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Can The PS3 Win The Console-War?

Felix Kemp
Features, PS3

Can The PS3 Win The Console-War?

With reports of the PS3’s sales rising exponentially across the globe, Sony must now be wondering whether the console race is within their grasp. The PS3, rejuvenated by the recent price-cut and the introduction of the Slim, was once lagging behind both the Wii and the Xbox 360, sometimes even its older brother, the PS2! But since last month, companies monitoring sales from America to Japan have reported increases of up to 1000% in the number of PS3 consoles sold.

So can the PS3 win the console war? With sales improving, a glut of quality games on the horizon, and PSN nearing feature-parity with Xbox Live, its positioned to usurp the Xbox 360 and challenge the Wii’s stranglehold over the charts.

A Slow Start

Can The PS3 Win The Console-War?

Released a year after the Xbox 360 rushed to the market, the PS3 had a less than stellar introduction. It cost almost twice as much as the competition, and despite its rich list of technical features, it was a difficult price for customers to swallow. Its online service, the Playstation Network, was in its infancy, and other than perhaps Resistance: Fall of Man, the initial salvo of games was poor, with developers struggling to wrap their engines around the console’s complex new architecture.

The PS3 would continue to sell respectably, if unspectacularly. It was buoyed by the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV, but almost always lagged behind the Xbox 360 and the runaway success of the Wii.

The Pros And Cons Of Blu-Ray

Can The PS3 Win The Console-War?

It was the early price-point that stalled the PS3’s success. Sony was desperate to promote their new technology, Blu-Ray, mired in a commercial war with competitor HD-DVD. Like the PS2, Sony saw their new console as the perfect Trojan-horse to infiltrate households with Blu-Ray. It was a smart move, but risky gamble, too.

With Blu-Ray only just released, manufacturing the drive and the components was expensive, not to mention dangerous. It was a new technology with a new design process, so the PS3 suffered shortages relating to a lack of Blu-Ray components. It contributed to their late arrival and the inflated price.

But Blu-Ray is a double-edged sword. For every shortage crisis, there’s the promise of a cheap Blu-Ray player with videogame functionality for customers. It gifted developers heaps of space for their titles, and technophiles could champion the console as an all-in-one powerhouse.

The Future

Can The PS3 Win The Console-War?

The price-cut and the Slim have liberated the PS3, which once seemed destined to tarnish the Sony name and settle for third place. It was once parodied for its lack of quality titles, but with the likes of Uncharted 2, Gran Turismo 5 and Ratchet and Clank all releasing before the year’s end, not to mention multiplatform titles such as Modern Warfare 2 and Assassins Creed 2, the PS3 has some much-needed momentum.

But its success isn’t set in stone. The PS3 has seen similar increases before, with key titles being released or around the holiday period. But the sudden increase in sales, coinciding with the price-cut and Slim, suggests customers once on the fence have disembarked. The console race is far from over.

Add a comment28 comments
Chris  Sep. 13, 2009 at 17:12

Can it win? No, not a chance. But Sony's position in the console war is certainly looking healthier by the day, which is a good thing for all gamers.

Connor  Sep. 13, 2009 at 17:38

Can it win yes ... people want to buy a games console to play games on and getting a bluray player on the ps3 for the same price as an xbox is a bonus but not only does it have the graphics over xbox and wii it also has free online gaming like the wii, it now has bbc iplayer and soon more internet based tv websites again unlike the xbox it also has a less than 15% system failure rate compared to xboxs 25 plus rate all round the playstation 3 is much better console and for that reason alone it should win this war between the three.

Jasper Carrot  Sep. 13, 2009 at 18:40

This article smells of fanboyism

Felix Kemp  Sep. 13, 2009 at 18:50

Really? Considering I spend more time and money on my 360 than my PS3, I'd be a pretty poor fanboy, I think! This is really just an observation on how the PS3's increase in sales may impact the console war.

alex c  Sep. 13, 2009 at 18:59

it has won, already , fools, it won when blu-ray took over dvd,

and face it about your connection, its not fast enough, ..

if the whole country had virgins 50gig broadband, yeh,
THAT WILL take 10 more years, enough time for A NEW console.

SONY has won, little do they know it.

(technically , wii has won, but in my opinion, and in a growing number of peoples, sony is now listning loud and clear, and is delivering the games like no-one else.)

Lively Lizard  Sep. 13, 2009 at 19:07

I think if PS3 was a loss-leader on release and retailed for £199 in the first place then perhaps it might have had a chance

Poor software and a rich price are the main reasons the PS3 has performed so poorly. I don't take the whole "but blu-ray is expensive" argument either - at the end of the day price is the only thing that matters and blu-ray won the day for Sony anyway which was the goal.

Nintendo has won this round and with NATAL on the horizon, if Sony gains second place it will only be for a short while.

The Internet  Sep. 13, 2009 at 19:18

@Lively Lizard

The ps3 was a loss leader when it came out. It still is a loss leader.

Felix Kemp  Sep. 13, 2009 at 19:29

It's true, I think it was Kaz Hirai who admitted they'd be selling even the PS3 Slim at a loss. At least they seem to now realise a lower price will be more beneficial in the long-run than a higher price.

Bullet  Sep. 13, 2009 at 19:30

I'm just waiting on a confirmation from sony on wether or not they are releasing a 250gb version, also waiting until nearer christmas when more titles are out and there are better bundle deals kicking about.

I think whith speculation of larger HDD in the pipeline may be stopping others from buying.

I hated it when the Xbox had about 4 different versions and vowed never again when there are are rumours of largers models on the horizon

Ps3 is Great.  Sep. 13, 2009 at 19:34

Ps3 is currently winning, The great games out their coming out and currently out. Free online. PS3 is $299. Blu Ray. Graphics. Power. Sales do not matter. Quality > Quantity. Xbox 360 is high in sales because of the failure rate of the 360 being 54.2 percent that people bought a 360 more than twice. Xbox 360 currently have sequels coming out...No new IPS, Magnacarta 2, HALO ODst, Forza 3 and Fable 3. Ps3 has Last Guardian, Modnation Racers, Heavy Rain, AGENT by Rockstars, and MAG.

Gunn  Sep. 13, 2009 at 20:05

PS3 has hung in there and I believe now has the momentum to at least take second place. In terms of the long term I believe PS3 will win, with its longer life cycle. I doubt the Wii will be generating much income for Nintendo in 5 years time.

Chris  Sep. 13, 2009 at 20:06

Bullet, there will definitely be a 250GB version. Not that it really matters, considering how easy and inexpensive it is to change HDDs yourself anyway.

lawrence  Sep. 13, 2009 at 20:50

truth :The PS3 is going to crush everyone its gona happen it already started. All thoes ppl that bought ps2 in the past want a ps3 what does that mean umm bad news 4 Microsoft & wii think about it. sony well become #1 in this gen

Lloyd  Sep. 13, 2009 at 22:07

Sony doesn't need to win the "console war". It simply needs to deliver a good product at a fair price, which it is now doing. I own a ps3 and I'm extremely happy with it, but I couldn't care less whether or not Sony "wins" anything. As a consumer, I want choices. I shudder to think what we would be stuck with right now if MS hadn't decided to leap into the market. All I care about is that companies continue putting out good games (and in the case of MS, fix their friggin' hardware, like NOW). As a consumer, I win. People seem obsessed with this concept of "winning" this generation, perhaps because they don't want to be stuck with something that is no longer supported. In truth, the chance of that happening to any of the current consoles is extremely slim. <--- pun.

Guy with sense  Sep. 13, 2009 at 22:12

Sorry but what? People actually believe that the PS3 can gain second or even first place this generation? you do realise that even with them releasing an updated console and their sales increasing so much that they STILL undersold the 360?

The PS3 vs 360 'war' is just a testament to how western gaming has taken over from Japan in recent years, Microsoft has been able to give western gamers what they want and Sony have been constantly battling to catch up to them (see achievements, dashboard etc) I dont count the Wii in this as its really nothing more than a gimmick for 90% of the people who bought the system.

And are you really suprised how something sells 1000% better when it recieves a price cut and a new model? from what ive read these figures are compared to just before it was launched, i.e. people waiting for it to come out, so the 1000% increase is on the period when noone was buying the system.

I grew up with playstation and really do miss it, I wish that they could have done better this generation but thats really their own fault in not thinking ahead (bar blu-ray) and not being able to deliver what western gamers want. I do wish I could play Heavy Rain though, im playing through Farenheit at the moment and its incredible.

max  Sep. 13, 2009 at 22:54

can u stop writing pointless article like these?

theceo  Sep. 14, 2009 at 00:32

do any of you fanboys actually see how much sony would have to sell per month and how long that would be for them to overtake the 360? then you will have to assume the 360 just stop selling... i only own a ps3 but why ignore facts, people will point to world wide sales...but again look at how much they would have to out sell the 360 per month to gain that 2nd place spot.

Derek  Sep. 14, 2009 at 00:49

Yo that westerern gamer comment is like fanboy words. I am western gamer and I think ps3 has kept me happy with fps adventure all kinds of game. 360 already lost when u count the actual sale minus the defective one resold to same customer. So just minus 54.4 percent console with red ring death then y'all know 360 is in third place

spencer  Sep. 14, 2009 at 03:43

Dont ever count sony out of if fact is where talking about a powerhouse thats been waiting to shine. For those thattalk about it not catching the 360 it already has everyone likes to forget that 360 came out 12 months before the 360, give the ps3 that year and the games coming out this year and look how your numbers would look. Thats not good for microsoft if sony ever did even get close which its not far off that 12 months will be talked about alot more.

name  Sep. 14, 2009 at 08:35

only games matter, and the ps3 has them up the wazzo.
but than by the time sony catches up M$ will rush their new cheaper rushed piece of .... and start the cycle all over again.
50 bucks says the successor to the 360 will have a higher failure rate than the 360.
another 50 bucks says M$ will charge you every single time you turn on your console.
you have to pay for everything else so why not?

Dai Gestive  Sep. 14, 2009 at 10:12

The console war is a good thing, as mentioned earlier it drives innovention, price and technology. Without each other to keep battling the need for new features, improved online gaming etc would be diminished and it would end up in us the consumers losing out. So instead of being fanbois and spouting rubbish about the rival console to your own, next time you see a new feature brought out or a price drop remember it is competition in the market place causing this to happen so the consoles actually complement each other.

Bin Ladin  Sep. 14, 2009 at 10:40

"companies monitoring sales from America to Japan have reported increases of up to 1000% in the number of PS3 consoles sold." Did the companies also monitor the fall in sales in the run up to the new release?

"Xbox 360 is high in sales because of the failure rate of the 360 being 54.2 percent that people bought a 360 more than twice.". The reason I have 2 360s so that I don't have to split screen games. If a 360 fails then MS will repair. If a person buys another 360 for better chipset then they will likely sell the old one. I'm not sure what % of people keep 2 360s or bin an old one.

BTW I have all three systems and quite like them all

I love random statistics. 10% of statistics are made up. Don't you know?

Rubisco  Sep. 14, 2009 at 13:55

A lot of these comments seem to be "the ps3's the most powerful feature-packed machine, it will eventually outsell the others". Clearly you haven't studied video game history. The #1 seller of each generation has NEVER been the most powerful feature-packed machine in that generation.

Halo ODST  Sep. 14, 2009 at 14:30

So are you next going to do a -

"Can the 360 win the Console war" i.e when they release Project Natal etc..

"Can the Wii pull even further away in the console war" etc

If not why not ?????..

Felix Kemp  Sep. 14, 2009 at 15:19

Well I think an article about Natal's influence on the console war is definately worth an article, so sure, why not?!


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