Now that we know the PS3 is $499 and $599 in the US and $799 in the UK, let's take a look at all the price estimates analysts have made in the past two years.
The highest: Merrill Lynch at $800. They actually guessed $900 on account of not being able to add their own figures. The lowest: $365, the price that the PS2 launched at.
What can we learn from this? One, that the price of a console is not the sum of the price of its components. Sony's definitely going to be taking a hit on each PS3 sold in order to shoehorn Blu-Ray into homes. Two, past consoles aren't a good indication of price. New technology, competition, and how much money a company can afford to eat per console also factors into the equation.
Honestly, we could have written the numbers $399, $499, $599, and $699 on four sheets of paper and thrown darts at them to make our estimate and been more accurate than these analysts. Not one of them guessed $599 (that we could find), and only three of them guessed $499.
So with that, our official price estimate for the Wii: $249. If we're right, Joel's buying one for each of us. And by "us" we mean editors. You readers need to get your own.