PS3 Slim Available At Some Retailers

PS3 Slim Best Buy ad.If you thought you’d have to wait until September for that new PS3 Slim, think again. Multiple sources confirm that several retailers not only have the new console in stock, they’re actually selling them for the official $299 price.

Word first reached me today via Gizmodo, which ran a story on a Florida man who found a palette of consoles sitting center stage at his local Best Buy. He even grabbed a pictured. Over the course of the day other sites started to pick up on the news, and by late afternoon, people were apparently scouring their local electronic stores to see if they could get a hold a PS3 Slim early.

From the sounds of things, it hasn’t been very hard. A lot of Best Buy locations have the console in stock and ready to sell. Retailers like Target and Wal-Mart are also rumored to have stock, though most of them haven’t made it to the floor yet. Regardless, there’s no reason you should still be reading this. Go get yourself a PS3 Slim!


Amazon Warns Of PS3 Slim Shortage

Sony's PS3 Slim.If you were thinking about waiting to order your new PS3 Slim, thinking maybe Sony will sort out the whole backwards compatibility thing before launch, you might want to reconsider. Amazon is predicting a shortage of the new console in the US so they’re limiting purchases to one per customer. In the UK things are looking a little less strict, with limits at five per customer.

“In an effort to provide as many customers as possible with the opportunity to purchase PlayStation 3 120GB, we are limiting the total number of PlayStation 3 120GB units that can be purchased. As a result, each household may only purchase one PlayStation 3 120GB unit,” Amazon said earlier this week.

The new PS3 announcement has not been able to help Sony stock, which continues to slide.


PS3 Is 70% Cheaper To Make Than At Launch

The Playstation 3.During a conference call, Sony corporate CEO Nobuyuki Oneda said the PS3 is now some 70% cheaper to make than it was at launch. Most estimates suggest the PS3 was around $800 to build in the beginning, which puts the console at just $240 now.

The obvious question – does this mean we’ll see price cuts some time soon? I’m inclined to say no, since Sony seems to be losing money everywhere, but that might be a great way to get a leg up on the Xbox 360. Sure, no one likes to be losing money on hardware this far into the product cycle, but imagine getting a PS3 for $250! I’d probably go buy one tomorrow out of pure disbelief, especially if it came with a decent hard drive. Microsoft’s cheapest console is so pared down I couldn’t really justify buying one.

Sony could keep prices where they are to try to recoup some of their recent losses, but why let the world know the price has gone down so far? So we know how much is headed straight to Nobuyuki Oneda’s bonus check?


Not Everyone Hates the PS3

Dragon Age: Origins.With Sony’s CEO weighing in on the PS3 price cut rumors, it’s hard not to focus on all of the people begging for it to happen and how unhappy they are with the platform. Well not everyone is as riled up as Activision. In fact, some folks, some very important folks, are actually enjoying their PS3 development.

The good tidings come from none other than BioWare, famed developers of Mass Effect and the upcoming Dragon Age: Origins. In fact, it’s DA:O they’ve been having so much fun with. Talking to, the DA:O team called developing for the PS3 “exciting,” and said they’re “really pumped” to be working with the platform. Sounds a little contrived, but they get more specific as the article goes on.

It’s funny, we had extra graphic memory left over on the PS3. We were like, wow! So we actually started putting some of the audio bits in there and stuff. It’s a function of effort. Overall, pretty happy with how it’s turning out.

With all the bad news spewing forth about PS3 development, it’s nice to see a little good in there, especially if you’re a PS3 owner.


Sony Could Be In Serious Trouble

Bobby Kotick ready to axe Sony.When you’ve taken a company from $10 million yearly revenues to nearly $200 million quarterly revenues, you can pretty much say what you want. If your new company also happens to be worth some $16 billion, you can also say those things to whomever you like, even if it happens to be Sony.

That’s exactly what’s happening between Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s President and CEO (that would be the $16 billion company), and Sony. Kotick has apparently been frustrated with the fees Sony charges for what he thinks may be a dying platform.

“I’m getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don’t make it easy for me to support the platform. It’s expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation,” Kotick says. “When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support [PS3 and PSP].”

For those of you keeping track at home, that’s next year. As in, six months from now. And if Activision sees fit to pull the plug, who’s next? Other developers have voiced issue with Sony licensing fees and the difficulties of developing on their hardware. Would EA see fit to cut ties?

As compelling a case as Kotick might put together, he seems a bit blind when it comes to ideas for saving Sony. In this same interview, Mr. Kotick suggests Sony consider things like the upcoming skateboard controller for a new Tony Hawk title. Are peripherals really what’s slowing the company? I could be wrong here, but how does adding a peripheral, which will probably be available on the other two consoles, help PS3 sales? How does that cut back the fees Kotick so loathes? And what of development? PS3 will still cost more per title for the same game, so where’s the benefit?

In running Sony into the ground is my guess. Kotick’s suggestion leads one direction – further marginalization of the PS3. If they keep releasing the same games and the same peripherals as everyone else, they’ll keep getting beat, for all the reasons Kotick cites early on. Then he doesn’t have to make the tough decision because every developer would leave with him.

For now you can rest assured Activision is still making plenty of money off Sony, but I’d bet other developers share some of Kotick’s thoughts, if not his fervor for making them public. Will Sony respond, or is Kotick just a blowhard? Sound off in the comments.


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