The facts are all splayed out for Sony, but they just don’t seem to want to listen. Perhaps an ultimatum from its content providers might make the company take another look at dropping the price of the bloated console. Janco Partners Inc. believes Sony will discount the console anywhere from $50 to $100 in the coming weeks. Surprisingly, the real outcry is not from consumers who simply cannot afford the system because Sony could care less what we think, but the publishers who would rather dump more money into development for Nintendo’s cheaper platform.
Don’t get me wrong, fanboys. The PS3 is a capable and powerful machine. That is not in question here, but the whole Blu-ray thing is losing clout with standalone players getting cheaper and cheaper. And Home is a bit of a joke if you ask me. Simply put, the Wii has half the market and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Thirty two percent of Activision Blizzard’s earnings for 2008 were attributed to Wii titles while PS3 titles made up 19 percent. EA has committed a substantial amount of resources to develop and push out Wii titles to try and make up for the last two years that weren’t so kind to the company. And Peter Moore even says it has a ways to go.
Sony’s SVP of marketing for SCEA Peter Dille had this to say about price cuts.
Sony has no immediate plan to reduce prices, said Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America in Foster City, California.
“Everybody in the development community would love for the PS3 to be free, so they could just sell razor blades,” Dille said in an interview. Sony is concerned with profitability, as well as the installed base, he said.
On the flip side, publishers can’t just ignore the platform because it hurts their bottom line altogether. Epic’s Mark Rein doesn’t think there will be a substantial shift in spending from one platform to another. The costs and titles are shared equally between the PS3 and Xbox 360 and making money from the PS3 is dependent on making a good game. He goes on to say that a successful PS3 title can easily be ported to the PC and Xbox 360.
But the fact of the matter is that when you drop the price of any console, sales increase the following month(s). When Sony dropped the price back in October of 2007, sales doubled the next month. The numbers speak for themselves. We know Sony loses money on every console sold, but MS does, too. But look at the install base for the Xbox 360 and the exclusive titles. Little Big Planet is basically the premier title and while it’s fun, it just won’t drive console sales like Halo or Gears of War did for Microsoft. While we haven’t reviewed Killzone 2 it looks like that game should help Sony out based on stellar reviews for it. Sony is dragging behind and they need to make some drastic moves this year. Hopefully something good comes out of E3 for the Sony camp.