PlayStation 4's imminent launch will have PS3 prices dropping as much as 60%

By Louis Ramirez on February 18, 2013, 9:30 AM

Sony is about to take console gaming into the future, and if industry experts are correct, that future will begin on February 20. That's when the Japanese giant will give the world its first glimpse at the PlayStation 4 at a press conference to be held in New York City.

Sony has remained tight-lipped about the event, but the Wall Street Journal claims that "people familiar with the matter" have confirmed the PS4's unveiling, making Sony the second player to enter the next-gen console arena in the past year, behind Nintendo (which unveiled its Wii U in November) and ahead of Microsoft, who hasn't made official any information about the Xbox 360 successor.

While the thought of a PS4 has us excited, we also can't help but wonder what this means for the PlayStation 3, which will undoubtedly see a price drop after Sony's announcement. To find out how good the PlayStation 3 deals may get, we turned to previous console announcements to see how they affected the prices of their predecessors.

The PS3 was announced at E3 in May of 2005. Prior to its announcement, deals for the PlayStation 2 had been averaging $160. After the announcement, the PS2 dropped to an all-time low of $129, or 56% its full retail price. At the time, that price was unheard of for the PS2.

Nintendo Wii and PS2 Hit All-Time Lows During Successor's Debut

Fast forward to the PS3's actual release to customers in November of 2006, and the PS2 dropped in price again; falling to a new all-time low of $116, or 61% off the full retail price.

In similar fashion, we found a Nintendo Wii deal that dropped to an all-time low of $89 (64% the full retail price) a week after the Wii U's debut last November. To this day that remains the best deal we've seen for a new Nintendo Wii console.

Naturally, these price drops are expected when any device's successor is announced, but if we go by these numbers, then deals on the PS3 160GB console could potentially hit as low as $144 (64% off full retail price). While that may sound extreme, keep in mind that we've already seen this model hit $200 multiple times in November and December (the 160GB PS3's lowest price to date).

For a system as powerful as the PS3, with a game library this large, $144 is an absolute steal for bargain hunters. The PS3 was also recently named one of the best Blu-ray players by CNET, another plus for the system.

PlayStation 4 deals to arrive 2 months after release

While it's anyone's guess as to when the PS4 will be available, it's never too early to begin thinking about deals. For that we turn to the only next-gen console available today — Nintendo's Wii U. The 8GB Wii U saw a $10 discount (3%) a month after its November debut. In January, it received a bigger $55 discount (18%) bringing it to an all-time low of $245. Not bad for a console that's less than three months old.

Meanwhile, the 32GB Wii U saw an equally modest $20 discount (5%) in January, and a more substantial $50 discount (14%) just weeks later. That brought the 32GB Wii U to an all-time low of $300. If the PS4 follows the same path, you could expect to see a 5% to 14% discount on the PS4 two months after its release.

Ultimately, this week's event from Sony is bound to be filled with surprises, but the real winners will be potential PS3 buyers who are likely to see new lows on Sony's still-popular console. To prepare, make sure to set up an email alert now for deals on PS3 and PS4 consoles, so you can jump on any price cuts the second we find them.

Republished with permission. Louis Ramirez is an avid gadget lover and Senior Feature Writer at Dealnews.

User Comments: 13

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m4a4 m4a4 said:

Hmmm... still don't have enough money to invest into another console. Even if it's this "cheap"...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm still not interested, no matter what the cost may be. The whole concept behind needing a designated console (proprietary at that) for gaming needs to die.

DriverJ said:

I for one still hold out hope that it is NOT a new Playstation. The PS2 was brought to it's technical limits by game devs before the next gen released. I think very few titles have even scratched that surface personally, and would love to see game devs given a bit longer to push the PS3 and 360 to their limits before the next generation rolls out.

I'm also more than content to wait out and see what happens after launch with the launch window issues both the ps3 and 360 had, as well as the weak launch titles from both.

veLa veLa said:

I haven't bought a console since 2001 when I get the PS2. Some how I've had the white Xbox 360 and the new black one for free

Guest said:

"I think very few titles have even scratched that surface personally, and would love to see game devs given a bit longer to push the PS3 and 360 to their limits..."

Sorry to say this, but you couldn't be more wrong. I don't think you understand just how little 256 MB of RAM really is. Current-gen systems need to die and they need to die fast. Their limits were reached a long time ago.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I have no plans to initially buy a next-gen console, but I'm glad they're here because PC versions of cross platform games will be beefed up. I'm playing Mass Effect 3 I got for $10 (thanks to TechSpot weekend game deals), and the graphics are pretty lame.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm kinda excited about the Next Gen, I wasn't last time round because games like Burnout and TimeSplitters etc... were still being released on PS2, so when the last gen hit I wasn't massively excited, but this time, well games have gone stale and are not pushing any boundary's anymore, You can only play CoD, Halo and Gears so many times before you realize that they essentially pushed the current hardware to its limits, bring on the next gen I say!

I will probably buy a PS4 this time round though, A) because (even though I don't play on it much) my Xbox red ring'ed itself and B) the Playstation always seemed the better quality machine, I kind of regret going the Xbox route this time round.

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

I'll just hold on to my PC, and reek the extra benefits of next-gen consoles, namely developers finally being able to progress with their graphics development. I'm sick of 6 year old consoles holding back what devs can do with their games, I for one am happy that the next gen are coming.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well in 4 hours we'll know exactly what all the fuss is about xD

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Bumpity. It's been announced. I'll post back with links when I find them.

Here's a live-blog.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Yeah I've just watched the whole thing, to be totally honest, I'm genuinely excited about it

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Depends on the price for me. My hope is that with a x86 architecture and DX11 GPU, this will result in fewer exclusives and higher quality ports.

So, if the consoles are $600, I'd rather build a dedicated SteamBox for that much.

McNasty said:

Cool, now I can pick up another PS3 at $150 for the best blue ray media streaming device on the planet. I game on a PC so I could care less about console based gaming.

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