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Sony's Jamie MacDonald believes that he has the pulse of the European buying public

We've heard some pretty bold claims from Sony in the past regarding its PlayStation 3 gaming console. One of the more famous ones came from Sony CEO Ken Kutaragi when he said that the price of the PS3 was "probably too cheap." This time, it's Sony European VP Jamie MacDonald's time to shine.

McDonald was quoted as saying, "European consumers have shown that historically they don't mind [the delays], because they end up buying as many PlayStations, if not more, than the US and Japan."

If you may recall, while the United States and Japan will fight over 400,000 and 100,000 consoles respectively during the official launch next month, European customers will have to wait it out until March 2007 to get their hands on a PS3.

McDonald's comments seem somewhat perplexing with regards to European customers. Could it really be said that European customers "don't mind" or is it a matter of they don't have any choice but to wait? Then again, there's always the XBOX 360 as an alternative and Nintendo has been getting a lot of positive press for its $250 Wii console. The latter console will launch on December 8 in Europe.

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RE: Historically, maybe
By Xavian on 10/6/2006 4:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
it'll also be well behind the the Wii in europe. Plus Nintendo is hoping to steal Sony's thunder by launching their console so close to Sony's.

Sony is launching into extreme competition, a situation they havent had before with their consoles.

RE: Historically, maybe
By 9nails on 10/6/2006 10:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sony's launch is akin to sticking your toe into the pool. Nintendo's plans to sell 10X the number of Sony's 400K consoles will place it squarely in the #2 position for global sales by year end 2006.

Extreme competition? I absolutely agree. Sony better watch out, better not cry, better not pout...

RE: Historically, maybe
By 0blivious on 10/7/2006 6:07:22 PM , Rating: 1
I rather think you're wrong.

Let me first off tell you that i'm not a console man and never will i be, i love my games on pc and consoles are stupid (bring on the flames).

Ok now that i've proven i'm not biased towards any console i will tell you that Wii won't be a huge succes, they will have nice profit numbers, but like XBOX360, even together they don't form a competition against PS3.

Everyone wants a PS3, they don't care how much it will cost, they just want it at ANY cost.

You'll ask me where did i get this informatition, and my answer is simple: just look around; everyone that bought a PS1 bought a PS2 (ok not everyone but those that lost the hook, other people got there to 'fill' the void and more) and everyone that bought a PS2 will buy a PS3 and 4 and 5...

Sony got enough people hooked with the PS-strategy it's really a full blown hit this PLAY-STATION (yeah i know it's playstation..) people wanting to play on something buy a play station, not an x box or wiii.

It's an ingenious marketing brand, it tells people everything it is and what to expect from it.

Yea ofcourse people will still buy a wii and xbox, but if you think logically, then like me, you will understand why sony will always have a hit with theire playstations.

I mean look at the numbers, who sold more consoles, (lets leave nintendo out of this one for a sec ;) ) SONY (starting from PS2, just to make it about equal)or MS.

They are eachtothers rivals, though my guess is sony doesn't see ms as a treath.

ps: sorry for my english

RE: Historically, maybe
By akugami on 10/8/2006 11:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sony lucked out with the PS1. Nintendo more than anything screwed up with their hubrus and ill treatment of 3rd party publishers. Said 3rd party publishers flocked to the greener pastures of the PS1. Lower licensing fees which means that the publishers get to take a larger cut of the money from each game sale. Lower cost of the actual manufactoring of the game cd's which means publishers have a much much smaller risk of financial ruin if a game doesn't sell well. Cd's are way way cheaper than rom cartridges and it's much faster to press a new batch of cd's should a game you weren't expecting to sell well does unexpectedly well. You can have a new batch of CD's in stores in roughly 2 weeks time as opposed to cartridges that will take upwards of 2 months.

That is not to say that the PS1 would have failed, just that I am not sure it would have had such success if not for the failures of both Nintendo and Sega. The Saturn was a somewhat half-baked system that failed to attract outside of the hardcore Sega fans and due to the higher costs of Nintendo's system both in the retail space and cost to publishers, Nintendo lost support from many of it's 3rd party publishers which flocked to the PS1. Not to mention many smaller developers could cheaply crank out a game and hope for a big hit, something not possible with the much higher cost of the N64. As we've seen time and again, sometimes these smaller but extremely tallented unknowns can produce amazing games.

The PS2 road the coattails of the PS1's success and it was more momentum than anything that carried it. It was arguably not even the most powerful console in the last generation of the console wars. But it had amazing 3rd party support and shrewdly had backwards compatibility with the PS1. With the PS2, Sony kept things rolling and didn't do anything to mess up the foodcart.

Now we are presented with the PS3. Sony has built this very powerful but very expensive system. Some of it's designs such as the Cell CPU are questionable additions to the system due to the difficulty of tapping into the Cell's power. It may take another 2-3 years before people can tap fully into the Cell CPU's power. Even with that being the case, what is a fully utilized PS3 going to be capable of (aside from prettier graphics) that the Xbox360 and Wii isn't capable of? Not much would have to be the answer.

The killer is all the high priced components in this system that has necessitated an insanely high price. One that has only been reserved for the 3DO and Neo Geo before it.

Is the PS3 a powerful system? Absolutely, though some aspects of it are of questionable design. In the end, even if a product is highly desirable, if it's priced itself out of the mass consumer market, it's going to have only limited success. I think the PS3 will sell well but I think even if it's the market leader, it's going to lead both the Xbox360 and Wii by only single digits. After all luxury cars are coveted by all but most can't afford one. Forget the high end with your Ferrari's and Porsche's, even in the lower end of the scale, most people simply can't afford a BMW, Lexus, and Benz.

What's going to happen IMHO is that the first 10 million PS3's will be easy sells to the hardcore gamers. The second 10 million will be somewhat easy sells, should have a price drop by then but it'll reach 20 million, much like the Xbox and Gamecube has. It's anything over this mark that then becomes difficult. The gamers are a bit more casual after this range and for these folks to spend $600 ($500 console, $60 game, +tax) is a bit of a reach. If they wouldn't spend $150 for a Gamecube and one game with some of Nintendo's arguably more casual oriented lineup, then what the heck makes you think they're going to buy a PS3 for $600? To a lesser degree the Xbox360 is in the same rut but it's much more lower price and should be able to hit the $300 mark (with game) by next Christmas.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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