What’s wrong with fall?


PS3Our friends over at PS3 Week have dissected an article from CNN claiming that Sony must launch the PS3 soon.

Personally, I don’t think there’s any “must”. If Sony launches the player late (gasp!) they can still make it successful. It just means a lot more work to do so. They’ll need to gain marketshare from a distant second position. That’s totally do-able. There are lots of people out there waiting for the PS3. When I pre-ordered my PS3, the clerk I was talking to said he was waiting for the PS3 as well, even though there were some Xbox 360′s for sale right behind me. (What shortage?)

So given that so many people are waiting for the PS3, I think that it’s really in Sony’s hands to screw up. They could bungle the PS3 if they really wanted to, but to make it succeed won’t be that hard. Just release the machine, and people will buy it. There are already 103 games in development for it. (Probably more now.) The question becomes: does the word “success” mean “doing better than the 360″ ? I don’t think it has to. But if that is the measuring stick we must use, then maybe I’m wrong about all this and Sony should come out sooner rather than later. Sony will win Japan. But North America is up for grabs.

PlayStation 3 Week – What’s wrong with fall?


Written by: Blackstaffer - News Contributor


  1. #1 by observer on February 24th, 2006

    “does the word “success” mean “doing better than the 360″ ? I don’t think it has to.”

    I disagree. Some market sectors such as cars or music or movies favor a diversity of brands and products. Those sectors maintain lots of stable competition and different players can do very well without being the predominant force.

    With gaming consoles or word processing software or desktop operating systems or optical disc standards, critical mass is much more relevant. There is strong pressure to use or work with the predominant standard. After an initial shakeout period, the market tends to stabilize on a single primary solution and minimal alternatives. There might be some niche areas for non-predominant players (which Nintendo is aiming for), but generally, second place is not a good place to be.

    “They could bungle the PS3 if they really wanted to, but to make it succeed won’t be that hard. Just release the machine, and people will buy it.”

    Yes, in the short term, it’s not hard for Sony. They are the current market leaders. There is already huge demand for the PS3 and it is mostly assured to sell very well when it comes out. However, in the long term, they have a really tough fight. It will be difficult to not lose market share and critical mass to Microsoft. And the more they lose, the harder it will become in the future to stem further loss. Microsoft is an expert at winning mindshare and leveraging their existing monopolies and nearly endless cash reserves to break into and take over new sectors.

    Microsoft’s first attempts at taking over an established market typically result in very poor products, loss of capital, and very small market penetration. It’s over time and over three or four generations of products, that they can slowly build a foothold, leverage their other established markets, win over mindshare, and take critical mass. That’s what I expect to happen in fields like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash, and possibly gaming consoles.

  2. #2 by Black Guy on February 24th, 2006

    Obsrver,
    I agree. Achieving critical mass is essential to the long term success of these kinds of products. The PS brand (minus the PSP) has consistently achieved critical mass before viable competition arrived and in both cases it secured a healthy market share in those respective generations. If X360 can do that or at least achieve a sizable installed base, PS3 could be in trouble regardless of what it may bring.

    This also depends on what the PS3 costs. If the PS3 is unreasonably costly by traditional standards, it wn’t be able to sustain sufficient sales over the long term. It will definitely sell out on its debut, but most of those sales will be to hard core diehard PS fans.

    Another potential problem that I’ve observed brewing over the last few weeks is the DRM issue associated w/ the next generation of media, particularly HD content. The DRM for blue-ray is unreasonable restrictive for the average consumer. Assume for a moment, a hypothetical situation in which the media and/or legislature start scutinizing and turning consumers’ attnention towards what the media giants are doing w/ DRM in regards to the next disc format; this could potentially be detrimental to Sony since the blue-ray drive is one of their key features. Alot of people r ignorant to implications of HD DRM, but enough ppl learned how their fair use will be severly handicapped, I bet alot of buyers will hold off, thus minimizing PS3 blue-ray advantage. Just a thought.

  3. #3 by Super Slug on February 25th, 2006

    I’ve been a lurker for a minute now and I think its time I responded. I think that PS3 will initially do well just by virtue of it being the PS2 successor. But I really think Sony has become complacent and sloppy. They’ve set ridiculously high expectations by initially proclaiming last year’s E3 videos as being realtime and they’ve been playing the technical specification card too much; true gamers know that tech numbers don’t matter. Sony is promising to deliver too much and I honestly don’t think they’ll be able to deliver. If the PSP is any indication of Sony promises of delivering everything but not doing anything really well, then I don’t have high hopes for the PS3; ESPECIALLY if it cost $10,000.

    The X360 is a really great system IMOand it demonstrates that MS has learned from its mistakes w/ Xbox 1. MS is now a legitamite force that Sony and its fans should really take seriously instead of dismissing it as Xbox 2.5. I had a PS2 last gen but I went w/ the X360 this time because it appears to be more focused on games inspite of its other multimedia functions. True, most of the launch games r only ok, but name one system that launched w/ all killer eye bleeding graphics and gameplay in every game. Thats what I thought, none. PS3 just seems like overkill to me. Why do I need 2 HMDI outputs when I can only afford one HDTV? A Blueray drive that supports DRM laden content? 7 bluetooth controller support? Why? It sounds cool but its not practical.

    Honestly, I hope both systems do well because it means I’ll see a successor to the X360 (which I’m really enjoying) and ultimately the competition will benefit all w/ better 1st party games. The Revo, man I dont know about that, but if DS is any indication of Nintendo’s marketing power then it could do well. We’ll C.

  4. #4 by Ed on February 25th, 2006

    I have no problem with a spring release but since i live in Australia i would like to see it released here at the same time. Microsoft’s “World Wide Release” was pathetic. It was released in Japan, Europe and America i dont classify that as a “World Wide Release” it more of a “Northern Hemisphere Release”. They foregot Australia and New Zealand! If Sony is going to have a “World Wide Release” they better release it in Australia and New Zealand at the same time. I dont no why were always last in getting new games and consoles. Its unfair!

    ed :P

  5. #5 by Black Guy on February 25th, 2006

    Ed,

    Because America, Japan, and Europe are the major markets for gaming; thats where the most sales come from. Unfortunately, places like u’r home r considered secondary markets. For as long as I can remember, system launches have always been focused @ those 3 areas then everywhere else. I don’t c Sony changing that practice. Its unfair but its business 1st for those guys.

    I guess it really shouldn’t b called a world wide launch.

  6. #6 by observer on February 25th, 2006

    Slug and Black Guy, let’s wait and see.

    I really don’t think that the PS3 is going to cost $10,000 or the DRM is going to be that obnoxious. If either of those things are true, I will not be buying one this generation, but I just don’t believe it will come to that. I know the $10,000 is an exageration but still, let’s wait for some more realistic evidence before we start burning effigies.

    In late March, Sony is supposedly releasing some new news at the developer conference. So until then, I’m going to pay less attention to PS3 gossip and enjoy games that are actually released in my downtime and cut back on procastination and get back to working my ass off.

  7. #7 by Black Guy on February 26th, 2006

    Observer

    Working u’r ass off is not healthy, U should c about getting it replaced. I know a good reference if u;r interested.


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