Can The PS3 Ever Match The PS2?
Sony has announced that impressive 136 million worldwide sell-in statistic for the PlayStation 2, and it got us to wondering: will the PlayStation 3 ever match or surpass the immense success of its predecessor?
Depending on the source, Sony has currently sold about 22-24 million PS3 units worldwide and the system is about two and a half years into its lifespan. Obviously, we can't do a linear math equation 'cuz they don't sell the exact same number of units each year - far from it - but we can look down the road a ways, can't we? Thing is, Sony has several things going against them if they want the PS3 to live up to the lofty sales standards of the PS2: first, they weren't the first ones to the market this generation, and that has already had a negative impact. Second, the economy took a dive and the PS3 is still more expensive than the competition. Thirdly and lastly, it still seems as if the ignorant mainstream media wants to write articles that say, "Can such-and-such save the PS3?" But I think even the most ardent pessimists will agree that the console has made great strides in the past year, and it currently has a full head of steam as we roll through 2009.
A few of the amazing exclusive are already here and many more are on the way, and let's not forget about that ever-expanding Network. Obviously, what we need now is a price drop: we've already said that when it comes, it will eventually allow the PS3 to surprass the Xbox 360. And while we stick to that prediction, it doesn't necessarily mean that the PS3 will have sold 140 million units in less than 7 years time. In looking at the numbers realistically, perhaps it makes more sense to ask, "will any system ever match the PS2's success?" In retrospect, it just seemed as if everything went Sony's way during the PS2 era; they came out first, Microsoft and the Xbox wasn't very well liked, the GameCube didn't provide a huge amount of competition, and the economy was trucking right along. Now, after the price drop to $99, there's no knowing what the final tally will be. Hell, they may have sold 175 million units in 7 years time, and there seems to be no chance for any current-gen console to match that mark.
The bottom line is that the PS2 may have set sales records that could stand for a very long time. The PS3 is certainly on the rise and we still think it'll eventually top the 360, but to have the gaudy numbers of the PS2...? It just seems incredibly unlikely.
4/6/2009 Ben Dutka