The PlayStation 3 has been without one of its biggest selling points, the PlayStation Network, for a total of 3 weeks now. Online gaming is commonly a key focus for many current generation titles, and with the PlayStation Network down, a lot of the PS3's value and appeal goes right out the window. That, along with the fear many consumers are feeling after personal information was compromised on Sony's network, could be having a negative impact on PS3 sales.
Due to this, retailers have been offering special deals on PlayStation 3 consoles to try and get them out the door. GameStop is offering $100 off the purchase of a PlayStation 3 for select PowerUp Rewards members. At Amazon.com, they're giving you an extra free Dualshock 3 with every 160GB PS3 sold. Best Buy has the 320GB PlayStation Move Bundle on sale for $50 off.
This could be a sign of things to come. With talk of the PlayStation Network's services possibly not being entirely restored until the end of May, Sony is going to have to pull out all the stops at their E3 press conference this June. Part of that, and one that would be a huge boost to PlayStation 3 sales, could be a price drop.
The last time the PlayStation 3 saw a price reduction was back in September of 2009 when the slimmer model PS3 released. Almost 2 years have gone by and a lot has changed. The Wii is now half the price of the PS3. The Xbox 360 is picking up more steam than ever thanks to Kinect. The PS3 — while having the strongest first-party lineup of games in 2011 and beyond — is still struggling. This recent PSN outage and security fiasco sure aren't helping their cause. At this point, it may be necessary for Sony to drop the price of the PS3 to remain competitive and continue to drive sales, especially since newer, more powerful consoles are in the pipeline.
We'll be live-blogging from Sony's E3 Press Conference and we'll be sure to let you the second such announcement is made (if it is made), and anything else coming out of the event. Stick with GR for all your E3 coverage.