The cheeky chaps at Kotaku ‘culture news blog’ snared Sony’s head of hardware marketing John Koller and asked him Why Did You Wind Up In Third Place? It’s an interesting question on a blog which features a lead story today about people who dress up in doll bodysuits…
In the interview Mr Koller seemed to concede that the main issue with the PS3 was the console’s relatively expensive price, especially at launch time when it was $600 or £425. From this slow start it’s been a fight to keep up in numbers though that doesn’t mean that the console has not been a successful one and sales are relatively good now, higher than the Wii but behind the Xbox 360. Kudos goes to Don Mattrick from Microsoft for his prediction at E3 2011 that Xbox 360 would be the global best seller a year later.
February 2012 figures for worldwide cumulative console sales were as follows;
- Wii - 95 million
- Xbox 360 - 66 million
- PS3 - 63 million
Quarterly console sales chart up to Q4 2011, from Geekwire.com
Looking at the Kotaku interview, the lead question was a pithy “You guys are in third place. You're a team that was in first place with the PS1, first place with PS2. Why has this generation played out differently, where you guys haven't won?” The most on-topic answer from Mr Koller was the following; “Why we're in third... you know, there's a lot of things that happen in the market that cause sales to occur. I think we've been very staunch in our belief that there's a certain value behind the PS3 and there's certain kinds of games for the PS3 that have stood behind that. There's no secret that we opened behind a high price point. And certainly others got a relatively nice head start on us because of that. That's certainly been part of it. But we absolutely have no regrets.”
Looking at the most recent sales numbers above no one would call Sony’s PS3 anything other than a success. Xbox 360 had a long head start and Nintendo’s Wii the sweetest price and control method innovations. However in the coming months it looks like Xbox 360 is going to continue to be top dog in sales with the way it has been adopted into people’s living rooms as much more than a gaming device, at a lower price point than the PS3. Sony could have potentially done more in this area considering they chose the “winning” Blu-ray tech for their console but Microsoft put in the resources and effort to carve that niche they had been trying to get into for some time, thanks to the online services in Xbox Live.