details we reported on last night
seemed to suggest that the only feature difference between the $500 and $600 models of the PlayStation 3 were 40GB of storage space, which might seem hefty, but well, at least it might have been reasonable to aim for the lower-priced version.
As it turns out, that’s just the tip of the
-sinking iceberg. The $500 PS3 is
lacking a number of the attractive features
found on its higher-end sibling. Specifically: no 802.11 b/g wireless networking, no Memory Stick / Secure Digital / Compact Flash slots, and, perhaps most critical, no HDMI (high definition video connection). But for just $100 more, you can have all of these in the PS3 “premium” package. Also worth noting is that, no matter which system you buy, the PS3’s controller, while motion-sensitive, does lack the force feedback “DualShock” capability, possibly due to lawsuits Sony has faced.
This marketing strategy seems reminiscent of the XBox 360’s Core and Premium systems. The Core cost $100 less, but came without HD AV cables, a wireless headset, a wireless controller, a hard drive and other features that many gamers considered an essential part of the next-generation console experience. With the true Sony next-gen experience now running $600, I wonder if Sony’s projections of 2 million consoles shipped during the launch window are simply delusional, or if there really are that many people who will shell out more than half a thousand dollars for a video game console.