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Analyst: PS3 continues to lack a clear ‘must-own’ title that will drive sales

Friday, 23rd January 2009 16:52 GMT By Mike

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Cowen analyst Doug Creutz says he has lowered his expectation to toward PlayStation 3 for the year ahead as he doesn’t believe the console has any bona fide system sellers.

“Although there appears to be a reasonably robust slate of games for the PlayStation 3 this year, Sony continues to lack a clear ‘must-own’ title that will drive sales, while its platform continues to be the most expensive in the market in the midst of a consumer slowdown,” he said.

“Meanwhile, highly publicized platform initiatives such as Home have failed to get off the ground.”

His overall assessment of 2008 was just as damning saying: “Following another year in which PS3 unit sales lagged behind the Wii and Xbox 360, it is now clear that Sony has failed to establish the PS3 as the console of choice among hardcore gamers this cycle.”

Creutz now expects PlayStation 3 to sell 4 million units in 2009, compared to his previous forecast of 6.25.

Read the public resaerch note in full at Gama.

By Mike Bowden

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35 Comments

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  1. Syrok

    Pfff, LBP is a clear must own title for anyone who likes fun.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. doctorstrange

    LBP is awesome but it lacks the mass market appeal that Killzone 2 should have

    #2 6 years ago
  3. G1GAHURTZ

    The PS3 is so doomed it’s the doomed king of the doomed consoles in the land of console doomsville

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Gamoc

    No, it’s not.

    I think the PS3 has plenty of must-own titles. I don’t particularly think the 360 does though. Difference of opinion. I like Crackdown, but I sure as well won’t buy a 360 for it.

    So, why the hell do these ‘analysts’ continue to get articles about whatever the hell they say all over the internet? Not only is it just opinion in the first place, their opinion changes on a weekly basis to fit with whatever everyone else is saying before they say it.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Mad-elph

    I just can’t see how Halo is a must own, or Gears… played them and they are nothing that I think about. The best game of 07 was Cod 4 – multi plat, 08 is hard to call, because there were a bunch of good titles, most of which were PS3 not all of them. If people are looking for a game that reaches through the tv and rapes your eyeballs with golden nails then ships you to Tahiti for a weekend then no… the PS 3 doesnt have it but neither does any other console.

    Look at the Wii are any of those must have games? No they aren’t they are just games someone played in a media meet and greet and it got al puffed up on CNN or BBC or whatever and people think they need to have it. It’s like the ipod all over again… Many can go the job, some even better, but people remember the words told to them last night at 11.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Syrok

    Actually no game is a must-own title and there is not a single game that justifies buying a console. It’s the number of good titles that sell consoles (unless the console is a Wii;)).

    Edit: Hey, I just repeated what Mad-elph said. o/

    #6 6 years ago
  7. DS1086

    What do you call a man with a spade in his head who talks crap all day?

    #7 6 years ago
  8. JesteR

    Yeah LBP, MGS4, Resistance 2, Uncharted or Killzone 2…… they are all just great titles. I think you should ask what titles does the 360 have that is a must have. I dont see any really.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. hitnrun

    Few observations.

    1) Saying LBP or MGS4 are must-own doesn’t make it so, nor does saying Gears or Halo are NOT make that so. Wallets, not words, wins this argument.

    2) Can we stop linking to “analyst” reports? According to analysts, there was going to be a furious battle between the Wii and 360…for second place. They’ve been wrong about each system in uniquely magnificent ways, like snowflakes. They’re just non-gaming Wall Streeters trying to con investors into subscribing to their services.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Mad-elph

    -DS1086

    DS1086?

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Mad-elph

    hitrun, the only reason more people bought Gears or Halo is because they don’t have the PS3. I mean if you can’t play it you don’t buy it. But I would wager that a good chunk of 360 users will get a PS3 when the price comes down a hundred. likewise PS3 users will get the 360 in a year or two when they feel that enough games have been released that they missed to justify having both systems.

    Its just painful that people keep saying the PS is failing and it will get cut early like the dreamcast. Don’t count on it, Sony says 10 years because they’ve structured their business to gain from it for that long. If they cut it early they’ve lost all that investment. As long as people keep buying they will support it and new games will keep coming so stop saying its the end of the PS brand.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. G1GAHURTZ

    I think you should ask what titles does the 360 have that is a must have. I dont see any really.

    Even though I don’t personally consider it to be a killer app, any analyst will tell you that Halo 3 shifted millions of 360′s on it’s own.

    But anyway, I believe the main point here is that the PS3 doesn’t have any undisputed “must have” killer app.

    The proof of this is in the sales figures. Which PS3 exclusive has broken any sales records? People are saying LBP is a must have, but the figures totally contradict that.

    It could be the case that the 360 doesn’t have a “must have” either, but there are other factors such as the price and the popularity of Xbox LIVE that are selling consoles, as well as many more games than are currently being sold on the PS3.

    So the best way for Sony to counter that and convince people to pay the high price of the PS3 is with a killer app, which currently doesn’t exist.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Mad-elph

    Then again I am speaking to a UK crowd that is 360 biased (in terms of sales/users not implying mindset but that is linked) so 360 is the big system there. Worldwide the 360 is 7-8 million ahead of PS3, with a year head start and half the price. That gap will be down to 3-5 by the end of this year, I bet it. They will drop the price a bit this year and get back all that difference in two years. I bet in the end more PS3 will be sold than 360, just not in every market, some markets will be 360 heavy others PS3 heavy.

    Look at Japan its 3-1 PS3 to 360. While its the reverse in NA (maybe closer to 2-1) Wait 5 years then we’ll see.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Mad-elph

    Not everyone is swayed by Live, it isn’t that much better than PSN especially not worth the difference in price. I mean $50 vs. free?

    #14 6 years ago
  15. The_Deleted

    People are too lazy for LBP. As great as it is and the potential it has. If SONY continue to delete a users hardwork because it has a passing resemblence to some obscure IP, people will not bother until it’s dealt with. By then, we’ll be wrapped up in other things.

    DLC: Unless SONY start to throw their weight around and demand the same or alternate DLC for multi platform games such as GTA IV or Fallout 3, people will opt for the other console that can offer tham more. People spend a lot oftime in DC and Liberty City, missing out on the extra play time does not make for a happy PS3 owner.

    I don’t think for one instance that the PS3 is the lame duck it’s being touted as, having to live up to the phenominal success of the last two consoles will be no easy task. But SONY need to realise that fanboys alone will not make for a success and just because you ruled the last gen does not dictate you will always conitinue to do so.
    Killzone 2 & God of War 3 may encourage sales briefly, but there is no way, given the economical climate, that these games will be the killer app’s SONYhopes they will be.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Psychotext

    Mad-elph – Unless Sony drops the price, the difference is going to increase, not decrease.

    The question is, can they afford to? Can they afford not to either?

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Syrok

    @The_Deleted: Your long-term memory regarding the level deletion is good, however you might want to check whether they still reflect the truth. ;)

    #17 6 years ago
  18. fearmonkey

    Lets look at the sales Figures of Halo 3 and Gears of war.
    Going by those numbers alone, the 360 has it’s killer apps.
    (understand I’m not a huge Halo or gears fan either)

    I think it’s kind of stupid to make that statement though.
    LBP is a great title, if I had a PS3, I’d own it
    MGS4 is a killer app, it’s sold very well.
    The upcoming GTA5 will be a killer app.
    God of War 3 will be a killer app
    Plus, we haven’t seen the sales yet of Killzone 2 and that
    crackdown like title for the PS3 looks really interesting.

    I predict that while the PS3 may eventually sell alot more units and catch up the 360, the 360 will still sell more games.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Robo_1

    I’m actually inclined to agree. Sony have never really had a title like Mario or Halo which really rallies the entire fan base.

    By no measure should that be misinterpreted as ‘Sony has no stand out games’. There’s no need to name names, just look over Metacritic and you can see that Sony is well represented in the 80 and 90 + zone.

    Sony have always gone for a more scattershot approach, ensuring that they’re well represented in all genres, from the casual to the hardcore market. It’s one of the reasons why the PS2 was so popular, in that it never tied itself to any one demographic or genre. None of the current gen consoles have really filled the void left by the PS2.

    #19 6 years ago
  20. dQuarters

    PS3 is simply too expensive. That is all. If it were cheaper, many more people would own games lie LBP, R2 and Uncharted.

    Not a fan of Halo myself, but it’s got undisputed mass market appeal, and pushed a crap-load of hardware AND XBL gold accounts. When a “gamer” is faced with the decision of which “gaming” comsole to buy, it is clear their wallet screams 360 (as it did when GTAIV came out).
    And when parents make the decision, it’s clear they choose Wii.

    PS3 seems to only scream to the “harcore” Sony or High-Tech fan. And that is obviously not good enough.

    It’s not the software’s fault. It’s the console’s. Are we gonna call “Wii Play” a killer app now?

    #20 6 years ago
  21. Psychotext

    Wii Play isn’t. Wii Sports is.

    #21 6 years ago
  22. DS1086

    - Mad-elph

    As all your teachers used to say, wrong again, thicko.

    #22 6 years ago
  23. XDamage

    Bullshit. PS3 has lots of must-own titles, but it doesn’t drive sales anyway. Nice work MS!! :D

    #23 6 years ago
  24. The_Deleted

    @Syrok: Cheers for the correction. Good to know they’ve sorted it it out. Might pick up the game myself, now.

    #24 6 years ago
  25. Syrok

    You can get it new for less then €20 now. :)

    #25 6 years ago
  26. Gamoc

    http://www.play.com/Games/PlayStation3/3-/254484/2-/Promo.html

    Play.com. LBP. £17.99. Get it before the weekend ends.

    #26 6 years ago
  27. DS1086

    Beaten by 3p

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-LittleBigPlanet-PS3/dp/B0019CGTXK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1232799141&sr=8-1

    #27 6 years ago
  28. gorman

    ***But I would wager that a good chunk of 360 users will get a PS3 when the price comes down a hundred. likewise PS3 users will get the 360 in a year or two when they feel that enough games have been released that they missed to justify having both systems.***

    “A good chunk”? Multiconsole owners are a total minority on the market, all reports prove this. If you think PS3 will become popular on this, I’m afraid you’re gonna be disappointed.

    #28 6 years ago
  29. Retroid

    Yeah, multiformat owners have always been a minority, but it’s the kind of minority which hangs around sites like this and EG :)

    I’ve owned my PS3 for a year now and still buy most of my multiformat games on 360 because they’re usually better, usually cheaper, and there’s the Live community of friends I’ve built up to factor in.

    Seeing as multiconsole owners are a minority, though, the longer Sony puts off a pricecut and MS 360s are cheap, and discounted in stores, the more likely it is that a lot of those new buyers aren’t going to bother with the more expensive format.

    #29 6 years ago
  30. Esha

    I’m going to go with a strange concept here, so please bear with me until I’m done? Thanks.

    Okay, first of all–I think that this is the biggest arse-expelled fallacy I’ve heard in a long time. Consider the concept of a killer game (similar to a killer app), a console selling game, or a console defining game.

    The PC has none of the above, yet people have been building gaming computers since the dawn of time. Why?

    It’s because this is all very bloody subjective.

    If a game scores well and it’s popular, then it can subjectively be considered to be:

    - A console-defining title.
    - A killer game.
    - A must own title to buy the console for.

    But this is only realised by the people looking at the game. As an example of this, I cite Gears of War.

    Speaking of personal opinion (which anyone may consider as invalid as they like), I think Gears of War is boring. Even the first one retreads ground that had been covered before by better PC games. The only thing it did was put the characters in third person instead of first … such innovation!

    Yet Gears of War to some people is a triple-A game, a fantastic title, the gem of their collection–I simply can’t understand why.

    For me, LittleBigPlanet is the gaming equivalent of a killer app, but if I introduced it to a Gears fan the most I’d get out of them would probably be “lol wut?”, they just wouldn’t understand what I saw in cute little characters jumping around a screen.

    Yet analysts speak of opinion as if it were objective fact, and that gets on my tit, because there can be no killer game for a format, objectively speaking. This can only be decided by those looking at the console to decide what the killer game would be for them.

    As a PC gamer, this is amazingly obvious to me, because every PC gamer should understand this concept due to the wide variety of genres that the PC has available. Some might consider World of Goo a more epic title than FEAR 2, but all of the good games it has are a potential excuse to build a gaming PC.

    I just facepalm every time an analyst says something like this, and I would have done the same if he’d said it about the X-Box or the PC, too. Trying to present a subjective opinion as objective information is complete bollocks, and makes the person doing so look like a total pillock.

    in my opinion, at least.

    #30 6 years ago
  31. No_PUDding

    I think the point is, the PS3 does not have any must-have titles at the moemnt.

    Killzone is gonna be a big seller all over Europe for sure, who knows about America.

    God of War is a big seller in America.

    Twisted metal is still to come.

    GT5 is huge everywhere.

    Team ICO really has garnered some attention outside of the industry.

    There is plenty to ‘look forward to’.

    But the analyst is totally right, it has plenty of great games, just not one that suits it’s market, or has been advertised sufficiently to make it defining.

    Dunno if KZ2 will change that.

    #31 6 years ago
  32. Retroid

    It’s always about the critical mass of games, not the single Killer App for me.

    Oh, and I really liked both Gears of War and the beta of Little Big Planet :)

    #32 6 years ago
  33. Esha

    More power to you, I was really only using that as an example. If it were the other way around I’d have used Fable II and Motorstorm.

    I suppose Gears just felt old to me where it felt new to most people, I’m a grizzled PC gamer so something has to be especially new and innovative to catch my eyes, retreading old ground doesn’t really do it for me.

    I feel like such an old fart.

    Anyway, I’m inclined to agree with you, Retroid. It’s a good idea to look at a console/PC and build up a potential library of games one would love to own and then pick one based on whichever has the most games that they like.

    #33 6 years ago
  34. No_PUDding

    Well you are a core gamer.

    For people on the street, they have to see the advertisement for ‘that’ game.

    Then they start saving up, and other great games are a good way of justifying the purchase. If they spot them too.

    For me on the 360, the ones that appeal are Earth Defense Force and Crackdown. I don’t play PC games anymore and there really is nothing else I WANT to own.

    #34 6 years ago
  35. Esha

    The crying shame of the PC is that it has such a fantastic undercurrent of indie development, and one doesn’t even need to have a high-end computer to enjoy it.

    http://www.tigsource.com/ – Everything listed there is reason enough for me to own a PC laptop and play games on it, because there’s a hell of a lot enjoyment to be had. I’ve pointed out before that (the freeware) Knytt Stories is one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had, and due to the quick development cycles there’s always something to play, every day in fact.

    I’m currently having a love affair Spelunky, for example. That’s a grand little game.

    I understand though that not everyone’s into the core element and that more casual gamers today are going to get caught up in the more mainstream commercial element of gaming, which is very different to how core gamers look at things, as you pointed out. It’s my opinion that a good game doesn’t need a single ad, word of mouth will do it all.

    That’s how it was for Aquaria, World of Goo, King’s Bounty, and Crayon Physics (which are all indie efforts that actually do cost money).

    #35 6 years ago