Given that Sony released the news of the $499 60GB console two days before E3 opens, we can expect further significant announcements at the press conference tomorrow. Rumours of a video download service are probably not far from the mark.
Reports of the impact of the price "cut" (a $499 20GB PS3 was available at launch but few were sold) vary from the "hardly anything" to "new market leader emerges", with Sony optimists pointing to the fact that Amazon's lists
put the PS3 now as the number one console. Bearing in mind it comes packaged
with a free Blu-ray remote and five free BD titles, this certainly seems like a rather appealing deal. Europeans are awaiting confirmation of the scale of the price cut in their part of the world, but I would guess £350 for the UK.
The new price was inevitable and necessary and will go some way towards clearing the inventory that has built up between what Sony says it has shipped and what has sold through to consumers. High definition fans will not have failed to notice that the 60GB PS3 is now retailing at the same price as Sony's BDP-S300 BD player, which also comes with the five-disc offer. Industry debate continues over how much profit, if any, Sony is making on PS3, but even if it isn't, the S300 margin must be a lot healthier than the PS3's. One way or another, PS3 and BD component costs are plummeting, as expected, so this will be the first in a series of downward price moves over the next couple of years.