Analysts concur: Sony should be worried for the PS3

Sony PlayStation 3 - Image 1Despite the brave front that Sony is putting up, analysts from the industry are seeing right through it, saying that the gaming giant does have something to be worried about with their flag-bearer, the PS3. Three of them – Cole, Divnich, and Pachter – shared their thoughts on the matter, and you need only click on the full article to check it out.

PS3 stock: buy me - Image 1Despite the brave front that Sony is putting up, analysts from the industry are seeing right through it, saying that the gaming giant does have something to be worried about with their flag-bearer, the PS3.

It’s been a year since the PS3 launched, and we’ve all been witnesses to company spokespersons and execs claiming that this year (and that year) will be “PS3’s year”.

But unfortunately, analysts are saying this obviously hasn’t happened yet. The PS3 is still lagging behind the consoles race, and they can’t say that’s because they launched late in the game – the Wii debuted about two weeks after the PS3 and we see it surging way ahead of everyone else.

No, age definitely isn’t factor. Pricing apparently is. Microsoft‘s price cuts on the Xbox 360 clearly boosted their sales numbers, while the PS3 remains stubborn at its current price, saying that they’re not giving a slash-off cos the money’s all worth it anyway – technology and all that she-bang.

David Cole of DFC for one believes that Sony should start worrying, if not already. In an interview with GameDaily, he said:

Yes, Sony should be worried. I think of bigger concern is Europe. I haven’t seen the numbers yet, but from most sources I hear the Xbox 360 is doing much better this holiday on the continent and that could be a big issue. As we said, the Xbox 360 looked surprisingly strong this holiday with 1) price; 2) solid lineup, especially when compared with competition, and 3) a retooled online service with new features like Netflix.

Not to say that I love the Xbox 360 more than the PS3, but I’d have to agree with him. Sony’s insistence on retaining the current price of their units, no matter how “worth it” they may say it’s gonna be for the consumers, is still a tad too pricey especially in the current state of economic affairs. Counting in the HDTV and other paraphernalia needed to fully enjoy the PS3 experience, folks are easily gonna ring up US$ 1, 000. Games aren’t even included yet.

Speaking of which, the PS3 had been touting “big” titles this year. True, LittleBigPlanet and Resistance 2 are huge, but fact of the matter is, it’s not selling as well as it should given its hype. LBP, despite the adorable Sackboys, only broke eighth on the top ten on its first month out. The following month, it dropped altogether from the top 20 list.

Microsoft on the other hand, has a steady barrage of titles that would keep gamers busy. And MS being more aggressive with getting exclusive content isn’t making it any easier for Sony either.

And David Cole is not the only one showing concern for Sony. Says Jesse Divnich of the EEDAR:

According to the NPD figures, the PS3 was down 19% compared to last November. The PS3 sales definitely represent an unfavorable scenario for Sony. With both the PS3 and the PSP being the highest priced platforms in their segment, it is no surprise that both were the only next-gen platforms to post a year-over-year decline…The economy probably played the biggest role in hindering sales, since as consumers, we tend to be more price sensitive when facing economic uncertainty. This is when, typically, differentiating features such as the PS3’s Blu-ray capability, tend to carry less weight in the consumer decision process. Consumers just want to play games right now; they are not really concerned about owning a high-end console, or a system with all the bells and whistles, which is why the strip-down Xbox 360 Arcade version has done so well.

And finally, Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan had this to say on the matter:

I think Sony is a greater victim of the recession, more because they are a consumer electronics company than a video game company; people aren’t buying HDTVs and that’s why Best Buy has been talking about their same store sales being down 5-15%… Secondly, you can’t buy a PS3 for less than $399, and the average of all Xbox 360 SKUs in November was $270. The other factor is that the Wii is ridiculously cheaper. So Sony has all these things working against it, and then at the end of the day, their game lineup, which is very good, is still not sufficiently differentiated to induce people to say “I’ve just got to buy a PS3.”

Well, the consensus obviously is that Sony needs to take a step back from the “It’s the best and it deserves to be priced so” stand with the PS3. As Divnich said, “Being the best isn’t always a good thing, especially when people can’t afford it.” So, Sony? The ball’s in your court. Obviously it’s only you who can turn this thing around for you.

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Via GameDaily

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