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Why aren’t PS3 Owners Buying Games?

Guitar Hero III

For the first week of sales of Guitar Hero III (from vgchartz)

360: 798,671
Wii: 271,053
PS2: 254,596
PS3: 113,040

This title was released on the exact same day on both systems with no significant advantages of one version vs the other. Even if we divide those sales figures by user base, (8.29 million vs 2.26 million), 360 users are about twice as likely to buy that title as PS3 owners. These are only first week sales, and the platform breakdown will probably even out somewhat in the long run, but these figures are still striking.

EA Sales

For three months up to 9/30/2007, EA reports sales by platform, via Gamasutra, in millions of dollars:

360: $218
PS2: $73
Wii: $59
DS: $47
PSP: $21
PS3: $17

Of course, EA has released more titles on the 360 than other platforms, publicized the 360 as the best platform to buy big name titles such as Madden, and released PS3 versions of most titles with very well publicized deficiencies (the FPS deficiency was talked about far more than the games themselves). However, even taking those factors into consideration, these numbers are still striking: The 360 brings in over twelve times the sales of PS3!


The two most popular theories have been price and lack of quality games. However, now with a good PS3 model selling for $400, the price clearly isn’t the issue.. And, the games? The games are here. Ratchet, COD4, GH3, are amazing AAA titles. Everday Shooter, Eye of Judgement, LocoRoco, and Folklore all provide very unique experiences. Warhawk and Heavenly Sword are great as well. Manhunt 2 has the best narrative of any game this year (yes, it is PS2, but runs on most PS3’s). The PS3 definitely has lots of great games with many more to come.

Also, it’s not just the great 360 titles like Bioshock that are selling well. Looking on, there are a plenty of mediocre cross-platform titles with really high sales on the 360, while even highly praised PS3 exclusives such as Ratchet & Clank, have relatively modest sales.

So what is it then? Marketing? Image? The whim of the zeitgeist?