Locally some pundits have, brought up the old chestnut pricing comparison between the U.S and Australia, though the SmartHouse story and subsequent price comparison fails to take into account sales tax in the U.S.
The comparison of US$399 PS3 at Best Buy using the current exchange rate, equates to an Australian price of around AU$595, which doesn’t compare well with the Australian RRP of around AU$689.
But, add the U.S sales tax to the price and the resultant AU$655 doesn’t look as tasty up against the GST included AU$689.
Sony Australia has long stated that they are driven by pricing out of the European market, making U.S. comparisons even less relevant. A quick check of UK PS3 pricing reveals an equivalent Australian tag of around AU$640. Somewhat cheaper than the AU$689, but not too bad for a penal colony.
Sony Entertainment Australia head Michael Ephraim was reportedly a little tired of mentioning this, responding to the SmartHouse series of articles with "I am fed up of Sony being bashed we are not price gouging neither do we have regional codes in our software. I am calling in our lawyers as we are not in any way price gouging Australian consumers. This is misleading. We have to factor in exchange rates etc".
A more sedate exchange between the media and Ephraim was conducted by Jason Hill over at The Age where Ephraim was asked about the gaming sectors growth in the current economic climate.
“We predict that the market will continue to grow in 2009. With the majority of consumers more focussed on their finances and expenditure in the current climate, we expect the current level of investment in home entertainment to be maintained, if not increased, in 2009 as consumers spend more time and money seeking entertainment options within the home.” Ephraim said.
And then to the inevitable query about a price reduction for the PS3: “There are no current plans for movement on the RRP of full priced games.”
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