CNN: PS3 is a “sinking ship”

Saturday, 13th December 2008 09:59 GMT By Patrick Garratt


CNN’s hammered Sony’s PS3 strategy after the release of November NPDs, detailing why, in its opinion, the machine is “flopping so badly” and “is dying on the shelves.”

NPD figures for last month showed that PS3 hardware sales have dropped 19 percent year-over-year, down to 378,000 compared to 466,000 in November 2007.

Here’s why:

  • “It’s the most expensive console on the market, $150 – $200 more than its rivals. Even if you believe the video game industry is ‘recession-proof’ (it isn’t), a tanking economy makes consumers more price-conscious.”
  • “The PS3′s big bonus is its ability to double as a Blu-Ray player. Too bad no one seems to care about hi-def DVDs. The differences between Blu-Ray and DVD are hard to see on a TV less than 50.”
  • “The PS3 just doesn’t have any must-have titles exclusive to the console. LittleBigPlanet has generated decent buzz but isn’t a game-changer, and neither is Sony’s new virtual world Home.”

The answer? “Deep price cuts.”

Could all the rocket scientists congregate over here, please?



  1. DrDamn

    Wouldn’t even have contemplated it a year ago, but given the current financial market I really wouldn’t be surprised to see Sony “do a Sega” in the not too distant future.

    Whilst I do love my PS3 they made a couple of horrendous errors in the hardware which have scuppered their chances this gen (that and the whole arrogance thing) and put them in a serious dangerous position where the penny pinchers can point at the numbers and say – you know what the best plan is?

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Syrok

    “The differences between Blu-Ray and DVD are hard to see on a TV less than 50″.”
    Oh,ey? The difference is quiet visible on an 32″ TV.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    I agree that bit was guff – though there was a big problem with the whole 720p / 1080p thing. Tech just wasn’t ready at the right price and time for Sony and their hand was forced by MS to some extent. Ideally they would have wanted to release a PS3 into a market of reasonably priced 1080p sets 32″ and above and with graphical capabilities of the PS3 actually able to handle filling that res.

    As it is for both the PS3 and 360 the sweet spot is 720p at best. That is also what a lot of people are playing the systems on in terms of tv too.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Shatner

    “Too bad no one seems to care about hi-def DVDs.”

    What an odd thing to say considering:

    The Dark Knight sold a record 600,000 Blu-ray Discs in the U.S. on its first day of release on Dec. 9, or about 21% of its total units, according to Warner Home Video.

    And also:

    Blu-ray overtakes DVD in Japan

    Both of those stories are less than a week old.

    Still, when the media only asserts one view of something you can’t ever expect to be told the full story.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. wz

    The overall point they’re making might be right, but their arguments are bananas.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. morriss

    Don’t confuse a popular film with a popular format. US BD sales have fallen by 25% this year.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Psychotext

    Where did you get that stat from morriss?

    #7 6 years ago
  8. morriss

    My arse. :)

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Psychotext

    Ahh… anlolyst.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Quiiick

    “The differences between Blu-Ray and DVD are hard to see on a TV less than 50.”

    That’s just not true!
    It’s a major difference even on 720p.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    It’s strange… I can’t see a significant difference between upscaled DVD and Blu-Ray on HDTVs unless it’s CGI or I’m watching on a screen bigger than 46″.

    Maybe my brain is teh faulty.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. wz

    Psychotext: You got a point there, maybe that’s what he is talking about.

    But I guess only a very low number of people have DVD players that do HD upscaling, it’s mostly Blu-Ray players.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Shatner

    I’ll take actual sales over analyst guess any day of the week.

    Yes, even when they conflict with my transparent platform loyalties!

    Even so, the statement was

    “Too bad no one seems to care about hi-def DVDs.”

    600,000 people (at the very least) seem to dispute that claim otherwise this ‘popular film’ would have been bought on a more ‘popular format’ instead of the one reported, wouldn’t it? I wonder what it is that morriss is actually attempting to dismiss with his folol-up statement?

    Then again, people don’t care for “Hi def DVD”. That’s why HD DVD vanished. Blu ray isn’t HD DVD though is it?

    What a spectacularly shoddily written and poorly researched (or perhaps just one-sided) article.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Smartypants

    A standalone bluray player is currently cheaper than a PS3 – why would anyone who’s mainly interested in films buy a relatively expensive PS3?

    #14 6 years ago
  15. morriss

    How many PS3s/BD players are there on the market in the US. What %’age of those bought Dark Knight?

    So, is 600,000 a lot? No. Are Blu Ray sales increasing exponentially? No.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Shatner

    I don’t know morriss. I’ll wait till some analyst makes some guess and then, a couple of months after they’ve made it, I’ll quote it on a videogame site and act like it’s more relevant that hard sales data from the current week.

    Sound good to you?

    Oh, and 600,000 is plenty. It’s a day one figure.

    Are sales increasing exponentially? I guess not. Oh wait! What does that second article I linked to demonstrate?

    Not only that, the same article states:

    “Gfk also reports that Blu-ray machines are replacing DVD recorders 1.5 times faster than the latter replaced VHS machines. DVD recorders exceeded 50 per cent after 82 weeks. In comparison, Blu-ray recorders achieved the same results in only 53 weeks.”

    Like I said, and as is being demonstrated perfectly here: when the media only asserts one view of something you can’t ever expect to be told the full story.

    But it’s funny isn’t it: if you waffle on with nothing but guess work and popular rhetoric then you can convince a lot of people that your opinion is fact. Even when there is hard, factual evidence to the contrary.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. morriss

    But you’re guessing. You have no idea what’s good and what’s not. You’re calling out someone for guesswork but offer only your own logic and no fact to substantiate anything. (not talking about Japan)

    “Despite blockbuster success of “The Dark Knight” in theaters, industry analysts are closely monitoring the movie’s sales in the home video market in order to take the temperature of the audience’s willingness to spend in the midst of a recession. Though sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs have dropped 5 percent in the past year, the market remains strong relative to other sectors of the retail economy.”

    Sales of both formats are on the decline, for many reasons. Although given the relatively small nature of the BD market share, I’m worried for its future. If you want to turn this into yet another criticism of me and use it as a platform to tell everyone how you can so clearly see the wood for the trees, then be my guest. I’m not getting involved.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Shatner

    No fact?

    So sales figures from the manufacturer of the product is guesswork but analyst prediction from two months back has more relevance?

    Sure. OK. Funny how people like to dig their heels in with analyst guesses as some sort of rock-solid proof of something when that something happens to go along with the predefined view.

    I’m loving how you’re basing a counter argument on the presumption that hard sales figures are actually guesswork on my part. AND ignoring the factual data about growth (and rate of growth) from my other linked article.

    Gee, I guess if you just ignore any information that doesn’t fit your pre-determined view then you can convince yourself that your view is unquestionably correct!

    Sorry morriss, quoting out of date analyst guesses might work for you but I don’t think it holds up against any sort of objective scrutiny. Not when there’s more up-to-date, factual information that shows otherwise. (But, obviously, feel free to ignore that if it doesn’t suit your purposes).

    Edit: “Not talking about Japan”.
    Haha. Yes. Let’s not talk about any region that completely disproves your rhetoric!

    Classic stuff.

    I really don’t think I need to state anything else morriss. You don’t seem to be interested in making an argument based on anything more than second-hand, out of date guesses and you don’t want to discuss any areas that don’t match your predetermined view of things.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. morriss

    I have no agenda. Sales are down in the West in general. BD doesn’t have a large market share to begin with. The amount of people buying Blu Rays compared with the amount of PS3s/BD players on the market isn’t good enough. Anyone will tell you this.

    I still don’t understand what Japan has got to do with anything, but there you go.

    Anyway, I’m trying to discuss something with you sensibly. What am I doing?!

    #19 6 years ago
  20. Squa11

    I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a “sinking ship”, it’s just not performing well in this “financial crisis” the U.S. is going through.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. ranksshabba

    Morris you may as well have pulled that statistic from your nevers’ – an organisation has revised it’s own forecast 25% down… this is not the same as a 25% fall in sales…

    Do you see?

    I think a thingy-on-a-stick will sell 2million units this year from 1million last year, no I revising that to 1.5million now (or reducing by 25%) it doesn’t mean sales fallen, do you see?

    #21 6 years ago
  22. XDamage

    Hmm, I wonder what a day with positive PS3 news feels like. Been a while now.

    #22 6 years ago
  23. gorman

    Wow… are people still able to “defend” Sony’s market performance? Considering where they were coming from (almost complete dominance of a market)?

    It is a sinking ship and when CNN and others start hammering the concept home, it tends to sink faster.

    #23 6 years ago
  24. Smartypants

    I’ll ask again, since people keep arguing over the viability Blu-ray: is Blu-ray even relevant when discussing the success or failure of the PS3 when standalone Blu-ray players are cheaper than a PS3?

    #24 6 years ago
  25. morriss

    Yeah, because people see that they’re getting an excellent BD players which is as good as high end players costing more than the system itself, plus an excellent games machine. Which they are.

    #25 6 years ago
  26. Smartypants

    For hardcore gamers maybe, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the general public (casuals or non-gamers or whatever) would prefer a cheap Wii + a cheap standalone Blu-ray player instead of just one very expensive PS3. We shall see.

    #26 6 years ago
  27. morriss

    Many people I know have asked me about Blu Ray and I’ve told them all that PS3 is the best deal on one they can get in terms of quality and price. None of these people are gamers.

    #27 6 years ago
  28. Mad-elph

    How about the fact that Iron man sold 240,000, it was the best selling Blu-ray, then a few months later 600,000 copies are sold of Dark Knight… is that a tanking ship, seems like interest is up if you ask me.

    Also Blu-ray player sales increased more than 300% in Nov this year compared to last year. then on black-friday sales were even higher still.

    Blu-ray is not dead. I think we need to find a chart of how quickly DVD sold in its first two-three years, people are slow to adopt, and DVD didn’t hit the road running till the PS2 became a mega million seller. So if/when Sony drops price things will turn around again.

    #28 6 years ago
  29. Mad-elph

    Oh my source?
    the usually anti-PS3 IGN and they lived up to it with this article

    #29 6 years ago
  30. Psychotext

    Puts the Wii numbers into perspective really. 800k Wiis sold in thanksgiving week vs 147k blu-ray players.


    #30 6 years ago
  31. Mad-elph

    and what Hi-def format does the Wii play?

    #31 6 years ago
  32. Psychotext

    …and what relevance does that have?

    #32 6 years ago
  33. Mad-elph

    Well it seems that America is driven by media sensationalizing… this CNN report is going to hurt PS3 further.
    America has not switched over to HD gaming or movies yet…
    But when they do, this year they must buy new tvs as theer signal is switching over to digital, then they can enjoy the benefits.

    The Wii is insanely popular, but most people realizes that it sucks far too late, and don’t want to buy another system thinking it would be the same fate. Too bad

    #33 6 years ago
  34. prodygeejpn

    Sony is so sure of its market strategy with the ps3, its so weird. They really think they will keep selling it with this price.

    Well.. it worked on me though.

    #34 6 years ago
  35. theevilaires

    its amazing how ignorant you euros are lmao

    #35 6 years ago
  36. Psychotext

    ejoocate us american overlord!

    #36 6 years ago
  37. David

    Pot calling the kettle black theevilaires ?

    #37 6 years ago
  38. Cort

    Ah, that old “downloaded music is killing the CD” chestnut so beloved of self-appointed experts the world over. We were told CDs were dead in 1999. Then again in 2000. And again in 2001. And in 2002. And 2003. And 2004. And 2005. And 2006. And 2007. And 2008. I’ll hazard a guess we’ll be told it in 2009 too. And yet there is still rarely a release which cannot be obtained on a nice shiny disc. Ten years and we’re still waiting for that prophecy to come true.

    iTunes et al have hurt physical media, absolutely, but they simply cannot and will not kill it. The HD movie equivalent is probably nearly ten years away (Johnny Interweb cannae take it yet, for starters), by which time BD will have had a life-span almost as long as DVD has enjoyed so far……

    And by the way, DVD had a lousy start in its plan to replace VHS (some would say it was later helped significantly by …. the PS2, though I don’t know if that’s a valid claim) and a awful lot of armchair – and real (sic) – experts scoffed at DVD too.

    #38 6 years ago
  39. Esha

    “Sony is so sure of its market strategy with the ps3, its so weird. They really think they will keep selling it with this price.”

    That’s the big issue, isn’t it?

    I’ve heard many friends, acquaintances, and forumites say they want a PS3, but that the price is simply too much for it. I have one friend who’s really into Ratchet & Clank, and wants to continue following the series but the PS3 is simply outside of their budget.

    The sad and rather frustrating part is that many would-be buyers of the PS3 are buying an XBox 360 instead, because it’s a far cheaper entry option into the current gen market. I do tend to point out that if they want to play online, they’re going to end up paying the RRP of the PS3 and then some on Gold alone. But that doesn’t really work, because it’s amazing how few people can look past the price on the box. This used to work on PC gamers, what with MMOs charging monthly fees, but luckily PC gamers wised up and MMOs are now generally looking into subscriptionless models. But all the old tricks are new on the console market.

    That’s why I think Sony would have a better time cutting the PS3′s cost in half, and then offering a subscription based service. After Gigz’s comment a while back, I did a little looking into Live’s stability, and it hasn’t had a great track record, and there are times when it’s been just as bad as PSN, and PSN is free. So I really think that Sony should consider that, if they can take the price off the box, and then spread the rest of the price across a subscription format, it isn’t going to look so bad to the average, dopey consumer.

    And those smart enough to can always just ignore the online element, whilst letting those with more money than sense keep it alive. Works for MS.

    #39 6 years ago

    After Gigz’s comment a while back, I did a little looking into Live’s stability

    And what was that eh? Ask an acquaintance some loaded questions? Do a quick google for: ‘xbox LIVE is down’??

    You are more than welcome to load up COD4 on any 360 and check my stats. Up until a while ago I literally played it for an average of around 2 hours a day since it got released.

    During that time, I was also playing many other games on LIVE, so I think that I certainly qualify as someone who plays on LIVE more than most. In fact I’d say that with ‘binge gaming sessions’ taken into consideration, my average time might be as much as 3.5 hours a day over the last year.

    That would not be the case if LIVE was a flaky service, now would it?

    In fact, I’d probably be here ranting right now, much worse than I did when the FM 2009 review got pulled, because I have no problem complaining when things that I’ve paid for don’t live up to expectations.

    If LIVE didn’t work as well as I know that it certainly does, then I wouldn’t use it. Or at least certainly not as much as I do.

    As a perfect example, last xmas, when LIVE was almost unusable during most of the day, I was literally on the verge of going out and buying a PS3.

    All I wanted to do was play COD4, and I got frustrated to the extend that I was willing to fork out £350+ (or however much it was back then) in order to do it.

    In the end, I needed to check and make sure that PSN was working smoothly, so I went onto the PS3 bosrds on charlieoscardelta and asked around.

    Not only did I see a number of threads comlaining about problems in PSN, but even the PS3 users were telling me that they were having their own problems as it was!

    If LIVE didn’t work as well as it does, then I definitely wouldn’t pay for it.

    But it does.

    So I do.

    #40 6 years ago
  41. Cort

    So, what you are basically saying is that Live must be an “(un)flakey” service because you say so? Is you saying “if it wasn’t good I wouldn’t use it; I use it therefore it must be good” really more valid than a Google search revealing a combination of published and anecdotal evidence in support of the position that Live isn’t without its stability problems? You should be a mediaevil priest with that sort of circular logic: “Does God exist? God made man; man exists. Therefore God exists. QED! Now get undressed.” But I digress …

    By the way, you own a 360. *If* Live is crap what alternative do you have exactly?! And you suggest that it is PSN which is poor. But *I* use it every day without fault, therefore how can it be … etc etc. Your argument cannot be selected and ignored arbitrarily to suit your personal preference.

    (And MS talking of an “unexpectedly high demand” on XMAS DAY was one of the most hilarious examples of bullsh*t corporate excuses one is ever likely to hear.)

    #41 6 years ago
  42. Lutz

    @ Syrok.

    “The differences between Blu-Ray and DVD are hard to see on a TV less than 50″.”
    Oh,ey? The difference is quiet visible on an 32″ TV.

    Depends how close you are to the TV TBH. 32″ at 12 foot? No chance of spotting the difference.

    #42 6 years ago

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