Analyst Expects PS3 Success In Europe
Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter has already issued one prediction: all three major players would be dubbed the winner of the war at one point or another. Perhaps he did so because he sees the currently lagging PS3 making a charge, fueled by a solid European launch in March.
Pachter has predicted the PS3 will easily sell out in Europe by May, and has gone one step further in foreseeing a price cut of at least 150 Euros within one year of the system's launch.
"I'm actually surprised that consoles are not priced more like other consumer electronics, with early movers charged a bunch and the mass market charged less," Pachter told GamesIndustry.biz. Here, he's referring to DVD players, which have dropped a lot in price since their launch.
As for the price of the PS3, which has garnered plenty of criticism worldwide, Pachter claims it's not a sore point for Europe. And besides, with that price cut he's predicting, and the inclusion of more games on the market, more units should move faster.
"The PS3 can command GBP 425 from the hardcore and I think you'll see price cuts a year from now, probably to GBP 300," said Pachter. "There will be a few more games by then, with several great games announced for release in May and beyond, so I expect a full sellout by the end of April."
And what about the competition? After all, the Xbox 360 will have been out in Europe for over a year when the PS3 finally launches on March 23, and Euro gamers have already had access to the Wii since December. But Pachter doesn't believe this poses a major obstacle for Sony's PS3, despite Nintendo's fast start out of the gate.
"March is not too late, given Sony's production problems and only 800,000 Wiis sold in Europe last quarter," he said. "My guess is that the Wii will be up to near 1.6 - 2 million by March 23, but that is far from an insurmountable head start."
And yes, analysts do look at the games here and there. Pachter has dubbed the PS3's visuals "phenomenal" and confirmed a common PSXE belief as well: while games like Gears of War look just as good (if not better) than anything on the PS3 right now, not only is the PS3 more powerful, but the launch was very clearly rushed. Furthermore, given Sony's history of releasing platforms that see massive graphical growth over their lifespans - due to the complex consoles they produce - we should begin seeing better-looking games on the PS3 very soon."I think that games like Gears of War on the 360 look every bit as good, but given that PS3 game development was rushed, I fully expect next year's games to look better on the PS3," Pachter said.
1/30/2007 Ben Dutka