Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image | January 21, 2018

Scroll to top



Why PS3 Exclusives Don’t Sell: An Anecdote |

When several kids (about 10) were over my house playing with my daughter, some were playing my PS3. Yet they would only play Call of Duty over and over. I asked what their favorites were and they said Halo, Gears of War, and Call of Duty. Since they apparently liked shooters, I asked what they thought of Killzone 2. They said they hadn’t tried it and were obviously completely uninterested in doing so.

Their reaction reminded me of when I was a kid and the Transformers franchise was the hot fad. I remember seeing some Chinese immitation Transformer-like toys that were much cheaper than the official Transformer toys, yet kids were repulsed by them. Kids wanted to play with the officially branded Transformers toys that their peers were playing with and not some generic knock offs.

Today, the PlayStation brand is that generic knock off for many of today’s kids. Xbox and Wii are the hot peer-approved fads, and while much of the best and most innovative content is on the PlayStation platform, it is stuck behind a brand that is actively disliked.

EDIT: OK, Killzone 2 sold over a million worldwide. Those are actually fairly good sales and certainly not a disaster. However overall, Sony seems to be putting out very high quality innovative games that sell much lower than comparable competition.

  • Jonaskin

    I agree with you, sort of…but it’s so weird. Only a few years ago, with the PS1 and PS2, Sony franchises were the ones everybody wanted to play, and if you owned an N64 or Saturn, or Gamecube or XBox, you were the ‘poor cousin’ so to speak.

  • Sporty

    I think a large part of the reason Uncharted, Killzone, Resistance, LBP, Ratchet and others don’t pull in bigger numbers is Sony kinda sucks at advertising lately.

    For each of those games I’ve seen maybe 3 commercials each just around launch. Nothing after. Lost and the Damned has had 10 times as much advertisements as Killzone 2 from what I’ve seen.

    Hardly any prelease advertisements for Infamous also, sure they will have a few commercials next week and in theaters before Terminator Salvation, but come June I would be surprised to see any in prime time. Something Sony needs to work on if they want to keep momentum on game sales.

  • Mike

    I still say it is the hardware price. Brands don’t grow when they are off limits to people who can’t pay $400 or above for the system it plays on. All of the games Sony published in the PSOne and PS2 era sold more because more people could own the hardware. They are effectively hampering their own software sales with the hardware pricing. Does anyone think Halo would have been as popular if Xbox launched at $599.99 and the least expensive unit three years later was $399.99?

    I just get the impression that once Howard Stringer took over the video game division became less of a priority. This doesn’t seem like the same company that had Crash Bandicoot outside of NOA with a megaphone, or was securing release window exclusives on third party games like GTA. It just doesn’t seem like a priority to them anymore, and that apathy is being met with consumer apathy.

  • Sure marketing is a part of it. But I agree with what Darrin is saying. Kids of course like what’s “in” at the moment and right now the 360 and Wii are in.

    Price is certainly part of it as well. Parents that buy consoles for their kids just want the cheapest thing, so they go Wii or 360 usually. The PS3 isn’t that much more but your getting a lot more bang for your buck that’s for sure.

  • A year headstart can cause a lot of advantage. When you have at least a friend who has xbox, you’d be inclined to buy an xbox, for obvious reasons. After that, it can be like a snowball.

  • Riggins44

    I teach 10 year olds, and have for years. In the time that the PS3 has been out, I can count on one hand the number of kids that have one. Don’t discount price on this one. Sony continues to drop the ball on that front. A sub $300 machine or even $250 machine would go a long way to getting the younger audience back.

    Marketing wise, unless I am watching the wrong channels, browsing the wrong sites, Microsoft marketing does not seem to have much of a presence either.

  • I think the real question is what are 10 year olds doing playing so many fps?!

  • JimmyMagnum

    It’s a mixture of advertising and console price. Wii is popular because it’s cheap, had a very extensive advertising campaign and it’s synonymous with childhood so to speak (though the N64 was crap due to the controller). IMO, the Wii is very gimmicky with no real good games on it except for a choice few. Finally in Japan, though, the PS3 outsold the Wii and 360 for 2 straight months now and it’s finally starting to gain more ground over there. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for us because people still have that “Wii must be great” attitude.

    As far as 360 goes, it’s basically the same as Wii in terms of how price and advertising affect sales. The biggest draw would most likely be exclusivity of 3rd party content that leans more towards 360 sales. A couple examples would be GTAIV’s DLC (most likely won’t be a timed exclusive) and Fallout 3 (which will soon hit PS3). I’ve only seen this on a few 3rd party titles for PS3, but 360 seems to have more branding going on for those third party titles, probably leaving some to believe it’s exclusive to that system or it’s the best version.

    And it is very true about the snowball effect. Lucky for me, I have all three so friends don’t affect which system I use lol. My Wii gets used the least and my PS3, by far, the most. Many people can’t afford all three, so, if they’re more advanced gamers, they’d go for the cheaper deal (the 360) and that causes their friends to make that purchase as well so they can play together, plus the 360 had a year’s head start on sales. Too bad they make some faulty hardware. I had to replace my 360 twice due to hardware failure (RROD). Now that I’m out of the 3 year warranty for the RROD, if it happens again, I’m screwed. I might go with the elite if it does happen and use the HDMI on it and whatnot.

    Putting the PS3 into the picture, though, you get the best bang for your buck. It’s a very capable blu-ray player with HD sound support (which is amazing if you have a good setup BTW). It’s got a lot of free features, including it’s online service which isn’t as advanced as Live, but does a good enough job and is great for the price (lol). IMO, the store is set up better and is easier to navigate. The 360’s dashboard is waaay too cluttered now and it irritates me having to slide through like 20 options before I find what I’m looking for. Plus, the hardware is manufactured better. Only ever had a couple network errors that just needed like my router reset and that’s it.

    As far as first party titles go, nothing comes close to Sony’s lineup. Even some of 360’s exclusive titles are heading or have headed to PS3. Ninja Gaiden 2 (plus exclusive features) and Bioshock (and it’s exclusive features) are a couple examples. But when you look at first party exclusives, nothing is going to top Killzone, MGS, LBP, Uncharted, God of War, inFamous and countless others. Even with sports games, MLB ’09: The Show destroys 2K sports and EA Sports offerings (and they had quite a bit of advertising for that game). The sports genre is one of the big genres, but not as big as action/adventure and shooters. Killzone 2 had a lot of advertising, as did MGS4 for a while. Yet, I’ve never seen an ad for Uncharted (which is one of PS3’s top five), haven’t seen any inFamous advertising, saw like one LBP commercial… IDK, maybe they expect the products to sell themselves anymore.

    As far as the inFamous ads this weekend for the Terminator movie, it might spark some interest in PS3. IGN gave it a good review and most of the people who will see the movie will range from the 13 to 25 age demographic, which is a very large percentage of gamers (definitely the majority).

    Hopefully, we’ll see more creative ad campaigns and better advertising as a whole. A price cut definitely wouldn’t hurt, especially in this economy. I also hope that E3 will be a remarkable hit for Sony this year and maybe we’ll get some of these hopes to come into fruition, especially taking into consideration SCE’s booth by itself is larger than Nintendo’s and with SCE and SOE together, they trump Nintendo and MS combined. It was also a very good idea for them to have the two divisions across from each other. Here’s hoping for a good keynote address this year and exclusive reveals of currently unknown games (especially third party exclusive titles).

    Who knows, maybe 2009 will end up being PS3’s year…

  • JimmyMagnum

    lol, didnt know I typed that much…

  • JimmyStewart

    I’d have to say I’d disagree entirely with the idea behind the post. I don’t think it has anything to do with kids seeing Sony as a generic knock off. If anything the Playstation name has helped keep the PS3 in the console war. I’ve been completely amazed at what a hard fight it’s been for MS so far. They’ve managed to pretty much put a stranglehold on any worthwhile exclusive on the consoles. They had a good head start on the PS3 launch. They have a huge success with XBox Live and Arcade. And lately they’ve even been able to knock the price down from something close to the PS3 to something more in line with the Wii. And yet the PS3 still manages to keep the race somewhat close, granted I’d imagine the console sales are mostly close because of the Blu-Ray drive (it’s the only real reason I bought my two).

    But take a realistic look at the “exclusives” on the PS3 to date. There’s a small handful of about 5 quality titles so far, and to be honest in most cases each game has two more popular and higher reviewed exclusives on the 360. For each KillZone 2 there’s a Halo and a Gears. For every Little Big Planet (launched at $60) there’s a Viva Pinata and Banjo and Kazooie (launched at $40). And even when titles like BioShock and Ninja Gaiden 2 eventually do make the switch over to the PS3 it’s a year or two after they stopped being relevant to the gaming community. Think of it from the perspective of a avid gamer with one console, why buy into a console and hope that in a few years you’ll get all the great games the other systems are playing today.

    As a gamer who owns all the consoles (2 360s and 2 PS3s, only one Wii) I honestly have no dog in this fight. I just want to play the best games or at least the games that excite me and that I love best.

    So far, with all consoles libraries available here’s where my money is going…
    XBox 360 – I own 61 titles (not counting a handful I sold).
    Wii – I own 10 titles.
    PS3 – I own 4 titles.

    Don’t take this as an attack on your console of choice. It’s not. I love my PS3s and I recommend them to everyone I know. They’re a great Blu-Ray player and I really really really love the PixelJunk series. I’m INCREDIBLY excited to get my hands on God of War 3 and already know that will be my game of the year.

    But you guys really seem to get confused about why people aren’t drinking the same PS3 Kool-Aid. I’m trying to tell you why as a general consumer that doesn’t care what brand I’m playing I almost always go with a 360 game. It’s got the better online community to keep me buying the multi-platform titles so I can keep in touch with my friends and their gamertags/scores. And when it comes to exclusives, the 360 has so much and of such great quality that I can’t help but be disappointed with what the PS3 meagerly offers. KillZone 2 is a better than average game with some great visuals, but it doesn’t come close to Gears or Halo… two titles on a system that’s technically inferior in every way. It’s just too little too late. Last year I bought more games than I ever purchased in my entire life… and last year I didn’t purchase a single retail game for the PS3. I wanted to nab Resistance 2, but I held off until they ironed out the co-op issues. And then we have my biggest issue with the PS3. I’m a married gamer and I love to game with my wife. I also love to play with friends and family in the same room. With the 360 everyone can just pop in their memory cards and we can all connect and play together. My wife and I played through Gears and Halo and had a blast, because we could do it together on the same couch and both get achievements as we went. With the PS3, virtually every option means one of us is playing alone… and at the very least only one of us is signed in. Friends coming by? Forget about them signing in. I never understood before the 360 really how a console could be an entertainment focal point that everyone could enjoy… and when I look at the PS3 for games I’m reminded of how it used to be.

    And with that said, I just wanted to say I hope you guys eventually get a PSN version of Sam and Max or Wallace and Grommit from TellTale. It dawned on my yesterday with the news of the rumored re-release of Secret of Monkey Island coming to the XBox that the PS3 is going to be missing some sorely needed old-school adventure games. These are the games I was raised on and I’ve been dying to play them on my 360 (already own them all on the PC of course), but I’d love for you guys to be able to get in on the fun too!

  • JimmyMagnum

    meh, never cared for either Gears or Halo

  • Darrin

    JimmyStewart, if you think there are only 5 quality PS3 exclusives, you mention your purchase ratio of 4 PS3 games to 10 Wii games to 61 360 games, you think Viva Pinata and Banjo-Kazooie are both on the same level as LittleBigPlanet while Killzone 2 “doesn’t come close” to Gears or Halo, and from the rest of your post, you are an extreme Xbox fanatic. You say you “have no dog in this fight” and you don’t care either way, but you do. You really, really do.

    It also reminds me that when you are genuinely truly biased, you are the last person to realize it.

  • Darrin

    JimmyMagnum, I read your post, but it is so huge I don’t even know where to begin. 🙂

  • samManUnited

    I actually read it as well, even though very early on it reeked of xboy fanaticism. The video game dynamic that exists in your household, while it sounds ideal, just isn’t a realistic representation of those playing an Xbox/PS3 as apposed to a Wii. The former are platforms whose developers advocate the near exclusive use of online multiplayer in their projects. At the fundamental level, it is still, so cool, to tell your friends that “it goes online and you can play other people!” That awe remains for gamers of all ages to some small extent. And, using choice of games when so many of the quality ones are non-exclusives, is just kind of a cop-out imo.

  • francois

    IMO, kids and teenagers are the core of the video game mass market and they are the reason the Xbox is more popular so far. They have lots of time and most of them have money.

    The PS franchise seems to be more popular amongs adult players who usually have less time to spare on games. For example, I had to skip Fallout 3, Street Fighter, Killzone and Resident evil 5 because I simply don’t have enought time. Just finished Brother in Arms hells highway (excellent game) and switched to Resistance 2.

  • JimmyMagnum

    @ Darrin:
    lol, after I posted it, I was like “what the hell?”

  • Has everyone forgotten all the PS3 hate that was everywhere..even before the system was released? Xbots were coming up with every lie and unfounded rumor they could think of and putting it on the net.

    I remember reading stories on how a guy claimed a PS3 burned down his house , how BluRay discs were blue coated on the bottom ( think Tekken Tag ) and that one scratch would make the game unplayable, every PS3 at the TGS ( can’t remember which) overheated, every game was running on 360 behind a closed cabinet, Sony was going to ditch BluRay and release a DVD based PS3.

    My own brother was so ill informed about the PS3. All it too was him overhearing a couple of other guys taking nonsense to convince him it wasn’t worth the money. This was completely BEFORE any one played a single game on it.

    Even after the PS3 got decent titles like Heavenly Sword and Uncharted most people and reviewers, even the media, spent most of their time hyping up Halo 3, which was only as long as Heavenly Sword and people faulted it for being a short game.

    G4 did a full day special covering the release of Halo 3 but when MGS4 was released they hardly mentioned it. Sessler said it wasn’t a system seller once he finally got it into his head that it wasn’t appearing on the 360. The PS3 outsold the 360 for a month ( or 2 can’t remember ) in NA when MGS4 was released.

    They hyped up the Wii. Lazy devs were making crummy ports of the PS3 versions of games. Why would anyone want a PS3 no matter what it cost after that? CNN even compared it to the Titanic last November.

  • JimmyMagnum

    M$ just likes to throw money all over the place.

  • KP

    It bugs me every time, all of ps3’s exclusives dont sell really well, killzone 2 a great game but only sold a million and 1 million isnt enough in these times because xbox games sell really well and thats why more game puplishers are moving to them e.g. metal gear solid. before ps2 sold millions of GTA sanandreas and on ps3 highest is 3-4 million MGS4 and the problem is that there aint that many ps3’s sold espetialy in USA because they love these games but what ps3 needs to do is make a price cut,BUT they will then be losing money on the manufactoring so PS3 needs to make a model that is much cheeper and then sell at a small profitable price and from there they can start again. PS4 needs to be cheaper and have some things that the XBOX gave e.g. headset, and maybe low subsribtion because thats the only way the PSN is going to be better. Sony is thinking alot about the PS4 and what they need to do to beat xbox. SONY4LIFE

  • KP

    PS Microsoft is throwing money because they have soo much money the barstad bill gates has alot of cash

    PPS if in the future PS3 fail and stop making consols then they would be making games (like sega and other consol companys that floped and now make games for others).

    But i dont want to give in. Sony has good thing and Microsoft has good things the best thing to do is combind there companys to 50:50 and it would be like SONY ERRICSON but they too are now losing against Nokia, LG , Samsang and stuff