Sony get a bit more serious

 A total of 800,000 Sony Financial Holdings Inc. shares have just been sold  by Sony at 400,000 yen each, raising aproximately $2.8 billion in new funds for them. According to Bloomberg the money is going to be spent on their Bravia TVs and on Playstation. So it could very well be used to finance the much rumoured imminent PS3 price drop to $399.

Not that this will do PS3 much good as there still is no reason to buy one, whatever the price. And whatever price Sony drop to, Microsoft can always stay cheaper. Firstly because the 360 is cheaper to make and secondly because Microsoft have deeper pockets. Already you can buy a 20 GB 360 premium in the UK for just £199.99.

Meanwhile weekly 360 sales in the UK just doubled to put it ahead of the Wii. So much for all those pundits who said that Halo 3 wouldn’t be a system seller.

I have now seen three different sets of analysts who say that Sony are going to come from behind to beat Microsoft this generation. I don’t know if they are looking at the same market as me because I will be amazed if this happens. Sony are chasing after a very rapidly moving target.

So what are your thoughts on this current console war?

 edited to add:


  1. The PS3 prognostications seem to fall into two camps:
    1. The game is over for Sony — Microsoft’s first mover lead in software and cost reduction means that Sony can never catch up; or
    2. The game is just about to begin — The PS3 has been on the market for less than one year, and will finally offer real competition to the 360 beginning in 2008.

    I have no idea what will happen. What continues to strike me is that the total numbers are still quite small for 360 and PS3 sales. So it appears that most gamers have not yet made a next-gen choice. This is probably helpful to Sony. I agree that, right now, there is no reason to choose a PS3 over a 360. But it strikes me that this logic reverses completely once the PS3 closes the software gap. What is surprising is that, with a year’s head start and a great suite of games, the 360 has not been able to build an insurmountable lead over the PS3, even though the PS3 had almost nothing to offer gamers in that time period.

    To some extent, I guess the outcome depends on what one believes about the life cycle of a console. If you believe that life cycles are short, the 360 might well beat the PS3; however, if the life cycle of the PS3 is as long as that of the PSOne and PS2, the PS3 might well beat the 360 convincingly in the long term.

    The real winner, of course, is the gamer. We have two terrific next-gen consoles to choose from (three, counting the Wii) from companies that appear to be willing to stick with the business for the long term.

  2. I’ve also seen analysts say that the PS3 will win in the long haul, and it always leaves me scratching my head. Especially here in 2007, with BioShock, Halo 3, and Mass Effect all hitting in rapid succession — those aren’t mass-market products but if you’re a hardcore gamer that’s where it’s at!

    I think the real X factor is Blu-Ray. If you’re interested in getting a Blu-Ray player, then the PS3 is by far the best choice on the market — why WOULDN’T you buy a PS3? Here in the U.S. chains like Best Buy started showing Blu-Ray side-by-side demos in stores and it seems to be moving a lot of units once people see it in action.

    So I can see a scenario where Bl-Ray triumphs over HD-DVD and sales begin to soar in 2008-2009 (in much the same way that lots of people bought a PS2 as an inexpensive DVD player).

    But aside from that possibilty, I don’t see how the PS3 can move ahead. I recently got an Xbox 360 Elite for my home use and I can’t tear my wife away from Zuma or Uno online — the 360 is a great system for all kinds of audiences, and I think it’s in for a great holiday season and a long prolific lifespan beyond…


  3. Thank you both for your great contributions.
    Between PS3 and 360 I think it boils down to AAA exclusive content. Microsoft seem to have majored on this with a stream of must have system sellers like Halo 3. In the meantime Sony have nothing. And they will have nothing till well into next year. This is going to give them a massive amount of catching up to do, especially as I expect Microsoft to be relentless with those AAA exclusives.

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