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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 Da W on 9/20/2013 9:00:30 AM , Rating: 2
We don't know the hard drive size of the PS4 (if any).
We don't know yet if there will be a deluxe version with more storage.
Camera and voice recognition (kinnect rip-off) exist but is extra, should be charged 100$ or more.
25% more shadder power, we don't about clock speed and such. But there is such a thing as a thermal barrier, if the GPU is bigger, chances are the clock rate will be lower, or the box larger, or the fans louder. There is no free lunch.

Anyway i'm gonna upgrade my HTPC with a bulldozer (8 core) and a Radeon 7870, got 2 Xbox 360 cotroller and as soon as they make a Kinnect for Windows i get one. Just need an HDMI card that would work with my cable. I should be okay with ported games for a long time plus everything else that is on sale on Steam.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Breakfast Susej on 9/20/2013 12:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
The hard drive size unless I am mistaken has been given at 500gb.

The gpu is 50% more powerful mathematically not 25%. Clock speeds are to my knowledge know as well. At least on the cpu they are. There are a lot of leaked developer comments already outlining the performance difference. Developer comments also point to the esram being a pain to deal with.

The one that comes to mind most was a direct comparison from one developer saying something that runs at 1080p 30fps on the ps4 will run in the 20 somethings at 1600x900 on the xbox.

I honestly see the kinect and the ps eye going nowhere. I don't think building it in is going to make a difference and in the end it's still going to fall by the wayside where games are concerned. The kinect will be nice for the people that want gesture control and voice control, but in my personal opinion that's about it.

RE: Yeah umm....
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 4:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
It's a real shame that both consoles couldn't have had significantly better hardware. Even with the PS4's being better than the xbox, it's still pretty awful overall. I'll stick with my GTX 780 :)

RE: Yeah umm....
By Breakfast Susej on 9/20/2013 4:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
I have a brand new 4770k with a Titan in it myself. But I still find the console race entertaining to follow.

I have a PS3, I've played maybe 10 games on it if that, mostly it's a blu ray and netflix player. That being said I do enjoy some of the Sony console exclusives. I really liked The Last of Us.

It impresses me a lot what they managed to do with something as weak as the ps3. Especially with the last of us. And I'm interested to see what they can do with hardware like the ps4 and xbox one. Though they are pretty weak compared to a high end PC, obviously that doesn't fall on complete parity given the hardware access they have with these devices.

All in all I see both the xbox and the ps4 as a positive. With an x86 architecture and 64 bit memory usage being a standard, I think it's going to be good news for PC games too.

RE: Yeah umm....
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 5:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, definitely a step in the right direction. And you're right, it is cool to follow and see what they can do with the hardware even with how weak it is comparatively. It's just a shame that they cannot do even more. I was disappointed when Epic announced that Unreal 4 had to be cut down in quality significantly to run on the PS4. The difference between it and the PC versions are pretty big.

I don't have any experience working on the PS4 so I can't say for sure how much more power would be necessary to drive it at the same quality as a PC, but mor epower is always good.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2013 6:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
Its a real shame how ignorant most people are about this stuff. PC's aren't built from the ground up with gaming in mind. Thus, they are not very efficient at rendering graphics.

Sure we throw tons of silicon power at the problem, like stupidly expensive video cards, multiple stupidly expensive video cards, and CPU's that would be more at home in a workstation: but at the end of the day its horribly inefficient.

A lot of people make the mistake that you are, comparing these consoles to their PC hardware counterparts, and forming the unfounded opinions that they are lacking. The fact that they are purpose-built to efficiently render games doesn't enter their minds.

A $400 gaming PC doesn't exist, never has. Maybe ask yourself why that is.

RE: Yeah umm....
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 6:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's not what I said... I am well aware of the differences in how the graphics pipelines of both sets of devices work. I am well aware of the inefficiencies of graphics on the PC. I didn't say anything about a $400 gaming PC, I did not mention anything about price at all, nor did I even try to make a comparison between the two. The comment about sticking with my 780 was not to try and compare the two, it was simply to point out that it has better performance than the consoles are capable of providing, and thus I prefer it, regardless of price.

My point, which you completely missed, was more about how it is a shame that the consoles are simply not better than they are. The performance relationship between consoles and PCs is 100% irrelevant for my point, since a faster chip is a faster chip in both environments.

RE: Yeah umm....
By SPOOFE on 9/20/2013 7:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
PC's aren't built from the ground up with gaming in mind. Thus, they are not very efficient at rendering graphics.

That does stop PC Master Race buffoons from ranting about how so much t3h bettarrzzz a PC (ANY PC) is compared to a console.

RE: Yeah umm....
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 7:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
Efficiency is not the only metric in determining if something is better. In the case of the typical "PC vs Console" fight, the argument is rarely about price or efficiency, and more about end result. And the end result is a GTX 780 is much faster than anything a console provides, and thus a PC provides the best experience, assuming you're willing to shell out the money it would take.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2013 9:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
Wuw dude, you have a GTX 780. We get it! Congrats?

RE: Yeah umm....
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 9:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
You're an idiot. I obviously only mentioned it in my second post assuming that might be why you thought I was trying to compare a PC to a console. I couldn't give a flying f*ck if you knew what was in my PC. I have way better things in my life to do than to brag about a video card, especially when there's plenty of people with much better. Must make me feel really cool to know that I have something a ton of other people also have, right?

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2013 3:14:42 AM , Rating: 1
lol I'm the idiot, right. You make a post about how "awful" the hardware is on these consoles. Then when rebuked, claim you weren't saying this, weren't saying that, are aware of things you clearly aren't aware of etc etc.

You sound like someone who's trying really hard to make others think he knows what he's talking about. Until you put a single coherent argument together without moving the goalposts fifty times or using straw-men, I'm just going to keep assuming that's the case.

RE: Yeah umm....
By inighthawki on 9/21/2013 5:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
You know what your problem is? You seem to infer information out of posts that doesn't exist. Time and time again you have replied to posts I've made and provided "counter arguments" to things I never even said, and accuse me of not knowing things that you couldn't possibly know if I knew or not. Maybe this is why all your replies to my posts are so baffling all the time.


My original post had a super simple premise. The consoles could be faster. As it stands, the raw processing power of the consoles is severely limited, and could be faster. The architecture of a PC vs a console is irrelevant here. What you likely misinterpreted was my statement about the GTX 780. Regardless of the architecture, as it stands, a high end gaming PC can produce better and faster results than either of the next gen consoles. This is just fact. It does not matter how each one does its work, the end result is what matters. And the end result is that even getting every last drop of perf out of the consoles, they cannot match the power of a desktop grade GPU. This is already proven with engines like Unreal 4 which had to be toned down for PS4 quite significantly because it couldn't even replicate the results of a single GTX 680 at 30fps. This was the merit for the GTX 780 comment, which you again not only took out of context, but singled it out, and attempted to make me look bad, making it sound like I'm trying to gloat or something. I don't know what your point there was.

That second post where you called me out on it. Turns out I misread the reply chain, thought it was in response to something else. That post had 0 intention on having anything to do with my hardware, I used it purely as an example since it is currently the newest card on the market. Yet somehow you again inferred meaning that wasn't there. Congrats.

And you can go ahead and accuse me of whatever you want. If you think I know or don't know something, good for you. You can sit behind your computer basking in all your glory about how you think you know more than someone you've never met. I'm sure your assessment is 100% accurate.

For future reference, perhaps you should quote the things I say so I can clearly see where you completely misinterpreted something and we can avoid such conflicts in the future. It'll solve the issue where you seem to reply to things I never stated.

RE: Yeah umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2013 11:20:10 AM , Rating: 2
If your premise was that simple, you should have just come out and said that.

Seems like a waste of time saying that. Of course they could be faster. But they would cost more!! But when I brought up cost, you had some problem with that!

But hey, in the interests of us getting along, I apologize for misinterpretation of your points.

RE: Yeah umm....
By inighthawki on 9/21/2013 2:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
I appreciate that, and I apologize myself as I must have misinterpreted your point about cost in your initial reply then as well. I wasn't really trying to imply that it was practical or anything - of course the cost is going to be higher. I was more just sad that they weren't better, is all, since their overall performance is pretty low compared to what many people expected.

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