Three Things That Are Holding Back The Sony PS3 - gHacks Tech News

Three Things That Are Holding Back The Sony PS3

It has been 2 ½ years since the PS3 has launched and since that time it has been trailing both the Wii and Xbox 360 in sales. Granted it has been doing better then it has a year ago, but you’d expect that Sony would be able to convince hardcore gamers that the PS3’s superior chip is better adjusted for their gaming hunger. Yet that’s not the case.

In recent months Sony has been experiencing declining sales in their PS3 systems and this brings into question what exactly is Sony doing that is killing their system? Now let me make something clear, I’m not saying that the PS3 is not selling, but compared to the Xbox 360 and even its older brother the PS2 it isn’t doing so well.

It is a known fact that a game franchise can make or break a gaming console; just ask Microsoft and their original Xbox and the Halo franchise. While the first generation Xbox had superior graphics to the PS2, one of the main reasons why it succeeded was both Halo and Halo 2. One of the PS2’s major successes was the GTA (Grand Theft Auto) franchise. Sadly (for Sony that is), GTA 4 ported to the Xbox 360 last year and thanks to Xbox Live carried a more powerful punch then the PS3 version. I could also use Final Fantasy as another example. For years Square Enix has made its bread and butter from the PlayStation and Nintendo systems (as well as PC). It sent shockwaves through the game world when they announced that the next installment of the game, Final Fantasy XIII, would not only be available on the PS3 but, for the first time in history, ported to the Xbox 360.

Even more shocking was the news by Hideo Kojima that the next installment of Metal Gear Solid would also be ported to the Xbox 360. By now you’re probably catching my drift; Sony is bleeding franchises. Who would have thought that the day would come when Snake (well he’s retired now but his franchise lives on), as well as the gang from Final Fantasy would live on Xbox. I’m not saying Sony doesn’t have some good franchises left in its hands, but if this continues they soon will be sitting on Resistance, Kill Zone and Socom as their main exclusives.

infamous

Another strike against Sony is online gaming. Microsoft and Sony have taken two very different approaches to online gaming. Sony has long stated that they believe a free option is the best way to satisfy their customers. Microsoft, from day one, has gone with the paid option. Although there is some debate as to the reason why PlayStation Network lags behind Xbox Live, one thing has been undisputed; Microsoft has proven that people will pay once the quality is there. One of the major reasons why developers flock Xbox Live is they are able to extract a few extra dollars from gamers after they have spent a few Jefferson’s on the disc. There is no real incentive for game developers to develop for PSN, and that is one of the major reasons why Xbox Live manages to offer superior content and user experience.

I’m sure many of you were expecting me to mention price as an issue why the PS3 is not living up to Sony’s expectations, but I will go as far to say that its not mainly price but marketing and timing. When the PS3 first came out, the average price of a Blu-ray player was 10 Franklins. The PS3 retailed between $500 and $600. Many consumers could have been swayed to buy the system based on the fact that it would be cheaper to buy a PS3 then to buy an Xbox 360 and a Blu-ray player. Unfortunately that has all changed, as it is now cheaper now to buy and Xbox 360 and a separate Blu-ray player then to buy a PS3.

uncharted2

The other issue involves maturity. When the Xbox 360 was released in 2005, it had a full year to gain its footing in the market. Microsoft has hinted more then once that it could have kept its second generation system in the works for a 2006 release and match the power of the PS3, but figured that it would be a better idea to release it early. They were right. By the time the PS3 came to the market, a year later, the 360 had all but took the wind out of its sales and due to the craze of the Wii things didn’t turn out as well as Sony planned.

Plainly speaking, Sony expected its loyal subjects to buy a $500 system because it was more powerful. That might be true if you’re a Mac, but in a world where a video game can make or break a console, that isn’t always true.

I’m not saying the PS3 has failed. I’m just saying it doesn’t seem that 2009 will be the year of the PS3 as we’re already half way through and Sony is reporting declining sales of said system. We’ll just have to wait and see if Sony’s new motion sensing controllers will do anything to help the troubled platform. In the meantime you’ll find me in the corner playing GTA 4 and cleaning out a space beside my HD screen for Project Natal.

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Comments

  1. Jonathan said on August 1, 2009 at 10:07 am
    Reply

    Do your homework author. . . “Granted it (PS3) has been doing better then it has a year ago”

    Playstation sales are down 37.4% year over year for the first quarter of Sony’s 2009 year.

    http://www.gadgetsvideogames.com/9970/playstation-hardware-software-sales-decline-in-q1-2009/

    The only system selling better than it did last year is the Xbox 360.

  2. Neil said on August 1, 2009 at 11:03 am
    Reply

    Why do you not mention developers’ lack of knowledge of the ps3 architecture? more AAA titles being 360 exclusive than ps3 exclusive is oviously going to make a difference. There has been little insentive for game companies to learn the architecture or hire developers that have. Valve is one of the few moving into the market but hopefully things will gradually get better for Sony.

  3. gr4yer said on August 1, 2009 at 11:45 am
    Reply

    The mayor drawback for me is the lack of support for ps2 games.

    MS also has a better developer program; they made XNA that enables weekend warrior developers to make games and sell them via the marketplace.

  4. Davo said on August 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm
    Reply

    I still think there are many cool features with the PS3, but I think the mistake is tring to create a all in one entertainment centre rather than a console. I use most features of the PS3 including streaming, VId Zone, DVD upscaling, but many people I know that own a PS3 don’t even know you can do that with it. They were loyal PS fans that bought the next gen PS to suppor the brand and are feeling a little ripped.

    Overall I have to say the quality of games is good with Killzone and Gran T, but I fear they are at wrong place at the wrong time with all these extra features.

  5. Dingo said on August 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm
    Reply

    I would have bought a Ps3 over an X-box 360 if the Ps3 was still backwards compatible with PS2 games. My son( who is low level Autistic) and I have heaps of PS2 games.

    Dingo

  6. bob said on August 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm
    Reply

    I could tell before i even finished reading this post that you were an xbox fan/owner, now i myself dont own any gaming console(though i’m a bit biased after researching the xbox 360, ps3 and even the wii through many different xbox/ps/nintendo sites).

    But i can say (since ive been looking to buy a console) that while the ps3 is the most expensive, its still got a few price drops left in it before this gen is over which will boost sales, while the xbox is already close to as cheap as MS will be willing to sell it and yet its only sold 30mil units total vs playstations 22-24mil at its much higher cost and a gaming range which has been lacking for the most part .

    You can rag on sony all you want for their higher priced console with less ‘exclusives’ (alot of big named exclusives coming out early next year) but the fact is people also want a free online service, new technology as standard ie blueray, better reliability aswell as connectivity to other devices they own through wifi without having to select that option as an extra.

    This year has been bad for sony but i expect sony to make up for it in the last quarter (with ps3 price cut and ps3 slim, pspgo, Gran Turismo and others) then 2010 will be sonys year and from there it will only get better.

    Also i’d like to add that you shouldn’t get your hopes up for project natal while im sure it will be fun its just a upgraded version of the playstation eye toy (not sure on its name).

  7. rk said on August 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm
    Reply

    if it supported PS2 games it would be sweet, but personally, I still love my PS3. I reckon it runs awesome. XBox 360’s bug me, and i love the blu-ray images. I think its a marketing problem if sony is declining in sales.

  8. Tubalcain said on August 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm
    Reply

    I’ve said it once and many times. The PS3 is in the position that the original XBOX was in. It’s very hard to close a gap due to lead time, ask Microsoft…barely coming in at number 2 in the last gen. Project Natal, Facebook, Twitter and better Netflix integration seal the deal in the 360’s favor. Microsoft did call Sony’s bluff on the whole power and graphics issue. There has not been anything so far that is technically superior on PS3 than the 360. FF, MGS is now coming to the 360, sure some sacrifices due to size of the DVD medium but virtually indistinguishable as Kojima himself has said this in the past with regards to MGS. Gears of War and it’s sequel, still looks incredible, run it up against any console game out there…PS3 has games that arguably have a better art style and direction but in no way have I seen something technically superior.

  9. bob said on August 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm
    Reply

    I could tell before i even finished reading this post that you were an xbox fan/owner, now i myself dont own any gaming console(though i’m a bit biased after researching the xbox 360, ps3 and even the wii through many different xbox/ps/nintendo sites).

    But i can say (since ive been looking to buy a console) that while the ps3 is the most expensive, its still got a few price drops left in it before this gen is over which will boost sales, while the xbox is already close to as cheap as MS will be willing to sell it and yet its only sold 30mil units total vs playstations 22-24mil at its much higher cost and a gaming range which has been lacking for the most part.

    You can rag on sony all you want for their higher priced console with less ‘exclusives’ (alot of big named exclusives coming out early next year) but the fact is people also want a free online service, new technology as standard ie blueray, better reliability aswell as connectivity to other devices they own through wifi without having to select that option as an extra.

    This year has been bad for sony but i expect sony to make up for it in the last quarter (with ps3 price cut and ps3 slim, pspgo, Gran Turismo and others) then 2010 will be sonys year and from there it will only get better.

    Also i’d like to add that you shouldn’t get your hopes up for project natal while im sure it will be fun its just a upgraded version of the playstation eye toy (not sure on its name).

  10. Uncle Dick Madeley said on August 1, 2009 at 7:46 pm
    Reply

    There’s only one thing holding back the PS3. The price of games. It baffles me, as a simple layman, how charging excessive amounts for games actually improves a company’s profits. Sell games at half the price, I’d buy two a month. But I’m not paying the current prices for any single game. Still waiting for price drops on Resistance 2, Killzone 2, Infamous…

  11. David Bettanin said on August 1, 2009 at 11:46 pm
    Reply

    Do you know the difference between “then” and than”?

  12. Bill said on August 1, 2009 at 11:57 pm
    Reply

    If kingdom hearts 3 came out instead of this stupid 500 sidesotrys on inconvinent game systems then there sales would be waaaay up.

  13. Rush said on August 2, 2009 at 12:04 am
    Reply

    I’ve been a hard core Socom player since it’s first installment. For me, it was without a doubt the driving force behind my system selection. (xBox or PS) The PS2 was one of the absolute cornerstones of modern gaming. Sony rode that loyalty into the PS3 for sure.
    Ive always been very loyal to PS, because of the Socom franchise. I super-glued my PS2 shut with Socom 2 in it. As a Socom player, I can honestly say that their first PS3 installment sucks.
    The PS3 however, does not. For me at least. I readily admit that I am biased and have never owned an Xbox, but the versatility of the PS3 overall that I have been most impressed with. The ability to download games and change the OS to a linux variant.
    I have a few PS3’s. The older ones. (The good ones.) Backwards compatible, SD and duo card readers. I also have twin 250 gig externals hooked up to it.
    I think the system is great, but unless they fix the backwards compatibility issue and let the price drop 20%, they will lose out to the xBox in the future. Game wise though with the cross compatible franchises coming out with good offerings like COD Modern warfare 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2, it may stay even.
    Can you do the same types of things with the xBox, like hook up externals and swap out the OS?

  14. Paul said on August 3, 2009 at 5:27 am
    Reply

    Dear, Author (Orrett Morgan), much like the PS3 sales, your article could do with a shot in the arm.
    The post comments are more interesting and have better grammar.
    “The 3 things that are holding…” 1. exclusives, 2. online gaming, 3. price and …4. release date….mmmmkay, still, better THEN your grammar: please use spell/grammar check when you finish writting.

    (Sorry for the “pop at the author” but there is too much bad journalism).

  15. Anonymous said on August 3, 2009 at 9:19 am
    Reply

    lol yes u can hook up an external on a 360 and i love how all the ps2/ps3 fans call xbox 360 users fan boys. 3 years ago when the situation was reversed and ps2 was released earlier and had less powerfull technology it was the ps2 users who were the fan boys the reason i had an xbox then and the reason why i have one now is that the good games are there. the reason you should be buying a console is for fun. If you want to play games and are serious about them and their performance and enjoy “free online play” and want to aim precisely allowing for actual competitive play how bout you save your $500 and upgrade your video-card and buy a blue-ray player for you home computer.

    Ps3 also tries to jam blue-ray down your throat when in the not too distant future blue-ray will become obsolete as technologies have already been found that are capable of holding up to 200gb on a single disc.

  16. Anonymous said on August 3, 2009 at 8:08 pm
    Reply

    How people still overlook the fact that Microsoft put a system with such a high failure rate just for the sake of being first is beyond me. Microsoft knew this was there only chance and hoped that people would be too stupid to see what they had done. They deceived us and yet the consumer still buy there product. Some people deserve what they get.

  17. Orrett Morgan said on August 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm
    Reply

    @Paul

    Would you mind actually showing me what grammatical errors I have made? I’m taking it you’re a PS3 fan.

  18. Anonymous said on August 5, 2009 at 10:30 am
    Reply

    “Do you mind telling me what grammatical errors I’ve made? I take it you’re a ps3 fan”!

    The professional unbiased journalism is astounding! Couldn’t believe that was tge authors comment! Wow….

  19. Anonymous said on August 5, 2009 at 11:00 am
    Reply

    Bored of the duelling and fuelling of this sort of speculation by writers who sound like teenagers. There is room for both consoles with huge sales and massive possibilities. They will both succeed regardless of speculation. Microsoft and Sony are just too big and equally venomous! Don’t let some fan of either console make you doubt a brand, their own can be attacked with equal fervour. It’s just about preference. Technical excellence and openness with ps3 versus good architecture and good online on xbox! Thought about mentioning bad points but my main one is don’t give this waste of space blogger a good page count. He can’t spell facts never mind give them.

  20. printer cartridge supplies said on August 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm
    Reply

    I guess I would have bought a Ps3 rather than X-box 360 if the Ps3 was still backwards compatible with PS2 games.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.