Many Think The PS3 Sucks. But Will Sony Really Lose The "Console War?"

Ok, so as far as the "blogosphere" is concerned, the PS3 is just a bad choice on Sony's part; a complete mistake. The biggest problem is the price, $599, for the version of the console with all of the bells and whistles. This is $200 more expensive than the "premium" version of the XBOX 360, and $250 more than Nintendo's Wii. Speaking of the Wii, another problem that people have with it is the system's big "innovation;" Sony pretty much jacked the core idea of the Wiimote and put it in their SIXAXIS controller.

But I don't want to talk about why the system might be a failure.

I want to talk about the reasons why I now believe that it's going to be a success.

Think about how many people are buying the PS3 on eBay. Think about how much they are selling for on eBay. Consider that the demand must be outrageous to push the prices so high. I've heard that people have bought these systems for $2000 or more. People are getting shot and killed for this system.

Why would people be so excited about this system? There are two reasons I can think of. One is brand loyalty. People liked Sony. People liked the original Playstation. People liked what they had in the PS2. I mean obviously they did, as there are more PS2 games out there than there have ever been for any other system in gaming history. (There are over 8,00 titles available for the PS2. [source] According to Microsoft, there are about 800 titles available for the original Xbox.)

I don't expect people to buy a system because it has a lot of games, though. Nor do I expect customers to be loyal to any given brand, which I'll discuss in a bit.

The PS2 has had some REALLY AMAZING intellectual properties. A lot of these carried over from Sony's original Playstation. Things like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear, both of which are going to make an appearance on the PS3.

Actually you know what, those are the only two really good IPs that come to mind right now.

But the thing is, they're both slotted for sequels to be released exclusively on the PS3. Personally, Metal Gear Solid 4 is the only game I would buy a PS3 for at this point in time. Other games previewed have looked nice:FFXIII, Level 5's White Knight project, the new Gran Turismo Project all look great - but MGS4 is the only one that I would play no matter what.

So I'm pretty sure that there are other people out there like me who bought the PS3 in anticipation of future games. It's difficult to tell how the future of a system is going to be from the launch game lineup, anyway. But the prospect of BIG NAME future games from BIG NAME developers is going to get people to buy the systems, just for these games. I'd love to see the number of sales that the PS3 gets that are attached to games like MGS4 and FFXIII. Also, I'd love to see how many Xbox 360's sell when Halo 3 comes out, how many Wii's sell when the new Smash Bros. game or Mario games come out, and so on.

But this isn't about the 360 or the Wii, this is about the PS3.

On a more devious note, let's return to the overwhelming demand for the PS3. Let's assume that everyone who wants one (and it sure seems like a lot of people) is eventually going to get one. When they get it, they'll have Blu-Ray player in their living room / bedroom. They'll want some Blu-Ray movies to go with that - the people who bought the PS3 at launch got Will Ferrell's most recent movie, Talladega Nights free with their players, so their collection has already started.

Did I mention that Sony is a MAJOR stakeholder in the Blu-Ray format? They're actually on the board of directors.

So yeah, right now the game is all about getting as many units into people's homes as possible. Sony is doing this pretty damned well the way the PS3s are selling right now, and they'll continue to do it when their flagship titles come out. Microsoft's whole business right now is based on them selling games. Sony has marketed the PS3 as more of a multimedia center kind of product, so while it plays games, it can do other things too, like play Blu-Ray. Once people have these systems in their homes, they'll probably buy a lot more Blu-Ray titles, and Sony will make money from this.

I don't think people's reasons for buying the PS3 are wise, but in a way they do make sense from the standpoint of these consumers, and Sony.



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