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Sony Has to Act before Christmas |

A lot of emphasis is put on NA sales figures for the PS3/360/Wii, with very little concrete info about sales figures in Europe. Japanese sales figures are usually released on a weekly basis yet figures in the UK are virtually non-existent.

Chart Track has revealed to that sales of PS3 and 360 are pretty much neck and neck in the UK. No figures are released (what a surprise) but it seems both consoles have sold around 500,000 units from January – September. What’s interesting about this is that 55% of the PS3’s sales occurred during the first 4 weeks of it going on sale here.

There’s a couple of things to take into consideration with these figures. The 360 had a 3 month head start in the UK before the PS3 was released on March 23rd. On top of that the PS3, for the most part, cost £125 more than the 360 for most of this year until the Elite was released. The release of the Elite saw a sales increase of 260%, which dropped by 20% the following week.

Overall, sales of both consoles haven’t been great in the UK this year. Although the PS3 did particularly well during it’s launch period, sales have remained low since then. The introduction of the Elite has boosted 360 sales and there will probably be a minor sales boost to coincide with the release of Halo 3.

Sony have to drop the price of the PS3 in the run up to Christmas. Kaz Hirai recently said that there’s no point dropping the price of the PS3 until they have enough AAA games out for people to play. I couldn’t disagree more. A price drop to £299 would be ideal and would see a noticeable sales increase, then coincide that with the various rumours floating around about a PES 2008 bundle (possibly France only), a new stripped down SKU (bad idea) and the rumour of a big announcement from Sony on Oct 12th and it seems Sony has something up their sleeves for the Holiday season.

As it stands you can buy a PS3 including Heavenly Sword, Resistance, MotorStorm and two Sixaxis pads for £425.

On paper that looks great. You get 3 of the finest games currently available for the PS3 and an extra pad at a saving of almost £150. The problem is that a lot of people see the price tag of £425 and are scared off. I was one of the people that bought a PS3 at launch for £425 but I knew exactly what I was getting and what was coming this year, and I’ve been very happy with what it’s giving me.

Don’t be surprised if Sony does a SingStar bundle including the new PLAYSTATION Eye combined with a price drop to around £350. SingStar is a big franchise in Europe so this move would make sense. They will probably do a similar thing in North America with Eye of Judgment.

Regardless of the bundles they offer, Sony has to drop the stand alone price of the PS3 to £299 before Christmas. They are selling it for that price now but with forced extras. Maybe the supposed “big bang announcement” will be a proper price drop and not another bundle or another SKU. Sony has to act sooner rather than later and the run up to Christmas is the ideal time to act. Or so you’d think.

PS3 and 360 sales finely balanced in the UK

  • MeeToo

    Damn right, Sony has no weapon this Xmas (for now). And second, I too don’t like bundles even if the total cost is really cheap. I love to chose what games/accesory I like to get.

    It may have weapons, but the competition has more weapons. Xbox has now the almighty Halo and Bioshock.

    How can Sony stop this?

  • MeeToo

    Also, Xbox Halo Legendary Edition is now 65nm… woohoo !!! I’ll be getting it this Xmas… finally.

  • Sony has no weapons this Christmas, eh?

    They have Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted, Haze, UT 3 and a raft of multi-format 3rd party games, not to mention bundles that will appeal to individual markets.

    As for you 65nm excitement, I hate to be the bearer of bad news I’m sure it’s only the CPU that has so far been reduced. The overheating problem that contributes towards the RROD is down to the GPU which is still 90nm

  • I think Sony is using europe to buffer the costs to produce the console until they have to act. Part of this is due to the 360 not making any significant inroads in europe except for the UK. There rest is pretty squarely in playstation territory, be it with strong ps2 sales or with ps3 sales. I think things may change during november in Europe, with the first drop in price, and perhaps the new model going worldwide.

    I can kind of see what Kaz is meaning by his price drop comment. If you drop the price with little to buy, you end up getting fewer people than if you wait and drop it when good games come out, or to coincide with a major title.

    Gamers are notoriously spoiled. We get the best tech for less than it costs the company to produce it, and complain when its not even lower. We want the system cheaper, but don’t want anything taken out to make it so. We want games sooner, but complain when they come out for not being as long as an extra few months would have allowed them to be. We want AAA exclusives, but complain when they take a long time to produce. We are so used to getting more than we actually compensate for. I do think in the case of europe, the complaints are valid given the price in some areas. But then again taxes and things are factored into those prices.