How much is too much to dish out for a next-gen game console? No one knows for sure yet, but at least one analyst thinks that Sony's announcement of about $600 MSRP for its higher-end PlayStation 3 unit due out late next fall may be pushing the envelope on what gamers will (or can) dole out, especially if buying an HD monitor is also seen as a necessity for maximizing the game experience.
ABI Research said in published reports that asking video gamers to pay more than $500 for a game console before most players have yet to buy a new HD set may force current PS2 owners to seriously re-evaluate what the competition has to offer (HD Notebook, May 17, 2006).
ABI says Sony may be putting out signals that its new console box is relatively expensive to manufacture and the added price points must be shouldered by the buying public. Whether this analyst observation will stand up in future months as being astute -- or well off the mark, considering the legions of PS2 fanatics around -- will not be known for certain until year's end. PS3 hits stores in November.
Also, while PS3 and Xbox 360 are expected to boost penetration rates for the new Blu-ray and HD DVD formats, respectively, the opposite also may be true: The increase in HD set penetration globally could also serve as an impetus for sales of both HD-inclusive game consoles.
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