A Case of Weird Economics

In: Uncategorized by Edie Sellers

15 May 2008

This is a piece about Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a megafan of the series. Sure, I’ve played some MGS before, and I liked it well enough. But I’m not about to go get a MGS4 tattoo or anything. At least not while sober.

That being said, I’m perplexed at the recent Sony/Konami version of economics when it comes to the much-anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 bundle pack for the United States.

Make that “packs.” As in there are two: One announced in February for late Q2 this year and one about to go on pre-order on May 19 only through Konami’s website.

Let’s do some math, here.

After the jump…

The Q2 MGS pack will reportedly be priced at $499. It includes:

  • An 80GB PS3 in black;
  • A Dualshock 3 controller;
  • A copy of MGS4 (retail price: $60)

The Konami-exclusive pack, priced at $599, includes:

  • A 40GB PS3 in gunmetal gray;
  • A Dualshock 3 controller;
  • A Limited Edition copy of MGS4 (with two “making of” videos and a soundtrack. Retail price:$85)

Now let’s walk through the economics of this. For $100 more, you lose 40GB of hard drive, but you gain a different console color, and a few doo-dahs.

That might make sense if the doo-dah edition was significantly more expensive than the regular edition, but according to GameStop, which will be the exclusive retailer of the special edition, the price difference between the two is a mere $25.

In other words, you could buy the regular pack and buy a copy of the limited-edition game and you’d be ahead one totally resellable game, 40GB of hard drive and $40.

Ultimately, the only “benefit” of the Konami pack is that you get a gray console. And that benefit seems completely wiped out by the halving of the hard-disk space. It’s no big secret that MGS creator Hideo Kojima has lamented publically about his troubles fitting MGS4 onto a 50g BluRay disk. This franchise is known for being big and beautiful, and while having your hands on a very-special, very-underpowered, very-much-more expensive PS3 might entice you, for the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would bother.

I already see you gearing up an argument: Yes, I have been pimping the GTA IV Xbox 360 Elite, and it’s a similarly limited-edition, similarly game-painted console.

But there’s one large difference: It’s a 360 Elite. As in 120GB hard drive. As in nobody’s giving up half the engine for the privilege of the paint job.

Again, this seems a case of someone either at Konami or Sony not properly sitting down with a paper and pencil (or maybe just a set of fingers and toes) and doing a little number crunching. Maybe it’s a case of rarity, which would mean anyone in his or her right mind wouldn’t hold on to the Konami pack and would immediately put it up on Ebay.

Or maybe it’s just me not understanding the overwhelming value of the color gray.

In the meantime, I’ll be buying the regular-old pedestrian bundle pack and save my extra scratch for beer and pizza.

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7 Responses to A Case of Weird Economics



May 15th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

very good point.
I thought this would be my PS3 but after this BS no way thats happending!


Platform Nation » Blog Archive » A Case of Weird Economics

May 15th, 2008 at 7:25 pm

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Simon D.I. of CyberpunksGaming.Com

May 16th, 2008 at 6:42 am

WOW, this is like being bitch-slapped by Sony! I know a lot of us Podcasters talk about how, in contrast to a company like Microsoft, Sony has no sense of community or regard for their consumers,…but THIS is just a kick in the nuts and/or ovaries for most of us! (I say and/or because…you never know)

Anyways, even though I already own a nice 60 gb…it wouldn’t be bad to pick up the regular pack. With the game+DS3, you’re really only paying $380 for the system! It never hurts to have another media center/bluray+game system in the household! Let alone an 80gb one!

Good scoop, Edie.



May 16th, 2008 at 10:28 am

Can of gray spray paint – $3

Save $197!



May 16th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

When you think about it we all know why it cost so much more. Because it’s only for a limited run. They are not mass producing these things meaning that it just plan cost them a little more to make them vice a regular PS3.

Obviousely the LM ED bundle is only for the most hard core MGS fans. At lest there are 2 bundles to choose from. It was a very smart choice by Sony to do it that way.

As far as the HDD thing goes it’s a moot point the thing you must remember is that it is replaceable. Laptop HDD are cheap. At least there a lot cheaper than the $149 120GB HDD for the 360.



May 16th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

MS managed to do a special run of Halo Xboxes, why does Sony get to charge more for a special run of PS3s?

They don’t (or at least, not without getting some deserved flack).



May 16th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

The Halo ed of the 360 was $399 I think when it came out so at the time it broke down like this:

$449 360 Elite

$399 Halo ED

$349 Premium

I can’t remember if the Core was at it’s current price of $279 or not at the time. Because of the price drop that happened right before (only by a few months) the Halo ED was launched many people forget that it cost more than the Premium at the time.

Don’t get me wrong I will not be picking up a MGS LM ED PS3. It’s way too much, but hard core MGS fans and collectors will make this thing sold out before it even hits shelves. One thing I’m surprised I didn’t see brought up also is that the 40GB PS3 does not do BC where as the 80GB at least has software BC. Just another thing to consider before dropping $599+ on a pretty Gun Metal Gray PS3.

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