Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has reported profits for the final quarter of last year. It just goes to show that pricing is a huge part of whether a console succeeds or not.
When the PS3 debuted, it was the most expensive console on the market. I’m sure that gamers remember the price tag that was roughly equivalent to a person’s soul. But Sony, finally coming to it’s senses and reducing production costs for the black behemoth, cut the PS3’s price to $400 last year. Yes, the PSP has also been successful and surely contributed to Sony’s profits, but the handheld device also received a price cut in 2007.
The PS3 lumbered like a diseased cow at first, and Sony faced losses of millions of dollars. The only thing that justifies an investment for a gamer is how much immediate enjoyment that he or she can get from the machine that they have spent hundreds of dollars on (this excludes raving fanboys / fangirls). That enjoyment is directly related to the games available for the console. We know that the PS3 didn’t have a single good exclusive when it launched (maybe Resistance: Fall of Man was that one good exclusive, but that’s a big maybe, and one that was blown out of the water by Gears of War pretty quickly). So Sony couldn’t have expected to sell it’s merchandise solely on the promise of future exclusive titles, but they did because they were insane.
Thankfully, things around the Sony compound are shaping up. I wonder if someone stopped taking the happy pills they were handing out over at SCE and realized that the company, who won the last console war, was knee-deep in crap. They even reduced the annual PS3 sales goal from the ridiculous 11 million units to the slightly less ridiculous goal of 9.5 million units.
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However, the company obviously hasn’t completely recovered from it’s tailspin into insanity. Sony is still trading on long term success, but at least now it is a gamble that isn’t a complete waste. According to Gamespot, Sony may actually make it’s 9.5 million goal with the upcoming releases of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Metal Gear Solid 4. However Rockstar and Konami, the games’ respective developers, are notorious for delays.
I’m hoping that they don’t live up to their reputation this time, not because I care about Sony’s success, but because I’ve been waiting for MGS4, so that I can finally make some sense of the MGS storyline.
Sony shouldn’t take these profits as a sign of victory, they have a long way to catch up and regain the gaming community’s vote of confidence. -- Elvis Ramirez