Analyst Predicts Sony to Cut Price of 80GB PS3

When Sony announced in July a $100 price cut on the 60GB PlayStation 3, it also unveiled a new 80GB PS3 packaged with MotorStorm. What SCEA didn’t reveal, but SCEE boss David Reeves did, is that production had already ceased on the North American 60GB consoles.

SCEA communications officer Dave Karraker eventually confirmed, “The 60GB PS3 will be available in North America for $499 until supplies of that unit are depleted. We have ample inventory to meet the immediate needs of consumers in this territory for several months to come.”

During late August, Karraker said, “We no longer have any inventory in SCEA warehouses. All inventory has been purchased and shipped to retailers … We don’t have visibility as to if that is on their store shelves or in their warehouses at this time. However, based on inventory reports from our retailers, there is ample supply still left in the channel.”

According to comments Bloomberg received from Sony spokeswoman Kimberly Otzman, supplies of the 60GB model probably will last through October. What the representative could not comment on, however, is what would happen to the overall pricing of the PlayStation 3 once the $499 60GB console is no longer available to consumers.

Price has always been a sensitive issue for Sony’s latest console. Should there be no movement on price, the effective cost to consumers for the PlayStation 3 will be the $599 charged for the 80GB model – perhaps leading some to perceive the situation as a $100 price hike to own the console.

Sony likely already has plans for what it will do once the 60GB model is gone, but the company isn’t saying anything just yet. Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Edward Woo, among others, firmly believes that Sony will cut the price of the 80GB PS3. “That’s what everybody’s expecting,” Woo said in a Bloomberg interview. “That would be a surprise if they don’t.”