When we brought you news of the PS3's £425 UK price point, we speculated that the British public wouldn't react too well to it. Both the price and US/UK differential are down points, but Eurogamer has been talking to British retailers who have a much more cheerful outlook on things.
From calling the price point "irrelevant for the first six months" to "anticipating that demand will outstrip supply", retailers are confident that the PS3 will sell well, with the head of Action Replay even saying that the console could have been "twice the price and still sell-out twice over".
Given the supply problems and huge demand for the Xbox 360 in the UK when it launched last December, these retailers are speaking from experience. However, not all of them are optimistic. Problems of release dates and availability across the spectrum of games platforms don't make for confident customers, and the price differential between the PS3 and 360 is attractive.
Fundamentally, the UK and European markets are going to be different to conquer than the US. The UK's first HDTV service was only launched in February of this year, while Sky HD
launched today. Many consumers -- even salespeople -- are confused about HD
, but sales of HD-ready TV sets are allegedly on the rise, with two million projected sales this year.
Perhaps the HD buzz will have finally taken off by November, when the PS3 launches. However, banking on the HD side as a major selling point seems currently a little foolish given the UK's resistance to HD so far. On the other hand, the retailers questioned by Eurogamer were generally optimistic even without taking into account HD -- we're used to paying for our consoles, and since the £425 price tag already includes VAT (a 17.5% sales tax imposed on luxury goods), perhaps it's not such a bad deal after all.