issues from SCEA.

As reported by Next Gen.

July 13, 2007