March EGM Examines Sony's Next-Gen Situation
If you check out the cover of the March EGM issue, you'll see they're planning to dive in-depth with a look at all three next-gen consoles, featuring an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton. According to the article, posted in part at 1Up, Tretton leaps to the defense of the PS3, and we see the following important quote (presumably to be found in the March EGM):
"Because we're in that leadership position, there are a lot of expectations thrust upon us and some of them are a little unrealistic. If we were a distant third in the platform race, people would have a warm spot in their hearts for the good old days of PlayStation and they'd actually root for us to get back on top. But I don't know if we want to pay the price to get that kind of [love]."
We have plenty of information to draw our own conclusions, what with Sony's fiscal third-quarter results and the latest cost update regarding the incurred PS3 losses. We see that Sony didn't suffer nearly as much as expected in the third quarter, but at the same time, they may lose upwards of $2 billion on their next-gen console endeavor. Looking at the statistics, Sony only sold half the PS3s they expected to sell in 2006, but they still managed to sell 687,000 units before the end of the year. Both the PS1 and PS2 sold over 100 million systems worldwide (111 million for the PS2), and the PS2 remained the top-selling console for December '06.
Then we find out the sales of Blu-Ray is greatly outpacing the sales of HD-DVD, which is nothing but good news for Sony. So the real question is, examining that Tretton interview, who mentions several key points, can Sony catch up and reclaim industry supremacy? It may be too early to tell, but the 2007 holiday season should begin to tell the tale of the tape. And if Blu-Ray continues to succeed, and consumers begin to recognize the PS3 as a very competent - yet cheap, in comparison - Blu-Ray player, things could get very, very interesting.
Of course, the available software will have a little something to do with it as well. And we know the great ones are lurking out there.
2/1/2007 Ben Dutka