Is it too early to declare the PS3 a failure?

It’s looking really, really grim; the system is ridiculously overpriced, has no killer app and doesn’t have one in sight for the near future, and at a time when their competitors are flying off off the shelves, $600 PS3’s rot on shelves.

Sony doesn’t seem to be planning on doing anything about it, either - no drastic price cuts, no major hardware and firmware fixes, nothing. It’s like the band playing on the deck of the Titanic.

Yes, it is too early.

With that said, it’s defintley an unexpected possibility at this point. I’ve read numerous reports of PS3s just sitting in stores, whereas Wiis are near impossible to find.

I’m just in disbelief that Nintendo has actually garnered the attention it has, after a 10 year downhill journey (although N64 was awesome, GameCube, not so much).

My faith in the average gamer has risen. It shows that graphics aren’t the only selling point anymore.

How well is the PSP doing? I got the piece of doodoo on launch day and only have one game for it, whereas my inferior DS gets loads of playtime.

At this point in the Dreamcast/PS2 deathmatch, wasn’t the Sega contender in the lead? Big head start in coming to market, record-breaking launch sales etc.?

It’s far too early… we don’t even have the December sales estimates for the PS3 yet (supposedly they’re going to be released on Thursday).

I think that graphics was always more an issue for PC games. PS2 was the big seller for a long time when many of its competitors had long since outpassed it in graphics capability. What they had instead was a large stable of games. Nintendo’s method of having two or three must have games will, I think, pretty much always fail when it comes against there being ten or twenty games that are also pretty darn want-to-have plus fifty more that sure wouldn’t be bad.

I have a $500 PS3 and I wouldn’t trade it for a Wii or an Xbox 360. I might have bought a Wii if I hadn’t been able to get a PS3, and I may still get a Wii for my kids in the future. Everyone (including me) complained when they were nowhere to be found at launch and now, not even two months later, you (VCO3) are complaining that they are “rotting” on the shelf? How are you so sure they are “rotting”, are you positive that the machine on the shelf on Tuesday is the same as the one sitting on the shelf on Wednesday? Hell, the way I look at it is maybe, just maybe, Sony has gotten their shit together and there are actually products available to be bought. Huh, what kind of business model is that, selling products that people were clamoring for instead of constantly being "sold out " like the Wii?

RE: Killer app; Resistance: Fall of Man is a great game and is so far the best game for the PS3 at launch, and I don’t even have mine hooked up to the internet for online gaming (yet). I have no doubt that there will be more great games coming soon that utilize more of this machines capabilities. So far I have 4 games for it, Madden 07, Tiger Woods PGA, Need for Speed Carbon, and the aforementioned Resistance. I have thus far resisted getting the Marvel Alliance game but my willpower is wearing thin and I may soon own that game as well. It also seems that I have a $800+ Blueray disc player included, which I haven’t yet used although the DVD player works just fine.

I may have to do a little research too back this up but to me it appears that VCO3 is just a Sony-hater and is sitting there like the Grinch just waiting to say “I told you so” to the news of the PS3’s failure. Don’t hold your breath though, the Sony’s down in Sonyville sitting there playing their Sony PS3’s, PSP’s and PS2’s even though VCO3 has proclaimed the PS3 to be dead rotting on the vine.

Can we say definitively at this point that the PS3 is dead? No, but we can say that it’s going to be almost impossible for it to recover.

The PS3 is excellent hardware; it’s impossible to deny that. It’s my feeling that Sony shot at a level of technical design that was two years too early for the mass market and that’s going to kill them. The high end hardware has driven up the price point far past what mass consumers are willing to pay for a game console.

There’s certain psychological price barriers and if you can get your product below that price then demand increases dramatically. At $300 it’s the die-hard gamers that are going to buy; at $200 it starts slipping into every living room in the country. A $600 price tag means that everyone but the most obsessed are going to stay clear. The mass consumers don’t care that it has a blu-ray player; they just want something that plays games.

The only thing Sony could do in this is drop the price, but that’s something they won’t be able to do even next Christmas. The X-Box 360 doesn’t have as much of a pricing problem and Microsoft wasn’t able to drop the price this year (though they were able to arrange for some minor purchase incentives). Come next year when the X-Box can afford a $100 price drop and the Wii may be able to slide down $50 Sony will still be forced to sell at $600. A 50% price drop from the introduction price like Sony needs in order to be competitive usually doesn’t occur until well into a console’s life cycle.

At this point in time we have PS3’s rotting on the shelves, direct competition that is very active in the Wii, and a system that has reached a critical mass of entrenchment in the US with the X-Box 360. All of those publishers who hitched their wagons to Sony based on the strength of the brand are trying to shift direction fast. You’ll note that the PS3 hasn’t gained any new exclusive content or announced any hot upcoming releases since well before the launch. A snowball effect has started: the PS3 can’t get many purchasers so publishers won’t develop for it so more people avoid it so more publishers walk away. See what happened to the Gamecube last generation for an example of this problem; they might have had some big exclusives that were announced early like Resident Evil 4 but publishers quickly moved away and the system sold weakly compared to the PS2.

All of this was foreseeable well before the launch. I know that when pricing on the PS3 was announced there were quite a few people pointing out this doomsday scenario. I personally pegged the demand for a $600 PS3 at about a million units and it looks like I over estimated by a considerable amount (Sony has shipped a million but sales of the PS3 have all but stopped and large numbers have been returned to the stores from people attempting to scalp them; the actual sales appear to be closer to 500k though its impossible to tell with how Sony gives numbers). Still I can’t call it a failure yet; it’s not impossible that some miracle will happen and somehow sales will pick up. At this point it’s better that Sony take a page from Nintendo’s game book; stop trying to push the PS3 and relaunch a PS4 built on the same hardware designs with some improvements three years from now. That’s the best way to pull a win out of the current mess.

Max, before you ask, yes I have seen PS3’s rotting on the shelves in local stores. More game stores around here have at least ten with product in them. The big box stores have had large piles of them since before Christmas. That’s what I’ve seen with my own eyes.

Just Some Guy, many of the stores I have been in have “display boxes” in the windows and on shelfs. Ask them if they have any in stock and the answer is usually “No.”

I’d be happy to see some kind of cite from a gaming site as well. Penny Arcade have also anecdotal evidence regarding the availability of PS3s in some retailer called “Fredrick Meyers” (I have no idea what kind of retailer this is), but so far all I’ve seen is anecdotal evidence, people saying they’ve “seen PS3s stacked up”, but no gaming news site with any kind of report.

I personally believe there probably is a grain of truth in it, given the number of “PS3 sightings”, but I’d really like some sort of formal report.

Anecdotal : I wandered into Wal-Mart the other day to try and find one of the rare Wiimotes, and there was a PS3 gathering dust. A friend of mine tried to locate a Wii in the days after Christmas; every store he went to had PS3s in stock, but not the Wii. The Wii, reportedly, was shipped in higher volume than the PS3. shrug

I went along with my fiance as he shopped for component cables, and all the Wii displays have SOLD OUT signs on them, with no such signs on the PS3 displays.

Anecdotally among my gamer friends there is very little interest in the PS3 at the current price point - even the most hardcore of them is unwilling to spend $AUD999 plus $100 per game on a system that has received a fairly lackluster reception. They’re all playing their Xbox 360s, PS2s and Wiis, and waiting for the price to drop by a couple of hundred.


They got in the cell phone market. They got beat. They pulled out.

They got in the flat-screen market, couldn’t compete, now LG make all Sony flat-screens

They got in the MP3 player market. Couldn’t make it work.

Now they are getting beat in the game marketplace. What was their last big hit? The Walkman?

It should be noted that while the GC was the 3rd place console, Nintendo sold each unit at a profit, unlike the PS’ and X-Boxes. I don’t know how the final numbers worked out, but this practice kept them solvent in the console market. (That’s still true. Sony’s taking a ~$300 *loss *for every $600 PS3, while Nintendo is making profit on every Wii sold, even if the buyers never buy another Nintendo game)

Perhaps more importantly, Nintendo utterly dominates the hand-held market. The DS outsells its next two closest competitors combined, and #2 is Nintendo’s own Gameboy Advanced.

How about… the PS2? PS1? It was a pretty big hit, by any definition. PS2s are still the top selling console, perhaps second to the GBA/DS.

That’s not the answer around here (North Dallas, TX). I spent weeks looking for a Wii (finally found one at Target), and I saw PS3s all over the place. One day at lunch I was feeling especially intrepid and hit 6 stores. All but one of them had PS3s in stock (and yes, I asked). No one had Wiis.

I also ended up using to help me find a Wii. Currently they list 0 stores (out of 23 in my area) with Wii systems. They show 18 of the 23 as having PS3s in stock. Since I started looking during the last week of '06, there has never been a time when at least 8-10 of the stores listed there had PS3s in stock. Now whether these systems are “rotting” or just being restocked fast is another question. But they’re certainly easy to find around here. You still can’t find a Wii unless you happen upon a new shipment.

As for the OP, it’s way too early to declare anything. Yes, the launch was a disaster, but we have a long way to go. Check back when we have a few titles like Final Fantasy, Ratchet & Clank, God Of War, and Gran Turismo floating around and I’m sure we’ll see a different story.

It’s really disappointing to see the state that the Playstation brand is in now. I was (and am) a huge PS2 fanboy. I loved that Sony seemed to want to take a chance on some different types of games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, Frequency and Amplitude, Guitar Hero, etc. When I heard about the PS3 I immediately started a PS3 fund, where I dropped off my change whenever I could to start saving up (my former gaming fund is now the diaper fund). Then the nonsense started. They unveiled that ridiculous boomerang controller. After getting laughed off of the internets they said they’d redesign it, then revealed that they gave up and the controller would be the Same Damn Thing we’ve had for years.

And the troubles kept coming. By the time the launch actually came around it was clear that they weren’t going to have near enough units to sell and the launch was going to become a scalping nightmare. People camped out for two days for the systems, hoping to sell them on eBay for thousands. Of course, when everyone does that, it tends to drive prices down a little. A friend of mine spent two nights in ~40F weather for a 60 GB PS3, and ended up only getting $1000 for it on eBay. After listing fees and shipping he made a little over $100. Whoops.

And can I just ask who the hell is in charge of advertising at Sony? First they come up with the world’s most editable slogan: “Play Beyond.” Which of course was immediately morphed into “Pay Beyond” by every amature photoshopper on the world wide internets. Then the ads start. I’m sorry, but the Baby From Hell salivating from the eyes while looking at the floating PS3 is not working. That may be the worst advertisment I’ve ever seen, and I live in Texas, where ads routinely feature Alan Jackson, so that’s saying something.

And of course the price. I don’t want or need a Blu-Ray player. I have a very limited gaming budget and I’m not paying $600 for anything, much less a system with as weak a launch lineup as the PS3. When I heard the price announced a few months ago, my PS3 fund became my breakfast burrito fund. I think I made the right choice.

I still hope to see Sony pull their heads out for the reasons I mentioned above. They’re responsible for some really great gaming. They just really screwed up the PS3 launch more than I could have ever imagined.

The PS1 and PS2 were winners because they had the largest, most diverse, and overall highest-quality game libraries. The PS3 doesn’t have that yet. If it gets it - GTA remaining primary-PS, the main-line Final Fantasy games remaining on the PS, etc etc - then the PS3 will end up being fine, though certainly with a lot more trouble to get there than was really necessary. If the exclusives start jumping to the Xbox 360 (or even just publishing for both systems), well, then Sony has a problem on its hands.

It’s also worth noting that they need to not only have a better set of games, but a MUCH better one. I mean, there’s a very valid argument to be made that the PS3 already has better games than the Wii - not necessarily the only argument, but a valid one given that the Wii has one fun tech demo, one amazing game that’s pretty much just as amazing on the GC, and a bunch of really average games - but a couple more good games isn’t going to make up that difference in price point. You need a LOT more good games, and they have to be stuff that people HAVE to HAVE.

As a disclaimer, I’ve played all of the systems involved, but I’m that guy who’s about to buy a PS2 to play all of the console games I’ve been pointedly ignoring for the last several years. So I’m not really the one spending my money on this stuff :slight_smile:

Somebody needs to link to it (I can’t, I’m at work) but there is a Wii ad on youtube that has a really hot skimply clad blonde called Wii next to a fully dressed chubby nerd girl (PS3).

The blonde has the best line: “Come play with me, I’m cheap AND fun!”

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