Sony, Analyst Issue Responses To Activision's Threat
Some people will do anything to see a PlayStation 3 price cut, and Activision boss Bobby Kotick decided to try a scare tactic.
According to reports all around the Internet, the Activision Blizzard CEO has threatened to stop supporting Sony hardware unless they drop the price of the PS3, and presumably, the PSP Go. His bold and surprising statement is as follows:
"They have to cut the price, because if they don’t, the attach rates [the number of games each console owner buys] are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony. When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console — and the PSP [portable] too."
Of course, Kotick is brimming with confidence based on the Activision lineup for 2009, and he's only trying to sell as many copies of Modern Warfare 2 and Guitar Hero 5 as possible. Everybody knows the guy is just bluffing, as Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter already said:
"Of course Bobby’s bluffing, and good for him. I think Bobby’s obviously interested in Sony selling as many PS3s as they possibly can, and he’s not happy with their penetration so far. I think he favours a price cut, and would rather see one sooner than later."
SCEE has come forward with a fairly bland response to all this, saying they "respect" the opinion of third-party developers but they won't comment any further. Look, we needn't concern ourselves with this non-story, as we call it. It's merely a big player doing a bit of posturing and threatening because he's in a position to do so, and everyone in the industry understands this. The bottom line is not attach rate; the bottom line is that there are around 23 million PS3s in the world (which isn't a bad comparison to the 28 million 360s), and there's no way on God's green earth that Activision will slash their sales potential by...what, 45%? It just won't happen.
But it's interesting to watch, isn't it?
6/19/2009 Ben Dutka