By now, everybody has heard about the PS3 being only luke-warm. Sony has had their eye on the wrong ball. Sony should have pushed the PS2 harder than they’ve ever pushed any console rather than launch the PS3. Allow me to explain.
There are many reports that the PS2 is still dominating.
Sony sold 1.4 million PlayStation 2 (PS2) consoles in the United States in December, compared with only 491,000 of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) model…
Meanwhile, buyers snapped up 1.1 million Xbox 360s and 604,000 of the family-oriented Wii consoles made by Nintendo.
So in other words, even with virtually no marketing, the PS2 is outselling the Wii, Xbox, and PS3! People have been focusing so much on the “next-gen” that nobody stopped to wonder if the last war is really over. Besides, what makes a system “next gen?” New games? PS2 has that. Better graphics? The Wii and Xbox are destroying the PS3, which is supposedly the most powerful machine out there.
Pretend for a moment that Sony decides to push the PS2 with renewed vigor. After all, the PS2 beat the 360 every single month last year. Why is it that Sony can’t continue this momentum? It doesn’t matter if Xbox has 10 or even 30 million consoles out there. Sony has shipped over 115 million PS2 consoles and sold at a rate 50% greater than 360 sales last year. That’s nearly one PS2 for every 55 man, woman, and child in the entire world! They have a library of over 7,000 games. Since there have been 1.2 billion games sold for the PS2, that works out to an average of 10 game purchases for each PS2.
The problem is that Sony is hung up on this whole “next-gen” concept that they don’t even realize they have no reason to start a new war! The fact that their “outdated” console is out-selling everybody else shows that they could have sat back on the PS2 for another year or two.
If they’re so keen on the Blu-Ray, they should just drop the price of the regular PS2 to $99, and create a new Blu-Ray version for $300. Seeing as the Wii and PS2 are roughly equivalent in power, trying to convince someone to pay a $50 markup over the Wii is much easier than convincing them of a $200 markup over the 360. Additionally, even if they take a $100 loss for each Blu-PS2 they sell (you heard the term here first!), the 10-1 game ratio would pad the losses a lot faster than the crappy 2:1 ratio the PS3 has been seeing.
Sony should embrace their PS2, polish it up with some new case colors, maybe a built in wireless card, slim it down, and re-release it. In the end, consumers care about games, not the power of the CPU. The PS2’s gaming library is the undisputed champion of that race. I’m not saying they should never release a new system. I’m saying they shouldn’t sideline their current best seller.
Lastly, let’s discuss publisher support, which is how I even came to this idea. The PS2 is a well understood system with a huge developer base that understands how to maximize its potential. It is still releasing new games at as fast a rate as ever. And its market reach is greater than the sum of all of its competitors combined. Developing a hit game for the PS2 is guaranteed mass market penetration, whereas the current next-gen consoles are still somewhat of a risk. In other words, there is a great appeal that still exists with developing on the PS2.
With the PS2 dominating the market even harder than it is now, Sony could have taken a lot of steam out of its competitors with phrases like, “Buy our PS2 and 10 games for the price of a 360!” Then, after the buzz is all gone, Sony could have launched their PS3 at their own leisure on a separate year than Nintendo or Microsoft. As the dominant leader, Sony should have set its own schedule rather than letting Microsoft set the pace of the next-gen race.
Sony should have finished milking the PS2. Sony could have taken their sweet time and let the PS3 technology drop in price and nurture the software lineup. They could have launched their system with a library of 50 games, but instead, they rushed it with only eight launch titles. By letting the PS3 brand flounder, they risk losing their actual next gen market forever since lagging console sales makes publishers flee, which causes further lagging console sales. In short, the PS3 was released a year too early because Sony got impatient.
Microsoft’s greatest victory was making Sony doubt the PS2’s ability to keep up its steam.
And Sony stumbled.