Via Kotaku, we have a quote from John Koller of Sony:
|SONY: Everything is fine. We’re sure the market is going to abruptly change any minute now to something which is more favorable to us, without us having to do anything.|
Which is how I think Sony has viewed this all along. Their real goal was to win the format wars, since controlling the format of video content for the next decade is worth far more than having a respectable share of the console market for the next six years. They put the blu-ray player in the PS3, thus driving the price through the roof. Thus less were sold. Thus less developers wanted to make exclusives. Thus the main selling point of the PS3 – its super-powered processing abilities – went to waste, since only exclusives are going to be engineered to actually take advantage of all that extra power. Thus the system was even less appealing to people who just wanted a system for playing games, continuing a dreadful negative feedback loop.
But for Sony it’s still a win, because blu-ray won, and it won early. I’m not saying that having the blu-ray built into the PS3 is what won the format wars, I’m saying that Sony couldn’t afford to leave it out.
It makes business sense, although now that they’ve won the HD format war their behavior in regards to the PS3 has been slothful and unfocused. Their plan seems to be to announce that everything is fine on a regular basis, without really doing anything to close the gap with either of the other two consoles. I’d like to see them offer something to rival Xbox Live, gamertags, or the achievement system. (I know they have the trophy system, but it doesn’t look to be tied to anything like an account or gamer profile which can be shared. Without a gamertag, you have to just tell people you beat Explodious 3 on super double-hard. The system tracks your accomplishments, but it doesn’t give you a way to share them, which is what makes the system social and perhaps even viral.)
The thing is getting marginally cheaper to produce, which is nice, but even if they cut the price to Xbox 360 levels (which is extremely unlikely) they still don’t have a way to woo potential customers who are shopping for a console gaming system, or who might already own one of the others.
I am still a huge fan of the PS2, and it’s still my favorite of the previous generation. But a large part of the appeal of that system is the vast library of quality titles. The PS3 can’t ride the coattails of its predecessor because they dropped most of the backwards compatibility. And it can’t hope to build a library of its own if it’s sitting in distant third place. The tale of the dusty, underused PS3 is a common one.
Dear Sony: The current realities of the market are working against you. You will need to do something if you want this to change.
Topic for discussion: If you own more than one gaming platform (PC, Gamecube, Playstation, Xbox, Wii, etc) which one gets the most use?
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