Feb 26, 2007

Sony Banks on Free Peanuts Appeasing Peanut-Butter Starved Aussies

Or maybe it's vegemite they're feeling robbed of, but in any case, Sony has just committed the second biggest mistake console companies make before they descend into the pits of obsolete-ism...

...and that is, banking on free pack-ins to move their consoles.

After ripping out all the guts required to play PS1&2 games from the European and Australian PS3 machines, Sony has hoped that a free Blu-Ray version of "Casino Royale" would appease the growing number of frothing gamers spouting off against the hardware change. Folks with a more casual attitude about the industry are likely wondering why PS3 buyers are so ripped up over the loss of such a seemingly small feature in the first place. In my opinions, buyers, particularly those with pre-orders, have every reason to be right-pissed. Many folks plunked a sizable portion of cash down months ago to reserve a system that had been advertised with the capability to play their existing Playstation libraries. How many pre-order refunds is Sony willing to administer now that they aren't delivering with the original package that convinced folks to part with their cash?

None, of course, they'd rather chuck in a sub-par movie. They haven't even the charity to throw a game in with the package - just some flick that very few will ever watch more than once.

Of course, what is so humourous about this band-aid solution, is that failed console after failed console, (and there are a lot) have initiated their death spiral by opting to pack in extra games to attempt to compete with the price cuts of the competition. It never works, however, because nobody ever buys a console just because a game they can't even choose is included with it. They buy it based on how the entire library of games looks.

And they especially don't buy it when they can get a console from the competition for a cheaper price.

Of course, Sony can't even bring themselves to pack in an extra game... because in Australia, they're hoping to make back all the money they're losing on each console they sell, by charging a minimum of $99 per title. An outrageous price considering the games are going for half that cost in most of the Northern Hemisphere, and Aussies know it.

They're decision to go with a movie rather than a game might also have something to do with the fact that... if you're going to try to use a game to sell a console, it better be a good one. Oh shit... haven't got any good ones? howz bout a movie then?

Of course, with the $1000AUS price tag slapped on the Aussie PS3, does anyone actually believe that a free "Casino Royale" is going to be the deciding factor pushing the undetermined to finally part with the contents of their wallet?