If you’d bought a Playstation 3 in Hong Kong last week, you would have picked a 40gb model up for the MSRP of $2680 HKD ($348 USD) in any store (as long as you bought a game to go with it – one of the many things that makes shopping in Hong Kong unique).
However, starting this week, the official MSRP is $2880 HKD. That is a blatant price increase – no bundles, no hardware revisions, nothing. The same black, silver, or white PS3 with a 40GB hard drive and nothing else. That price increase is about $25 USD.
Update: The price also went up in Singapore; MSRP is now $599 Singapore dollars, while it was $559 last week, an increase of over $30 USD (unlike HKD, Singapore’s dollar is not tacked to the US dollar’s rate). I imagine the price also went up in Taiwan, although their regional site doesn’t list the MSRP for the 40GB model, only the discontinued ones.
In a time where consoles are dropping in price in various regions (such as the $100 USD price drop of the XBOX 360 in Canada a while back) it’s pretty frustrating to see the price going UP in other regions, just in time for the PS3 to really get its best exclusives. There’s no telling whether other regions such as North America or even Japan will receive a similar increase, but perhaps it’s a sign of things to come. 2008 is looking to be “The Year of the PS3”, especially with the HD format war being won.
It should be noted that even with this price increase, the PS3 is still a good $25 cheaper in Hong Kong than the MSRP in North America. In Singapore, it’s about $44 more than in USA, so this recent price increase made it even more expensive, when it was close to par recently. You can find all the original launch prices for various PS3 SKUs on this page at Wikipedia.