Barrier to entry for new PS3 – $499 and $599 versions?

Sony annouced the exact launch dates, configurations and prices yesterday for the much awaited PS3, with it’s 7 core processor, the Cell.

At $499 for the 20GB version and $599 for the 60GB version, one can only think that this is priced way too high for the ‘casual gamer’ and average consumer – you are not going to get the average family pass the electronics store and pick one up without some serious consideration first. However, since Sony bets on a 10 year lifespan for their gaming consoles, is this configuration well placed to last the next 10 years? Yes, probably.

Even at these prices Sony is expected to be taking a serious loss per unit sold, at a cost to manufacture estimated at approx $800 per unit.

The launch date for the new PS3 will be Nov 1 in Japan, followed by Nov 17 in North America.

According to Joystiq, here’s the difference in features in terms of the $100 difference:

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  • 20GB base vs. 60GB

  • You lose HDMI output
  • You lose MemoryStick / SD / CompactFlash slots
  • You lose 802.11 b/g wireless

    This looks like a substantial difference, so it’s not just the HD upgraded size.

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