Sony has at last admitted that it may need to consider dropping the price of its PS3 console if it wants to meet sales targets and keep up with the competition. Sir Howard Stringer said that the company was looking in to how much it could afford to reduce the rather hefty price tag of £430 (versus £199 for a Nintendo Wii). Sir Stringer has been quoted as saying there is ‘no question’ that consumers want the price to be lower!
The news comes amidst speculation that Sony is dropping a long way behind Nintendo and Microsoft in the lucrative games console market. Tony Smith’s column over at RegHardware.co.uk contains some astonishing stats. Japanese sales figures show that in April Nintendo sold four of its Wii consoles for every Playstation 3 sold by Sony. In May Nintendo’s lead had increased with five Wiis shipping for every PS3. April sales figures from the US again show Nintendo in the lead with 360,000 Wiis, Microsoft in second place with 174,000 Xbox 360’s and Sony lagging behind with only 82,000 PS3 sales.
The Playstation 3 has been hyped by Sony as ‘the’ next generation games console with high definition graphics and a built in Blu-ray player. Despite this, Nintendo’s Wii seems to be proving that the entertainment value of a games console takes precedence over unnecessarily expensive GPUs. Sony’s points out that the PS3 includes a Blu-ray player; maybe people aren’t that interested? I don’t have a problem with the quality of DVDs and have no interest in Blu-ray or HD-DVD. Can consumers really stand their ground and say ‘No, it’s not broken so don’t fix it!”
A slow start or consumers refusing to buy in to something they don’t want? Time will tell!