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March 2, 2009 // 7:40 am - A Wall Street analyst reports that a price reduction for the PlayStation 3 will happen "in the next couple days."

Mike Hickey with investment-banking firm Janco Partners told investors on Wednesday that he expects Sony will drop the price of the console to respond to sluggish hardware sales. To quote:

"Recent channel checks indicate increased speculation for a PS3 price cut announcement from Sony in the next couple of days," Hickey wrote.

Currently the PS3 is the most expensive of the three "next-gen" consoles on the market. The Playstation 3 with an 80 GB hard drive runs $399, while the 160 GB model is priced at $499. By comparison, the most expensive Xbox 360, which includes a 120 GB hard drive, retails at $399 and the economically priced Wii, when it can be found on shelves, sells for $249.

While many Playstation fans argue that the PS3 more than makes up the price difference with its Blu-ray drive, with the economy as it is, consumers are looking harder than ever at the PS3's spendy price tag.

In fact, Hickey believes the PS3's price would have to drop by at least $100 to make a big difference in Sony's sales numbers.

"We think the company needs to reduce the current price by USD 100 to effectively restart unit velocity at retail. We believe the market is expecting a PS3 price cut in April or by June at the latest."

Hickey also adds that he's heard murmurs of a Blu-ray-free PS3 in the works. Without the Blu-ray hardware, the console's production cost would shrink enough to rationalize a substantial price drop.

I have my doubts about this rumor. It makes no sense that Sony would remove the Blu-ray from consoles when, in many ways, Blu-ray was the Playstation 3's raison d'etre. From the day the Playstation 3 was introduced, Sony all but said it was selling the PS3 below cost in order to win the "format war" over HD-DVD. Abandoning that niche would be admitting that Blu-ray hasn't delivered as hoped.

And it's just not in Sony's corporate culture to ever admit such a defeat.

But I wonder: Given that we're three years into the new console cycle, hasn't anyone who's considering buying any gaming console already purchased one? And if not, would a $100 difference now make you get off the fence and buy a PS3?

Or are we all too worried about losing our jobs and paying our mortgages to consider such a creature comfort?

Rumor: PS3 Price Drop Imminent, Blu-ray-Free PS3 in the Works

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#26 - SiZMiK - March 6, 2009 // 12:09 am
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Price drop I can believe, but a PS3 without a BR drive is laughable, for a start all the previous released PS3 games would not load.

#25 - skyliner33gtr - March 5, 2009 // 11:31 pm
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a price drop would be nice for the ps3. as for blu rayless ps3's, i don think so personally. i also think that sales are also sluggish because there is no public dev action goping on like the 360. no hdd loader or ways to backup games like the xbox. if there were more developents out for ps3, i bet there would be a spike in sales no matter the price.

#24 - kristapsz - March 5, 2009 // 10:16 pm
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I bought a PS3 also because of the blu-ray player. But prices for movies are just too high. 30 euros for one movie is just too much, especially for older titles. No wonder that nobody is buying.

#23 - ILMSTMF - March 5, 2009 // 9:35 pm
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To echo (most) everyone else...PS3 w/o Blu-Ray = Fail. The Blu-Ray feature has likely been the dealbreaker for most past and future buyers.

However, I do hope there is some truth to the rumored price'll give me an excuse to sell my 40GB and buy an 80GB. :-D

Anyone familiar with transferring hard drive contents from one system to another? Is there an easy way that doesn't involve an external drive needing special formatting? Thanks

#22 - sniper wolf - March 5, 2009 // 6:19 pm
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well a ps3 without blue-ray it's quite unuseless and in my opinion it would only increase the prices of the games must work even in the ps3 without the blue rayso the software house had to make the game in two different disc so the costs will increase...

so i think that it's probably a fake idea...

#21 - TopDogElec - March 5, 2009 // 5:36 pm
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While it probably would help sell a few thousand more PS3 consoles for people not looking for a blu-ray player, how would the quality of games be on DVD-9?

I personally have a PS3 and bought it primarily as a Blu-Ray player but do have a few games that I play on it, and in my opinion the quality of the games far exceeds the 360 (which I also have btw) So I think taking out the Blu-Ray would be senseless because then you are losing out on the best part of the PS3.

#20 - shalina - March 5, 2009 // 3:19 pm
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many people buy the ps3 because of the bluray-player. so a ps3 without this drive is senseless

#19 - picc0lo - March 5, 2009 // 2:17 pm
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Good news about the price cut, this will definitely boost ps3 sales.

And a Bluray-free PS3? That doesn't make sense.

#18 - flowz11 - March 5, 2009 // 12:02 pm
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no blu-ray disc would be the most stupid thing to do.. no one will buy the ps3 then..

#17 - huddo121 - March 5, 2009 // 9:04 am
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Quote Originally Posted by 51N15T3R View Post
If Sony was to create a PS3 without Blu-ray how could you play any disc based games? I have never seen PS3 games on DVD. That rumor seems impossible.

EXACTLY what i was thinking, a price drop is understandable, but, ummm, it would be a rather limited PS3.