Along with the advent of the HD generation of consoles, a new trend has also emerged along with it – the release of consoles with two versions. The Xbox 360 began it last fall when it came out with the $399 premium pack that includes a wireless controller, a 20 gigabyte hard drive and high definition video cables as well as a $299 “core” se that has no hard drive and only has a wired controller. Despite the price difference a great many consumers and gamers preferred to get the premium pack. This trend was so prevalent that the premium pack actually ran out of stocks that most disgruntled consumers settled for the core pack.Sony has followed suit when it announced that it will also carry two variants of the PlayStation 3, a premium model that will cost $599 and will come equipped with a 60 gigabyte hard drive as well as an HDMI high definition video output, and a $499 model that only has a 20 gigabyte hard drive.
Now reports are coming in with regards to the ratio of the initial PS3 shipments upon launch. According to reports from market analysts the expected break down of shipped units will be roughly 80 – 20, with majority of the units being the premium version. It should be noted though that these are only estimates and not an official announcement of Sony itself.
My personal opinion about the whole matter? If this is true then I think Sony is making the right decision. A hundred dollar difference is already quite small when you consider that the unit is a high ticket item. For people who can afford 499 dollars, an extra hundred will not matter especially if the hundred dollars will mean a larger hard drive, HDMI output for true HD quality video, and from what I have heard the premium version will also have Wi Fi.
I’ll definitely get the premium version when it comes out – that is if I can actually get a unit. Based on the feverish waiting of many people for the arrival of the PS3, this will be quite a feat.