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.