Print 53 comment(s) - last by wallijonn.. on Sep 24 at 12:52 PM

Electronics superpower hopes to best PS3's sales by 40 percent

Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) saw sluggish sales of the PlayStation 3 after in launched on Nov. 11, 2006.  In the console's first three months on the market it garnered are mere 3.6 million units sold.  Although sales would eventually come back to life convincing Sony that there was life left in its console hardware business, the company was intent not to repeat on the relative miss of the PS3, instead looking to return to the successes of the PlayStation 1 and 2.

I. PS4 Aims to Wipe Bad Taste from PS3 Launch

The PlayStation 4 is set to launch on Nov. 15 in North America, a week before Sony's arch-rival in the console business Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) launches the Xbox One.  And Sony is already boldly predicting that it will sell 5 million consoles in the first five months of availabiliy, besting the PS3's sales by 40 percent.

If Sony can pull that off, it will be an impressive success story in an era when consoles are seemingly suffering the fate they bestowed upon their PC brethren -- market cannibalization.  As mobile and social network gamings have boomed, sales of new console games have dipped, according to market researchers.

But Sony has benefited from near-flawless public relations in the wind up to the PS4 as Microsoft has bumbled multiple times announcing inflammatory terms that outraged gamers, only to later turn back on some of them.  Sony had the lead as of last month in presales in the online retail outlets like Best Buy Comp., Inc. (BBY) and, Inc. (AMZN).

PS4 Dual Shock 4
Sony wants to average 1 million PS4 sales a month. [Image Source: Sony]

Microsoft is getting the head start on Sony in Europe, where the Xbox One launches Nov. 22 (the same dates as Microsoft's North American console launch).  Sony's Xbox One will get started in the EU retail market on Nov. 29.

Piper Jaffray Cos. analyst Michael Olson suggests that Sony may be able to meet these targets.  In a comment to Bloomberg, he predicted that Sony would sell at least 3 million PS4s this holiday season.  That would mean Sony would only need to sell 2 million consoles in Q1 2014 to meet its goal.

II. Sony Gets Aggressive Price Wise

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) CEO and President Andrew House bragged to Reuters that the PS4 has "a more attractive price" than the Xbox One, or the Sony console's own predecessor, the PS3. The Xbox One retails for $499 USD; the PS4 retails for $399 USD.  The PS3 debuted in two differents SKUS -- one with a 20 GB hard disk drive (HDD) ($499 USD) and one with a 60 GB HDD ($599 USD).

Despte the aggresive pricing, Sony predicts that the PS4 -- which will initially be sold at a loss -- will achieve profitability "significantly sooner" than the PS3 did.  (Microsoft hopes to make a profit on each console sold from day one, thanks to its higher price point.)  Sony's PS3 took roughly two years to achieve profitability, finally making money for Sony in Q3 2008.  Afterwards form factor shrinks, yet again plunged it back into losses, until late 2009 when it appeared to finally become profitable for good.

Sony v. Microsoft
Sony will take a small loss on the PS4 at launch, but the Xbox One will make a profit from day one, thanks to a higher price. [Image Source: Heavy]

Mr. House commented at the Tokyo Game Show, "[Switching from custom components like the CELL processor to PC components] has enabled us to reduce the scale of investment significantly, massively so in comparison to the PS3."

Mr. House was asked about Microsoft's recent announcement that it was working on "hundreds" of TV show ideas, in addition to the Halo show it has already committed to.  Mr. House says that Sony could eventually offer up similar exclusive TV series or miniseries content to the PlayStation Network's 150 million+ subscribers, but when asked if anything was coming this year he clarified, "I don't think we are going to push the market."

It sounds like Sony is content to rely primarily on games to try to push the PS4 to the 5 million consoles sales mark in November and over the four following months.

Source: Reuters

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RE: Yeah umm....
By althaz on 9/20/2013 2:12:14 AM , Rating: 1
The image above pretty much showcases the problem with the PS4 - they are still light-years behind MS in terms of controller. The addition of the media stuff and Kinect 2.0 (which is pretty cool) plus a far superior game selection make the XBox One a far better purchase at this stage.

I'll end up with both of them eventually (despite a virtually non-existent launch lineup Sony will most likely end up with the best exclusives eventually).

If graphical power was a concern I wouldn't buy a console- everything looks WAY better on my PC anyway.

RE: Yeah umm....
By jimbo2779 on 9/20/2013 5:40:03 AM , Rating: 3
True but as with most things these days there are fanboys galore that will buy whatever "their" brand puts out.

I know MS has gotten a lot of flack for their PR fumbles recently but I am sure they will sell out as many consoles as they can produce and I am certain that the PS4 will do the same. It will be veryhard to find consoles on store shelves for this Christmas.

Personally I hope both platforms do really well, the last thing we should hope for is for 1 to trounce the other.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2013 10:31:55 AM , Rating: 3
Text Personally I hope both platforms do really well, the last thing we should hope for is for 1 to trounce the other.

Why is that, exactly?

Microsoft had clear anti-consumer goals with this console. They also, yet again, cut corners and designed the Xbox One on the cheap. But are passing a $100 price increase over the PS4 onto the consumer.

For these reasons and more, the Xbox absolutely should be trounced. That's the whole point of competition! Why would you want to show a company that its okay to just steamroll the consumer?

RE: Yeah umm....
By troysavary on 9/20/2013 1:50:52 PM , Rating: 1
Like Sony has ever been the champion of the consumer. Call me when MS:
1. Installs a rootkit on your PC just for playing a music CD.

2. Repeatedly loses customer crdit card info to hackers.

3. Sells exploding products.

4. Lists a feature (installing Linux, in this case) as an advantage over the competition, then yanks the feature, then tries to get someone who added the feature back imprisoned.

Nevermind that your "cutting corners" comment shows you, as usual, have no idea what you are talking about. Sure, the GPU in the xBox One has fewer shaders, but Sony went with a out of the box AMD APU whereas MS customs designed a lot of co-processing units and added the large cache on die. I am pretty sure it cost MS way more to design their chip than it cost Sony to license theirs.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2013 3:15:06 PM , Rating: 2
Please, we can sit here all day and trade the sins of both companies. None of what you brought up is relevant to the console. Microsoft wanted to screw over the entire industry, Sony didn't, end of story.

And Microsoft did a lot more than skimp on shaders. And if you don't intend to use the Kinect, which most people don't, those co-processors don't do much for you.

The Xbox is so inferior in its application of hardware most don't even bother to argue the point and instead skip straight to the "hardware doesn't matter" trope.

RE: Yeah umm....
By troysavary on 9/21/2013 3:44:54 PM , Rating: 1
So it is only bad when MS does it? Except they didn't. They changed plans in response to consumer response. So MS is evil for planning something good, then changing, but Sony is fine with actually screwing the consumer, repeatedly? I knew you had Google spunk on your chin, but I didn't realize it was a gangbang with Sony too.

Please tell me what other corners they supposedly cut. GDDR5 is not superior, or high end PCs would be using it as system RAM. It is fine for graphics memory but it ducks as main RAM because of latency. MS chose DDR3 for reasons other than just cost.

The extra processors do way more than Kinect. Sound processing will allow multiple surround sound headsets to be driven simultaneously for split screen gaming. Video processing will allow for overlays without slowing down gameplay. Besides, how do you know how many people intend to use Kinect? There are a lot of Kinect 1 games, and that was an add on. Kinect 2 being included means that development can code for it knowing it will be there.

I'll end with this. Who the he'll are you to tell others what they should or should not buy? You've turned into an irrational MS hater. Fine, don't buy it. But let the market decide whether or not the xBox One is a success. Don't try to tell me what I should buy or what should succeed.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2013 6:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
What corners? They're using system RAM for video for one? Who does that? Nobody. They skimped on shaders. Pure computational power is substantially less across the board. Memory bandwidth gets crushed by the PS4. A better question is how didn't MS cheap out on the Xbox, especially given that it costs a lot more.

Also you are showing so much ignorance. GDDR5 is absolutely superior. PC's don't use it because their architecture is significantly different. Hello? Please go to Anandtech and read up on this. In terms of rendering graphics, Sony's solution is flat out superior to Microsoft's half-assed system RAM

This has nothing to do with companies, or loyalties. I'm a system builder, and Sony built the better box. Its just that simple.

RE: Yeah umm....
By wallijonn on 9/24/2013 12:52:12 PM , Rating: 3
The extra processors do way more than Kinect. Sound processing will allow multiple surround sound headsets to be driven simultaneously for split screen gaming. Video processing will allow for overlays without slowing down gameplay.

Don't forget the NSA spying scare. That just bought up the possibility of someone hacking the XBOne and getting unfettered access to your living room.

RE: Yeah umm....
By piroroadkill on 9/20/2013 5:54:29 AM , Rating: 3
I haven't tried the Xbox One controller or the PS4 controller, but I'm pretty sure I can agree with you at this point - the Xbox One controller is bound to be much more comfortable. Never really got on with the PlayStation controller design.

I'm also biting my lip looking at Forza 5. But I really, really don't want to have to buy an Xbox One after several failing Xbox 360s, and it seems ridiculous to buy a less powerful box for more money. I also couldn't give a single damn about Kinect, as I won't be using it in a room where I can stand up.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Flunk on 9/20/2013 9:10:49 AM , Rating: 2
Some people prefer the PS3 controller to the Xbox 360 still. My sister claims the Xbox 360's controller is "too big".

I think it matters on the size of your hands, but the Xbox One's controller looks better to me too. Maybe I'll hollow one out and hack the electronics from a PS4 controller into one.

RE: Yeah umm....
By siberus on 9/20/2013 3:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
While most of us haven't had hands on experience with the new controllers, I don't really feel that different using the xbox vs ps3 controllers. Only difference that I notice is trigger feel. I prefer the xbox controller for racing and ps3 for fighting games.

RE: Yeah umm....
By ritualm on 9/20/2013 5:12:06 PM , Rating: 3
the Xbox One controller is bound to be much more comfortable

Bollocks. The xbone controller feels different than the PS4 controller. I only care that I am comfortable holding one or the either for long periods. What everyone else thinks has no bearing - ffs, they don't even pay me enough to plunk down several Benjamins for some decidedly last year's PC tech in a thin client.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2013 10:05:05 AM , Rating: 2

Sony has been making great game controllers long before a console was someone's wet dream at Microsoft.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Ristogod on 9/20/2013 12:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Light years? Uh, I find the PS controller far more comfortable. I don't think you can qualify your personal preference as an absolute statement and put it in the scope of light years. Well I suppose you can, but you'd just be wrong.

I'll be going PS4 based almost entirely of my personal preference of past experiences concerning console exclusive titles. In my opinion, Sony has historically had the better exclusive titles on average. Of course as I state again, that is just my opinion. Then again, from my perspective, my opinion is light years ahead of your opinion.

RE: Yeah umm....
By ritualm on 9/20/2013 7:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
The image above pretty much showcases the problem with the PS4 - they are still light-years behind MS in terms of controller.

You are not me. Therefore your argument is invalid.

No, seriously, what that image showed is two different controllers. That's it. So if I find the PS4's controller more comfortable in my hands than the XBone's, is my opinion immediately considered irrelevant / stupid / (some other negative adjective) just because I disagreed with your assessment?

RE: Yeah umm....
By nikon133 on 9/21/2013 6:29:24 AM , Rating: 2
Only in your head.

I'm using X360 controller on my PC, yet I prefer PS3 controller. Lack of symmetry with X360 sticks doesn't work fine for me. I do prefer it's size and triggers' shape, but Sony has fixed both on PS4 controller and, with addition of touchpad, might have just perfected it.

Media stuff has little to no value where I am, and Kinect? Er... No.

I did some launch titles comparison, and I'm mostly impressed with multi platforms anyway. Of titles not available on PS4, Titanfall is the only one - but it will be available on PC, so I have that covered. Other launch exec, I personally prefer Sony's... That being said, I generally prefer existing Sony to MS exclusives, which is not bad basis to expect trend will continue in next-gen, for me at least. But here's to hope both will have new, fresh franchises.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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