Thursday, July 12, 2007

Is the Playstation 3 a victim of the Playstation 2?

I ask the question because while everyone is looking at Sony's competition to understand why it is "struggling" in the next gen console race, I think Sony can look in the mirror to find their answer.

Microsoft took a lot of heat for quietly discontinuing its support of the original Xbox. They seemed to think that supporting two consoles was not beneficial to their business, even though the black box had a lot of life left in it. Looking at the success of the 360 since that decision it is easier to say that they were right.

Nintendo made a similar decision with the Gamecube. Although I think that the overwhelming demand for the Wii, made discontinuing the Gamecube a no-brainer.

Sony is trying to support two systems, the Playstation 2(PS2) and the Playstation 3(PS3). Take a look at these numbers from 2003 taken from a Gamespy report on the gaming market in Japan. Sony has a huge install base for PS2 owners. It is very lucrative for them in the short term to continue support for PS2. Sony is also still strongly supporting the PS2 with titles like God of War 2.

Short term support is where Sony is short sighted. After launching the PS3, the system is still lacking killer software that make the system a must have, Resistance: Fall of Man being the exception. The recent price drop is making the console more attractive to consumers. At this point though, people are basically buying an entry-level blu-ray player and not a game system.

Should Sony have halted the support of the PS2? On one hand, if Sony had titles like God of War for the PS3 at launch people would be more excited about the system. On the other hand, they would be leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table if they completely walked away from supporting the system. If ten percent of their user base purchase a new game at $50, that is roughly 300 million dollars for the company.

What do you think? Is the Playstation 3 a victim of the Playstation 2?

No comments: