An article in the Wall Street Journal today considers the state of Sony's PlayStation 3 in the video game market, highlighting the fact that the console's holiday sales had dropped considerably over last year's.
Citing NPD numbers as well as industry analysts, the article points out that November sales for the PS3 had dropped 19% from November 2007, with December sales expected to be either flat or lower that the year previous, indicating that Sony's target of 10 million consoles sold during the fiscal year might well be unattainable. The article also notes that rival Nintendo doubled sales from the previous November, with Xbox 360 sales seeing an 8% rise.
The article offers a rather gloomy outlook for Sony as a whole. The recession has not only stopped folks from buying pricey electronics like televisions and digital cameras, it has made them more cost-conscious when it comes to which game consoles they are buying.
One of the PlayStation 3's key non-gaming selling points - the inexpensive Blu-ray player - has been rendered moot, as the market sees stand-alone players that run for $200. Between that fact and the downturn in the economy, Sony's strategy for the PS3 seems to be backfiring. It isn't that it wasn't a sound strategy - it's just that the economy suddenly became hostile to high prices.
So the price is the main problem right now, but cutting prices would push the company even more into the red. It's a catch 22 that must weigh heavily on the bosses over at Sony. Cut prices for greater losses in the hope that it will generate enough sales to compensate for the difference. Greater sales equals a larger install base which equals more PlayStation 3 exclusives to keep the fans happy.
Here's hoping Sony can pull out of the dive it's taking financially and reach the heights of success it's lovely black console deserves.
Hope Fades for PS3 as a Comeback Player [Wall Street Journal]