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PS2 showing no signs of slowing down despite being in its silver years
Mass market not ready for high-def gaming, says analysts

Before the two new console launches in November 2006, it was popular belief that supplies of the Nintendo Wii would be ample and consumers would be able to secure one without much hassle or worry. Today, a full five months following launch, Wiis are still hard to find, and those who do find them can resell them for a greater profit than the retailer.

According to one analyst’s opinion noted by Home Media Magazine, the demand for the Wii could outstrip supply all the way to 2009. “I believe the Wii will continue strong growth although supply continues to be a problem,” said Billy Pidgeon, video game analyst, IDC. “I’d like to see Wii hardware shipping in larger quantities or mass market consumers may cool on it. Having said that, I don’t believe supply will meet demand for the Wii until 2009.”

“Xbox 360 and PS3 need system-selling games ASAP. Halo 3 will help, as will Lair and Heavenly Sword, but that leaves a hole in Q2 which will be filled by Wii, DS and PSP hardware and software. We’ll also see more PC and PS2 software picking up the slack,” added Pidgeon.

Apparently he isn’t the only analyst who feels that the mass market isn’t quickly taking to high-definition gaming. Michael Pachter at Wedbush Morgan Securities thinks that the PlayStation 2 will remain a strong seller thanks to movie license games such as Spider-Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

“It still seems to be the year of the PS2,” said Pachter. “Notwithstanding all of the other choices, consumers keep buying PS2 games, with barely any drop off. Virtually all of the year-over-year growth is attributable to a slower than expected decline in PS2 software sales.”

These analyst comments came immediately following the release of March video game hardware and software sales figures from NPD, with a particularly strong showing for Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2.

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RE: Price matters
By Marcus Yam on 4/25/2007 5:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo. That number of 2.4 looks like a pretty good turnaround for PS3, which initially had less than a game to each console.

What I really want to see is how many Blu-ray movies each PS3 owner has, though I imagine that data would be difficult to fish out aside from using a sloppy survey.

RE: Price matters
By OxBow on 4/25/2007 5:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
2.4 is higher than I expected, since I only own 2 PS3 games myself (Resistance and Motorstom, both fun and pretty as all get out).

As for "owning" blue-ray movies, I only "own" one, the TDNights which came with the system. As for blue-ray movies I've rented, it's been around a dozen. Netflix is still great. It's a little disengenous to tie movie sales to player sales in the format war, since rental companies purchase the movies and not usually the players. I don't feel much need to "own" these movies, but I do enjoy watching them, so what does that mean for sales? Arbitrary metrics for complex supply chains.

RE: Price matters
By encryptkeeper on 4/25/2007 5:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
The mass market will be ready for HD when it comes down in price, bottom line. HD isn't like going from black and white tvs to color, and that has been the comparison since it was introduced. It's not that dramatic a change. The improvement is there, but it's not noticeable enough for people to go crazy over it.

That being said, by the time HD is cheap enough that the mainstream will buy it, something ELSE may be out to replace HD. That would be one nice vicious cycle.

I am a Nintendo fan no doubt, but a shortage until 2009? That's just a bit insane. It's already insanely popular, but severe supply shortages until 2009? Was that a mistake? Was that actually Ken Katarugi's (sp) estimate on how long the PS3 would be in high demand?

RE: Price matters
By Oregonian2 on 4/25/2007 5:57:55 PM , Rating: 2
The mass market will be ready for HD when it comes down in price, bottom line. HD isn't like going from black and white tvs to color, and that has been the comparison since it was introduced. It's not that dramatic a change. The improvement is there, but it's not noticeable enough for people to go crazy over it.

Especially compared to a well made regular DVD upscaled and connected digitally through an HDMI connector.

RE: Price matters
By Lakku on 4/25/2007 10:58:46 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry, but if you two are telling me the difference between normal TV/DVD and HDTV isn't that drastic, I would like some of what you are smoking. As for the DVD comment I am replying to, you are more correct than the first post, but even so, it still looks better. It all depends on how the High Def movie is mastered, some don't look much, if any, better, while others look quite a bit better. Either way, as for the first guy, you either 1) Have a crappy HDTV (or a really good CRT TV as they tend to display SDTV signals a lot better then native digital displays) or are 2) Blind (or you don't really pay attention).

RE: Price matters
By bubbacub616 on 4/26/2007 1:56:17 AM , Rating: 2
he isn't saying that there is minimal difference between hd and sd, he is only pointing out that the differnce is much less than the jump from b&w to colour (which was something ordinary joe's really appreciated)

RE: Price matters
By RandomFool on 4/26/2007 9:55:12 AM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between the two but it not a big enough justification for most people to go out and spend the money on it. Heck I still used Rabbit ears on a 19in CRT tv in my room. The qualitiy isn't great but I don't really need that sort of quality while watching the Office. Cost is the biggest barrier to adoption and the added quality isn't enough.

RE: Price matters
By jconan on 4/25/2007 8:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it's not a shortage it's just in time. Not too much and not too little for Nintendo. I've checked with most stores as soon as shipments come in i.e. for Best Buy or Circuit City the Wii's are gone. Some of these stores get shipments randomly on weekends or weekdays i.e. 1 local Toysrus gets shipments on Sundays with about 50 to 60 Wii's while some a dozen. Hopefully RE Umbrella Chronicles for Wii comes out sometime soon this year maybe that will fill some of the void.

RE: Price matters
By BladeVenom on 4/25/2007 8:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
The attach ratio would have to be less than .33 movies per console. They've sold almost 3 million consoles, but they've only sold one million Blu-ray discs. You'd also need to subtract how many discs went to owners of stand alone players, but I don't know how many that would be.

While some Sony fans might want to justify the high the cost of the PS3 because it is also a Blu-ray player, it looks like most PS3 owners don't care much about Blu-ray so far since most don't own a single movie for it.

RE: Price matters
By Alpha4 on 4/25/2007 10:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your assessment and am scratching my head as to why it was modded down. Perhaps it'd be possible to determine the attach-rate of Blu-Ray movies to PS3's if they had each PS3 with an internet connection anonymously report each instance a unique Blu-Ray movie is played at least two weeks apart (to rule out any rentals). That would account for a purchase, wouldn't it?

RE: Price matters
By Lakku on 4/25/2007 10:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
It was probably voted down because, last time I checked, the majority of people rent movies rather then buy them. It makes sense, since games tend to have more 'replay' or added value, especially if they have multiplayer. You can't just say most people with a PS3 don't care about BD (you imply it by saying they justify the high cost of PS3 because it plays BD movies) by sales of movies, because as I said, most people rent movies, rather then buy them. This is especially true with Netflix and Blockbuster online nowadays. I know plenty of people unfortunately, that use these services to rent movies cheap, burn them, send back for more, and burn some more. Hard to do that with games. Anyway, that last bit is just some speculation as to why people tend to rent movies rather than buy.

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