Playstation Range Becomes Money-Loser

Sony’s game division has lost more than $45 million in three months. There’s a simple story behind it: sales of consoles and games are both markedly down.

The entire Sony group lost 24.6 billion yen (US $315 million) between April and June, despite an increase in sales across all product types. The losses were partly the result of unfavorable exchange rates.

That’s not a valid excuse when it comes to games however. PS3 console sales dropped from 3.2 million in the same period last year to 2.8 million, while combined sales of the PSP and Vita dropped from 1.8 million to 1.4 million. Considering the Vita only debuted earlier this year, the fact that Sony didn’t list specific sales for it may be a clue that it’s not been received well at all.

Games sales are also down by around seven million on consoles and one million on handhelds. That’s something of a consistent pattern across the industry, blamed mainly on a lack of new blockbuster titles.

Considering the PS3 has been available for well over five years, it may simply be that it’s starting to hit saturation point now. Aside from teenagers growing old enough to get it as a gift or buy it with their own earnings, you’d have to think most people who have any interest in buying the PS3 have already done so by now.

Sony’s only response — and even this is unconfirmed — appears to be producing a new series of “superslim” PS3s. Of the rumored models, only a potentially dirt cheap one that uses flash memory rather than a hard drive seems likely to help capture new buyers. Even then, a cut to a rumored $149 or so might not attract too many cheapskates given the price of games.

With the Move motion control system having failed to gain much traction, it still seems as if the only thing that will revitalise Sony’s gaming fortunes is the PS4 and that’s still looking to be an absolute minimum of 18 months away.

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10 Responses to Playstation Range Becomes Money-Loser

  1. The only reason I would be interested in the slim version is because I am an amazon prime member and the only way to stream the videos (other than laptop) is through the ps3. This would allow me to have one in the bedroom as well and I wouldn't need it to be my main gaming ps3 so no need for all the bells and whistles.

    • I seem to recall an article about xbox live getting amazon support recently… Or maybe its soon.

    • You could get a Roku box for $50 and stream Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix and more. Works great.

  2. They'd get more customers to get the PS3 if they were to guarantee compatibility with at least all PS1 games. I'd have waited to get a PS3 which could give me the advantage of a blue ray player also but I wasn't going to risk purchasing a $300 blu-ray player and find out it didn't play the few PS1 games I wanted to play, when blu-ray players are significantly lower priced now. Instead I got a used PS2 from a yard sale that I'm happy with for $30, when I'd rather have gotten a machine that double tasks and plays the few games I want to play from PS1 plus played blu ray movies.

    • All PS1 games are already compatible with the PS3. It's PS2 games where compatibility is non-existent. They used to have limited compatibility, but system updates eliminated that from all but the earliest PS3 models. Now if they actually brought back PS2 compatibility, then they might see a rise in hardware sales, but at the same time, they would see a decrease in sales of their re-packaged "PS2 Classics" through the PSN store.

  3. Well I myself haven't bought any new PS3 games because I still have the old 80gb hard drive and it is a pain in the neck. I've been meaning to get myself a 1T hard drive for it for almost a year now. When I finally do I won't have to uninstall a game every single time I want to play a new one.

  4. I've actually wondered why the consoles of today use the hard drive instead of the flash. Do the games really have that much info on each disc that you need a 500G hard drive instead of a 32G flash? On my laptop, I don't have a single game that is more than 26G. And I also know that most console games don't need as much memory on the disc, simply because it didn't need to be rewritten for a PC OS.

    • Several games have multi-gig installs that are ether optional or mandatory, depending on the game. Also a lot of large size downloadable ps3 games.

      It’s always supported user changeable hard drives though. I put a 320 gig 7200rpm drive in my 60 gig launch model. Was a painless changeover.

    • Because people want to install more than one game at a time. Plus saves. Plus extra data from some games, like replays, if supported. Plus downloaded games, as someone else mentioned. Plus system updates. Plus PSHome.

      A PS3 is also not just a game console. It's a media center. Pictures, music and video can all be either transferred physically, or downloaded from any number of services. And streaming takes up space too. People won't want to uninstall the game they are in the middle of just so the could stream Netflix or whatever.

      Hard drives are the way to go. Cheap, large storage with a reasonable speed, something that can't be matched in solid state (the price and capacty).

  5. wicked child each blu ray disk holds 50 GB of data on it……only about 2-8 is stored on the actual ps3. the rest is loaded directly from the disk.