Friday, June 01, 2007

Is PlayStation 3 dead?

Is the PlayStation 3 in trouble?

Well, maybe.

According to industry research group NPD Funworld, console sales were up 56 percent in April, to $239.4 million.

The Nintendo Wii sold 360,000 units. The PS2 sold 194,000 and the Xbox 360 had 174,000 sales.

The PS3? Just 82,000. Worse, there were no PS3 titles on NPD's top 10 software chart.

And here's the bigger problem. Of all the major console and handheld game units in the U.S homes, PS3 is last.

There's PS2 at 38.2 million homes, GameBoy Advance at 35.7 million, GameCube at 11.7 million, Nintendo DS at 10.9 million, PSP at 7.4 million, 360 at 5.4 million, Wii at 2.5 million...and PS3 at 1.3 million.

A low installed base means there's less audience to buy software. I'm sure game makers like Electronic Arts just love that.

These are not good signs for what is, unquestionably, the best videogame console out there.

The problem, of course, is the $599 PS3 costs too much, but I don't think it's dead yet.

There are rumors of a price drop, by as much as $200, though I think a $100 drop is more likely. That'll help.

Last week, Sony introduced an update to the PS3 that will allow it to upscale PS2 games and DVD movies to 1080P resolution for HDTV. What that means is, if you have an HDTV, the PS3 will make your videogames and old DVDs look much better.

For HDTV owners, the PS3 is a bargain. You get games, you get an excellent Blu-Ray DVD player and now you get upconversion for older games and movies. With Blu-Ray players running up to $1,000, I would choose PS3 in a heartbeat. It makes for an excellent HD-DVD solution and can deliver some awe-inspiring graphics for gaming.

Even if you don't have an HDTV, if you're thinking of buying one, the PS3 is, to me, a must-have appliance.

Again, I think the biggest problem with PS3 is price. Once that comes down, Sony will be fine.

17 comments:

Clayj said...

"These are not good signs for what is, unquestionably, the best videogame console out there."

Unquestionably?

Sure, the PS3 has one big advantage over the Xbox 360... built-in HD movie playback. But that's really it... any other comparison is basically going to come down to "great taste/less filling". If you're not interested in buying movies on Blu-ray disc, then that Blu-ray drive serves no other purpose than to drive up the price of the PS3 by $200, and that scares off a lot of potential buyers. Take that drive out and use a standard DVD drive like the 360 does, and the PS3 would have MUCH better sales numbers. Options like HD movie playback and built-in WiFi should have remained optional (and in the 360, they are) to keep costs down.

Fundamentally, I think it comes down to this: Sony is a hardware company. They make great hardware. But their software has always been lacking, and it's software that makes or breaks a videogame console. Sony have become complacent, and Microsoft have done their homework... and it shows.

Anonymous said...

I think you're way off on this one, Langston.

The PS3 doesn't offer much else, if anything, than the XBOX360 does but for several hundred dollars less. There is minimal unique content and many folks don't find any discernable differences in the games as well. As predicted, no one cares about BluRay DVD's (HD appears to be on its way to being the standard but not for a few more years).

Will a price drop help? A bit.

Nintendo made the right move by offering an affordable, and profitable, system that offers a completely different experience and people are racing to embrace it.

Sony failed, man. The completely misjudged the market with BluRay and overpriced the console and competitors took advantage of that. They were arrogant. I don't think they will be able to recover with this generation of consoles.

Anonymous said...

You are dead-on with your post. PS3 is LESS expensive than the 360 once you add on comparable options. PS3 with the 1.8 firmware update competes with just about any BR player out there today in the mass market, plus it upconverts standard DVD. You can skip the upgrade of a dedicated DVD player with the PS3. Good move, Sony. BR has caught up to HD-DVD and just might add some momentum. BR offers higher capacity (for games, too) and Java, although it lags HD-DVD in audio output requirements. The games are coming out, but probably not as quickly as Sony would like given they are underwriting the cost of this device. As for Microsoft, they are doing exactly the same thing. But Sony is not taking the loss on a game system like M$, they are subsidizing a BR system as well.

So, it is beats the 360 hands down. Check out the chatter over on AVS Forum for more information.

Anonymous said...

LOL...you guys are funny sometimes. What we have is a relatively new game system in competition with the 360, which has been out for a while and has a good game library, and the Wii, which definitely has found a niche in the market. Give Sony a little time to develop their own game library, and give the game developers time to learn more about what they can do with the Cell processor in the PS3 before you write them off. I give them two years and they will be back at the top of the food chain.

Yeah, $600 is steep, but have you seen the price of stand alone BluRay disk players?

Oh yeah, if I want to play my PS3 online, I don't have to pay extra :p

Anonymous said...

Hardware wise you might be able to make the argument that the PS3 is 'unquestionably' the best but not for the total experience.

You can't count blu-ray or HD-DVD b/c they are still battling over formats. Who knows which will win.

Where does 360 win? Online experience and integration of different media channels through the dashboard and marketplace. XBOX live is what is making the 360 win this battle. Graphics, while important are not the paramount feature people are looking for. Gamers want to have fun, and the online play is where XBOX is kicking a** and taking names.

With Sony's lack of titles right now and poor online play, PS3 has more in common with the NEO GEO than either Wii or the 360. Microsoft and Nintendo have completely won the first 6 rounds of this fight. We will see if Sony can recover.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are a bunch of goobers. Go outside and bounce a basketball, Dweebs. Stop counting megapixels and get a life.

Anonymous said...

It's way too early to tell which system will win a console war.

This is a ten-year sprint.

Why offer built-in wi-fi, or Blu-ray support as options?

So that Microsoft can nickle and dime customers to death.

Clayj said...

"Why offer built-in wi-fi, or Blu-ray support as options?"

Well, you don't have to buy Microsoft's WiFi solution. You can use the built-in Ethernet port, or you can use a third-party WiFi adapter. Either way, you're not forced to pay for something you may not want (or need) to use.

And building in HD-DVD or Blu-ray to the console would create more SKUs and more confusion. For those people who just want to play games, they need neither; for those of us who want to play HD-DVD movies, we can buy the optional add-on. If HD-DVD dies, Microsoft can still create a Blu-ray add-on for the 360 if they want to.

Anonymous said...

no.. its not dead... wait until the blockbuster games come out... this system is far better then the kid console wii and on par with the xbox 360... and has less issues with system overhearing line the xbox...


PS3 will rule the world in a few years give it time... soon you will say "is the Wii dead?"



I agree with the guy that said "Oh yeah, if I want to play my PS3 online, I don't have to pay extra :p"




just wait.... PS3 will be on top... so dont be suprised...

Anonymous said...

ye of little faith... and wild assumptions... you know assumptions are the mother of all f***ups, dont you??




this console war is not a one year-"100 yard dash"......

this console war is a five to ten year cross country marathon...


im glad i have a PS3 and am prepared for the long distance running of entertainment...

Anonymous said...

I dont care if i used the blu-ray player or wifi or if i dont, its still just nice to have them there, and that 60 gb harddrive is more space then i could ever imagine and xbox is charging an arm and a leg for that kind of hard drive space, and the ad on hd dvd drive, hands down PS3, and they are gonna come out WAY on top

Anonymous said...

Heh ... "Online play is FREE with PS3!!!!!11"

What a bunch of goofs. Xbox live mutilates and destroys the PS online system. And if you are too poor to afford $50 a YEAR for the best online gaming experience known to man, you all should be breaking out the SNES or Sega Genesis systems.

Oh and lets not forget, the Xobx 360 actually has great ** GAMES ** .

The 360 DESTROYS the PS3 in all the right areas.

Anonymous said...

I actually think that PS3 does cost lest then an XBOX-360 if you do the math you would see that yes both of them break a lot, but Sony replaces them with pre-paid PS3's so it is fine. As for Microsoft the XBOX 360 replacment cost's 150$ and a warrenty... PS# only has a warrenty, if Microsoft doesn't stop this someone else can sue and become the new rich person on the covers.

Anonymous said...

I think the main reason the PS3 is going to suck is it's game exclusivity. Take the xbox360 for example: Lost Planet, Gears of War, ALL the Mistwalker Studio (former Square employees)games like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Guitar Hero etc, all Xbox 360 only (ok Guitar hero is PS2). Also, a lot of great PC games usually never make their Way to consoles, thanks to M$ they however do make it to the Xbox360 (Take C&C 3 for example).
Former exclusive titles like GTA now appear on xbox too, what's more it's even released sooner on the xbox than ps3.
Graphics are (for now) identical. IGN compared both xbox360 and ps3 versions of "The Darkness" graphic vise, and their conclusion was that the Xbox version even had slighlty better graphics.

Since most good games arrive on both systems, offer the same graphics but with the difference of a few hundred dollars, I'll go with the xbox360, although I was a big PS1&PS2 fan and disliked the xbox 1.
Like someone said here, Microsoft has done their homework....
cheers

Anonymous said...

wow ! bunch of fanboys defending or agreeing based on what they have. this is so immature. So I have both, PS3 and 360. I find myself on the 360 a lot more and xbox live is better than playstation network in my opinion. And yes I pay 50 bucks for that. So here we are much later than this article and the Ps3 is not doing very well still. Also Sony is reporting a major loss this quarter and the company is bleeding money. I don't think the Ps3 is going to make any strides here with all the cutbacks. so fanboys, quit thinking your system is best because you own it. Look at the hardcore numbers when talking about who is winning. it's obviously Nintendo !

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