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When is Sony going to wake up?

Mike Doolittle's picture

Activision's Transformers Revenge of the Fallen PS3 Screenshot

The Times today is reporting that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has suggested that his company, the largest independent gaming company in the world, might cut support for Sony if the PlayStation 3 doesn't become more profitable. Among the juicy quotes:

"I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform," Kotick explained. "It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better."

And this little gem...

"They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony."

The latter quote comes right on the heels of Sony firmly denying at this year's E3 that there will be any price cut for the PS3 anytime soon. Sony is still convinced that their box is a great value. And while it may indeed offer a lot of features for the price, gamers simply aren't biting.

Sony has already lost tons of money on the PS3, so it certainly wouldn't seem logical for them to drop the price significantly—it may just be too risky. Unfortunately, dropping the price significantly just might be the only thing that keeps their attach rate competitive.

In my view, though, it is probably too late for the PS3. From the start, the system seemed unnecessarily bloated—an expensive Blu-Ray player built in, and a bloated, expensive, unnecessarily complex proprietary processor that few games, if any, can take much advantage of. The initial price tag of $600 was laughably outrageous, and it's current price tag isn't much better. While the Wii offers a completely different kind of experience, Microsoft has been targeting much of the audience as Sony, and seems to be doing a much better job of it with a smart implementation of Xbox Live that has grown to encompass a broad array of features, and a relatively simple DirectX-based development platform.

I have a hard time seeing the PS3 coming down in price anytime soon, and, if true, will cost Sony a competitive install base. A smaller install base could, as today's news indicates, drive away publishers and neuter the growth of the platform's games library. I'd like to see Sony get on their feet with the PS3—competition is vital for consumers—but my suspicion is that things might not turn around for them until they start focusing on their next-gen platform.

Category Tags
Platform(s): PS3  
Articles: Editorials  
Topic(s): Business  

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Bungled

Sony has bungled just about every aspect of distribution for the PS3, and developers getting anxious isn't all that surprising. Also, the fact that the only currently produced versions (that I'm aware of) won't play PS2 games is ridiculous.

in my opinion this is more

in my opinion this is more like a power move rather than a business decision

think about it, all activision titles have decent sales on the ps3, the ps3 is profitable for em, of course the xbox360 sells more but is that a reason to not support the ps3?

i mean if you own 2 stores and one of em is giving you less profit than the other, will you close it? that doesnt make sense

whats more last generation activision made titles for the xbox altough the number of xbox consoles sold was insignificant compared to the ps2

now think about this, a third party publisher trying to manipulate a console manufacturer, in my opinion activision is tryin to be a dominatrix

the wii sales has been reduced by half in 4 months will activision try to do the same trick on nintendo, after all games like guitar hero are among the best sellin titles on the console

sony will obviously drop the price but not now, its summer time, who the fuck will buy a ps3? these are the slowest months of the year

sony will probably drop the price near holydays to boost the sales, however now it may look like activision had some sort of influence on the decision

Powerplay?

Anonymous wrote:

now think about this, a third party publisher trying to manipulate a console manufacturer, in my opinion activision is tryin to be a dominatrix

I don't know about the dominatrix stuff, but the statement from Activision-Blizzard's Bobby Kotick is about power. His company is pretty much where Electronic Arts was during the last console generation. It is the most powerful player outside of the three console manufacturers so it gets to do all of the talking for the third-parties (unofficially). And since third-parties want a price drop, the biggest player is the one that talks about it without fear of reprisal.

And really, the fact is that Activision is probably not going to drop PS3 support unless sales absolutely tank. The worst it will do is not release any new IPs for that platform.

Quote:

sony will probably drop the price near holydays to boost the sales, however now it may look like activision had some sort of influence on the decision

Time of year is irrelevant. Price drops in time for the holiday season are the norm for companies in a console race, but Sony is so far behind that it has to act now. Activision telling Sony it is considering dropping the PS3 is a way to nudge Sony in that direction.

Like I said, everyone--the enthusiast press, industry press, financial press, analysts, gamers--have been demanding an immediate price drop. Hell, they've been asking for one since last year. Every month that passes by is a month wasted to increase its marketshare.

In these tough economic times, Sony has to make that move because even with some interesting titles coming out this year and next, the console's current price is absolutely prohibitive.

Where is the PS3 Slim Rev?

Where is the hardware revision from Sony? If they changed the hardware, they could sell the PS3 for cheaper. You would think that Sony engineers would have been on this the second the first PS3's hit the market.

Sony would have done it already.

Maybe there just isn't a whole lot more Sony can do.

It's probably similar to the Nintendo 64 problem. Remember when everyone was admiring the PSOne and were asking Nintendo when it was going to release a smaller N64? Nintendo just told everyone "it ain't gonna happen" because the N64 tech was "unshrinkable".

Ditto for Microsoft and the original Xbox.

I remember reading somewhere that the biggest thing in the PS3 right now, physically and fiscally, is the Blu-Ray drive. Sony can't shrink that drive--it's probably possible, but would be too expensive a process. If it did slimline it or take it out all together in favor of a cheapo DVD drive, the PS3 would be right there with the 360 in cost and size.

Sony has been trying to cut back on the PS3's innards since it launched. The PS2 chips are long gone as are some USB ports, flash car readers and miscellaneous connectors. (I think the die has shrunk as well, but I'm not sure.) Thanks to some of that the price of the PS3 has dropped from $600 to $400 since launch.

...

Of course I say all of this and come the Tokyo Game Show this Fall, Sony announces a slimmed down console for like $100 less. If you're desperate enough, anything is possible. :}

Dale Weir wrote: Anonymous

Dale Weir wrote:
Anonymous wrote:

now think about this, a third party publisher trying to manipulate a console manufacturer, in my opinion activision is tryin to be a dominatrix

I don't know about the dominatrix stuff, but the statement from Activision-Blizzard's Bobby Kotick is about power. His company is pretty much where Electronic Arts was during the last console generation. It is the most powerful player outside of the three console manufacturers so it gets to do all of the talking for the third-parties (unofficially). And since third-parties want a price drop, the biggest player is the one that talks about it without fear of reprisal.

And really, the fact is that Activision is probably not going to drop PS3 support unless sales absolutely tank. The worst it will do is not release any new IPs for that platform.

Quote:

sony will probably drop the price near holydays to boost the sales, however now it may look like activision had some sort of influence on the decision

Time of year is irrelevant. Price drops in time for the holiday season are the norm for companies in a console race, but Sony is so far behind that it has to act now. Activision telling Sony it is considering dropping the PS3 is a way to nudge Sony in that direction.

Like I said, everyone--the enthusiast press, industry press, financial press, analysts, gamers--have been demanding an immediate price drop. Hell, they've been asking for one since last year. Every month that passes by is a month wasted to increase its marketshare.

In these tough economic times, Sony has to make that move because even with some interesting titles coming out this year and next, the console's current price is absolutely prohibitive.

uhmm i guess your right with the third party stuff, i think i exaggerated

however think about it

a ps3 price drop now? why? besides infamous there isnt really any significant ps3 title being released right now

however uncharted 2 and ratchet and clank will be out near holydays, modern warfare 2 will be out in november too, so the most logical decision is to drop the price near those releases

a price drop now wouldnt have any substancial effect on third party sales, if activision thinks guitar hero smash hit sales will boost that way theyr stupid beyond description

this threat would be justificable only if sony were stupid enough to NOT drop the price these holidays

Price drop

same Anonymous wrote:

a ps3 price drop now? why? besides infamous there isnt really any significant ps3 title being released right now

a price drop now wouldnt have any substancial effect on third party sales, if activision thinks guitar hero smash hit sales will boost that way theyr stupid beyond description

this threat would be justificable only if sony were stupid enough to NOT drop the price these holidays

Well, like I said, everyone's been asking for a price drop since last year and all Sony really did up to this point was release new SKUs at basically the same price.

There are a lot of people sitting on the fence regarding the PS3. They like (most of) the games and they like the Blu-Ray player, they just don't like the $400 price point.

A price drop now would a have huge impact on software sales--first- and third-party--because these people buying the new console would also be buying games to play.

But this is probably all moot. The time for the price drop announcement was E3, which I'm sure prompted Bobby Kotick to say what he said. Now we have to wait until the Tokyo Game Show to see whether Sony will once again ignore calls for a price drop.

as i said dale, why would

as i said dale, why would they drop the price now

sony could easily PUSH those people on the fence if they drop the ps3 when hot ps3 exclusives are out, thats holyday time

no third party would get any benefit from a price drop in the slowest months of the year

i think Michael Pachter pointed it out

now if sony dont drop the price in holydays...

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