Game console sales figures in Japan show Nintendo Wii outselling the PlayStation 3 by more than five to one last month, reports Reuters. While its high price is probably the key factor for the PS3’s poor sales, a lack of compelling software titles must also be to blame. In gaming history, smash-hit games are more than often the defining factor in a console’s success. Something which Sony inconveniently forgot.
Over at ZDNet, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes:
While Sony believed that gamers wanted to buy a games console that was packed with the latest cutting-edge technology, Nintendo took a different approach and concentrated on making the product fun. This is a move that seems to be paying off.
Sony clearly decided to bet the house on conquering the living room beyond gaming. We recently reported on the game console’s added media streaming capabilities, and its ability to share content with the company’s hand-held machine, the PSP. Add into the mix an expensive next-generation Blu-ray player, and customers are being asked to buy-in to a lot of high technology.
Sony gambled that consumers could be persuaded en masse to spend what is a crazy amount of cash on a games console if it was crammed with high-tech components and marketed as an entertainment system. Early reports seem to suggest that beyond the initial PS3 feeding frenzy, convincing customers to part with a sizable amount of money in exchange for a games console is harder than expected. Sony might have to bite the bullet and let the price of the PS3 slide a little (or a lot) in order to fire up enthusiasm.
Reuters also reports that PS3 sales in the US aren’t much better.
In the United States, the Wii was the top-selling new console for the fourth month in a row in April, with Nintendo selling 360,000 units, while Sony sold 82,000 units of the PS3 and Microsoft Corp. sold 174,000 Xbox 360 machines.
In its defence, Sony says it’s in it for the long term, and with many others trying to solve the “last 100 feet” problem of getting Internet content into the living room, they’re not alone — XBox 360, AppleTV, Sling Media, Netgear etc. Over time, the PS3’s technology should come down in price too, and as Sony keeps adding new features and content to the device (through software upgrades), I’m not writing off its chances just yet.
Related post: Wii Media Center?