I've been playing videogames for a long time...The games for the 8-bit Nintendo set my imagination on fire, and over the course of the 19 years since I first played them, my search for entertainment has led me to enjoy gaming on as many platforms (except X-Box) as I can, and to sample games from all genres at least once.
So you can definetely classify me as a hard-core gamer.
I remember that the controllers for the 8-bit Nintendo, as well as for all subsequent Nintendo consoles, were well-designed (except for the Gamecube -- yeech), comfortable, intuitive and rugged. I NEVER once had to purchase another controller after my initial purchase of the console it came with. The games had great gameplay and stories that were imaginative, fun and interesting (Faxanadu, the Zelda series, Contra, Metroid, etc, etc) Even as an 8 year old child, I could see that Nintendo was a company that aimed to entertain to the fullest.
The Sony Computer Entertainment Corporation, on the other hand, is about profit and market acquisition strategies and, in its ruthless pursuit of those, is willing to exploit gamers as much as they'll allow. Sony truly turned gaming into a business -- and for that I'll never forgive them.
The reason for the high-price of the PS3? Market acquisition.
As most people know, blu-ray is a new technology, and new technologies don't start off cheap to manufacture, so when that technology is new, customers pay outrageous prices i.e. $1000 for a stand-alone blu-ray player. But not PS3 customers...Why? Because Sony stands to grab a larger chunk of the high definition player market by using its already established gaming market as a springboard.
So, even though you and me might not want a blu-ray player...and why would you, by the way? The format conflict between it and HD-DVD ISN'T resolved, and it's most likely neither one will win, as third-party manufacturers will find common ground either in media or hardware. Nonethelss, we are forced to buy one, and Sony has the audacity to state that we are getting a deal, since we only pay between $500-600 dollars AND we get a gaming console. The problem with this reasoning is what I've just mentioned above -- most likely, third-parties will bridge the conflict, and thus, there won't BE any advantage in getting a blu-ray player cheap, since hardware will either support both formats, or new media will. Thus, Sony is trying to fool us into PAYING for their acquisition of the market and, when blu-ray doesn't win the fight, we're the ones who end up losing our cash, as Sony made us the fight sponsor wihout even asking us.
Some might argue at this point that the high price of the PS3 is also influenced by the Cell processor. I'll admit, it's a POSSIBILITY, since I haven't looked into the manufacturing and development costs, but since IBM has done most of the research, and that they stand to gain a lot of cash by including their chip in embedded systems, I doubt very much the costs to Sony were high enough to raise the price of the PS3 to where it is now.
The reason I mentioned Nintendo and its practices at the beginning of this post was so that these practices could be contrasted with Sony'.
The PS2 had disc-read errors from the beginning (which turned out to be caused by manufacturing defects), and the company' response was to remain obstinate until a class action lawsuit was filed. So, they messed up the manufacturing, but we should pay for it? The courts gave their opinion on that, and consumers got justice.
The price of the PS2 also remained static right up until the PS3 launch, showcasing Sony' ability to milk us for all we're worth.
The controllers Sony churns out are of poor quality; I had to buy THREE controllers after initially purchasing a PS2 (NOT including the second one I bought at the same time as the console)...and I don't throw my controllers or anything like that either, I just play Tekken with friends. Then there's the cost -- $50 a pop for a sub-standard, useless piece of junk. But I had no choice, and Sony exploited that. Lost your memory card? Too bad, cause it's going to cost you $40 for that. Want an HD cable? I think i've made my point.
Sony sells us gaming piecemeal, and the responsibility for bringing this practice into the gaming industry practically falls on its shoulders alone. Nintendo NEVER took us for all we're worth in the shameless manner Sony continues to do.
So I think I'll buy a Wii...and if I have too much free time, I'll spend some of it with friends, and take up more outdoor activities and get my them to come along. Oh, I'll buy a PS3, but only when PS4 comes around, making the price drop to sane levels.
What I won't do, is be exploited by some greedy chumps.