Dear Dave

Friday, 23 March 2007

Darth Vader's bread bin

Dear Dave,

Happy PS3 Day!

Yes, the PlayStation 3 is finally released in Europe today and, in worrying news for Sony, I haven't pre-ordered one. I haven't even forgotten to pre-order one. I'm simply not getting one. Considering I have enough games consoles to be running low on fingers when counting them, this is something of a surprise to everybody.

It's just too expensive.

This is a shame really, since it's actually the best value for money of the new consoles - it's the most powerful, it has built-in wi-fi, a large hard-drive and an HD movie player. The thing is, though, all I really want to do is play games and almost all the games on PS3 I can already play on my Xbox 360. A PS3 would be an extravagance at half the price. (And at half the price it would still be more expensive than a Nintendo Wii).

As I said, this is not good news for Sony since I must be fairly near the top of their target demographic:

  • I'm an avid gamer.
  • I've bought their previous consoles.
  • I'm mysteriously drawn to sleek black gadgets.
  • I have a fair stash of pocket money lying around because I seldom have the opportunity to go out and, let's face it, when I do have the opportunity I'd rather stay home and play games.
  • I'm a sucker.
Unfortunately for them, however, my resistance is still high and I don't get to the shops much so I'm going to be fairly oblivious to any hype in the window of GAME. It used to be that the local shopping centre was fifteen minute's walk away and the nearest point of interest upon leaving the house. Now that I have three children it is at the very fringes of my world and getting there is an expedition. All my clothes are falling apart but I can't be bothered trekking to Burtons with my grumbling offspring only to have to squeeze into a changing cubicle with them all and then listen to them discuss my underwear very loudly. ("You blue pants, Daddy. They got hole!") Now the PS3 is out, I may actively avoid going to the shops. The last time I went to buy trousers I came back with the 360 instead.

So, to sum up, I'm not buying a PS3 and I'm not going near one, just in case. How did Sony get in this mess? Once again, I can only imagine the planning meeting:

Sony VP: How are we going to get people to buy Blu-ray players?
Sony Exec (newly arrived from my last letter): Let's put them in all PS3s.
VP: Making the PS3 more expensive than any other console and driving down sales.
Exec: Yes, but once they have a Blu-ray player in their homes, people are bound to start buying movies and HDTVs and we'll make the money back.
VP: Er...
Exec: Come on, it's a PlayStation, people are bound to buy it.
VP: Maybe, but how can we make sure? How are we going to get people to buy PS3s?
Exec: Ah! That's obvious! We'll put Blu-ray players inside them all.
VP: Er, sink two birds with one stone, kind of thing?
Exec: Yes, yes, exactly. We'll sell the PS3 cheaper than any of the stand-alone Blu-ray players...
VP: By losing money on every one we sell...
Exec: Yes, but once they have a games console in their homes, people are bound to start buying games and we'll make the money back.
VP: So we're going to use the PS3 to sell Blu-ray and Blu-ray to sell the PS3? Isn't that a little... risky?
Exec: Not as risky as covering ourselves with jam and prancing naked through a swarm of termites.
VP: Quite, but what exactly has that got to do with...
Exec: Don't worry. Everything will be fine. (He exits the room by pulling extremely hard on his own bootstraps and launching himself spectacularly through a skylight).
VP: That was amazing! We'd better do what he said. Everything will be fine...

I'm not saying I'm never going to buy one. (With my track record, that would be foolish). I'm just not going to buy one for a while. A long while. Probably not before Wednesday, 23rd September, 2009, anyway.

That will be Marie's first full day at school. My resistance will be low that day.

Yours in a woman's world,


PS Please send trousers.

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