Tuesday, December 23, 2008

sony's ps3 problem

Sony's still losing money on every PS3 they sell. Roughly $50, according to a recent report.

This is a problem for Sony, because as of this writing at $400 the most expensive Xbox 360 is the same price as the cheapest Playstation 3, and the cheapest 360 is half that price. Playstation sales are slipping - Sony needs a price cut to stay competitive, even though they don't want to.

The PS3 is floundering, which must be disappointing to Sony in the face of the massive and continued success of the PS2. Sony's problems are a boon to Microsoft, who continue to maintain decent sales and high-profile third party releases in the face of hardware issues that would have buried a company with shallower pockets.

It is amazing how quickly this industry moves, and what a different animal it is even from other sections of the electronics business. With televisions and cars and even music players, people will pick a brand or manufacturer they trust, and barring major catastrophe will stick with them for years. Gamers have little such brand loyalty - gamers go where the games are. That's why they jumped so readily from the Nintendo 64 to the Playstation in the late 90s, and why they're leaving Sony for Microsoft despite the fact that the PS2 was the most successful home game console in history, at least from a sales standpoint. The Wii takes this even further - it has very nearly sold more units than the PS3 and 360 combined, and has sold more in two years than the Gamecube did in its entire lifetime.

It's an interesting dance to watch, and the best part is that it'll be a whole different ballgame when the next generation hits, no matter who comes out on top in this one.