How would a $400 PS3 affect holiday sales?

Sales of this, however, are expected to surge

While a $400 PS3 still hasn’t officially been announced for North America yet, let’s assume it’s going to happen. Let’s also assume it happens in time for the holiday shopping season. Where would this put Sony, vis-a-vis Microsoft and Nintendo?

According to several industry analysts, don’t expect Sony to rocket to the top of sales anytime soon. Long term, though, is another matter entirely.

While it’s not a universal truth, most of the analysts who talked with Next Generation said that the price cut will help Sony out, sure, but only among people who were waiting for a price drop. That sorta seems like a tautology, but the point, presumably, is that the average gamer who wasn’t going to buy a PS3 before aren’t all of a sudden going to be buying one now. Those who were like, “you know, I’d get one once the price lowers a bit” may pull the trigger now.

Microsoft need not worry about the price drop. With cheaper hardware and better software (Halo 3, in other words), Microsoft will be A-OK this holiday season. Throw in a few pack-in games (which one analyst said was done to counter any Sony price drops) and Redmond will be fine.

And Nintendo, where does it fit in all of this gamesmanship? Nowhere, sorta. The Wii is so different from its competitors that Nintendo is pretty much in a different category. Sales are strong (evident by the fact that the system is still hard to find on store shelves) and hardcore gamers will likely pick up a Wii to go along with their 360 or PS3.

The inclusion of that pesky Blu-ray drive will only benefit Sony long term.

So it’s like this: don’t expect any major shake up in the console wars this holiday season; stay tuned for next year’s, however.

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