Sure that PS3 is far more valuable console, but PS3 is already profitable since Slim model released in september of 2009, and still profitable with this new price tag. It was already time for Sony cut the PS3 price.
It was a good business move because they need to increase their install base to improve the money that they and third party developers make on software sales. The real way to guage the success of a system is to look at which version of the most popular multiplats sells better. How many copies of COD or Madden sell on the 360 vs. the PS3? That's where the real money is made. Those console sales numbers include lots of folks like myself that own both systems. The next question is, if you want a multiplat title and you have both systems, which one would you buy it for? That is where you can determine the real success of the consoles.
FYI, I am not here to say that one or the other is winning. I honestly don't know that information because I don't care that much. I am merely saying that from a business perspective, there are other factors at least as important as the install base
Because they're cheaper to make now, which means Sony can pass that savings on to the customer, still make a profit, and watch their userbase grow considerably because of it. Basically, it's about hitting that perfect X where supply meets demand. If you can do that, you maximize profits and you win at economics. Sony's trying to win at economics.
Except that if you look at the fact that the PS3 was out one less year than the 360 and you add on the average number of PS3s sold per year... that would put the PS3 at around 61-62 million for 5 and a half years, which means it's considerably above the 360. I know this point has been argued into the ground, but the PS3 released a full year after the 360. It didn't undersell the 360 in any way shape or form. It's doing remarkably better than the 360 and when you look at graphics quality it's fairly obvious that the PS3 has at least a good year of life beyond the 360. While the PS3 will probably sell considerably well after the PS4 releases, just like the PS2, the 360 will most likely fade into obscurity, like the original XBox. By the time the PS3's lifecycle is finally over expect it to be around 80-90 million sales which isn't bad by any means.
They're also very likely using the same CPU in the PS4 which will save them a ton of money and a ton of development time. The PS4 should have a fairly small development cycle which will allow it to release very quickly if Microsoft decides to release the XBox 3 (whatever it'll be called) sooner rather than later. It'll also allow it to have an affordable (edit) price at launch and will most likely still have a more powerful CPU than Microsoft's next console. They're actually sitting in a really good position right now with Blu Ray and the cell processor. They were both risky moves by Sony, but they've paid off in leaps and bounds. Next generation's development will be a breeze for both Sony and developers.
I feel like the world can thank me singlehandedly for this price cut- I've been waiting and waiting to buy a PS3 in the hopes of it coming down. I finally gave up and purchased a brand new one off eBay for $300 and doesn't Sony go and announce the price cut TWO DAYS later? Nuts!
Believe it or not Greg, I've had decent luck with Paypal's buyer protection and avoided paying tax by going with eBay over Amazon but still I do love this place and use it constantly. A shame though, a couple days could have saved me $50. My second controller would have been on the house lol.
The PS3 used the cell processor, which cost an arm and a leg to produce for Sony. Now they own a cell manufacturing plant and have already done the research necessary to make the cell affordable. If they use the cell processor in the PS4, like they've talked about in the past, then it's very likely that the PS4 could have a lower price out of the gate. Now I'm not talking $250, but possibly $350 given that the systems will have beastly GPUs and much more RAM than the current systems.
I do agree that we're still a while away from next generation, which is fine by me. I like my PS3 and it plays the games I want to play without any issues (excepting a few developers flaws on occassion).