The great PS3 rip-off:
by Nic Cicutti, exclusive to MSN Money
March 22 2007
Clutching a sleeping bag and a handful of chocolate bars, 17-year-old Rihatsu Thomas pitched camp outside Virgin Megastore on London’s Oxford Street early on Wednesday morning, desperate to be among the first gamers to get his hands on Sony’s latest console, the Playstation 3.
He shouldn’t have any problems: a full 24 hours after he arrived, he was still the only person in the queue. “I thought there would be more people here,” he said. “I hope some more people come soon.”
Sony’s new console goes on sale on Friday across the UK and stores have reported disappointing pre-sales. Whereas console launches in the past have seen thousands of gamers descend on shops on launch day, the PS3 has arrived with little more than a whimper.
Reviews of the new console have been mixed. However, the number one reason keeping gamers away from the shops does not seem to be concern about the PS3’s performance or games line-up, but it’s hefty price tag.
Sony’s super-console has a recommended retail price of £425 – and that’s just for the console and a single controller. If you fancy buying a couple of games, a memory card and an additional controller, the whole package is likely to set you back around £550.
The Japanese gaming giant has been slammed for the high price of its new console, but British gamers have greater cause than most to feel aggrieved: the price of a 60 GB model PS3 in the UK is £115 more expensive than in the US, £164 dearer than in Japan and a massive £180 costlier than in Hong Kong.
Add to this the fact that, unlike the Asian and US models, UK PS3s will not be completely backwards compatible with previous Playstation and Playstation 2 games and it’s not difficult to see why gamers are keeping their money firmly in their pockets