Is the PS3 really a failure?

After reigning king over the last two generations of console gaming, Sony has come under a lot of fire with the PS3. Many analysts and gamers have accused Sony of being arrogant and losing touch with the customers. Sony thought that fans would buy the PS3 – regardless of price – simply because of the Playstation name. It launched at a hefty sum of $599 – 33% more then the 360, and more then double the price of the Wii. Since the beginning, its been an uphill battle. The Wii has had amazing success, selling over 11 million consoles in a year, passing up even the 360. As for the 360, with the record breaking release of Halo 3, many are claiming the console wars are over, that the 360 is now the winner of the HD consoles. All that being said, is the PS3 really doomed to become a failure? Does it stand a chance? Surprisingly, while it may be down, it is not out.

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When comparing the sales numbers of the PS3 to PS2 and PS1(both the leaders in their generation of gaming) the PS3s numbers are not actually that far off from the PS2 and even surpass that of the PS1. For the first ten months of the PS1, 2, and 3, the PS3 sold roughly double the amount that PS1 sold. Compared to the PS2, the PS3 sold roughly the same, at some points around 20 weeks, it even sold more then the PS2! Low sales in the first year of Sony’s consoles seems to be nothing out of the norm.

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In comparison to the 360’s first 10 months of sales, once again, the PS3 is almost right on par with its main competitor. While the Wii obviously blows both the 360 and PS3 out of the water, the PS3 has remained roughly on par with the 360. It had a bit of a slower start then the 360, but right around the 18 week mark, it had a large jump. Since then, it has remained right on par with the 360.

Also, several comparisons can be made between the race with the 360/PS3 competition and the Dreamcast/PS2 competition. The Dreamcast had a large library of impressive games when the PS2 launched. The 360 also had an impressive library, with exclusives including Gears of War, Kameo, Viva Pinata, Project Gotham 3, Dead Rising, Saints Row, and Condemned, and many other A titles that would be ported to the PS3, albeit months later. The Dreamcast also enjoyed some initial success against the PS2, outselling it during its first holiday season, similar to the 360’s success now.

All this being said, there are a few conflicting facts that should be pointed out. Microsoft’s console receives virtually no attention in the 3rd largest video game market in the world – Japan. This would be a huge boost for Microsoft’s numbers. Also, the PS3 had a universal launch in Japan and North America, while the PS2 launched a half a year later in the US then in Japan, which effects the initial numbers some.

When it comes down to it, the main point is that the PS3 should not be underestimated. With the eminent price drop and a and impressive collection of games due out within the next 6 months, it would be ignorant to say the PS3 is dead. At this point, its definitely too early to begin proclaiming winners.

Due to the popularity of this article, I decided it was necessary to write a brief after word explaining the reason I wrote it. Thanks for viewing this article, and please be sure to check out the rest of the blog! – Excel, EXGN

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~ by exgn on October 8, 2007.

42 Responses to “Is the PS3 really a failure?”

  1. thats what i tell people. thanks for getting the graphs all together

  2. And that is why this is a race for many years. You have to open your eyes and realize and really think about it. PS3 released when? March or May worldwide? Forget 2007, Heck forget 2008? Even thow we have all of 2008. We still have all of 2009. We still have all of 2010. We still have 2011. And even some of 2012 and 2013. Forget the possibility of the PS3 catching momentum in 08. And lets face facts. Despite the fact that EAs “Micros fat Sakte developer partner, that everyone knows about” and other little ways Microsoft works. That tiny bit of blood drawn will look meaningless, when The east part of the world “King of gaming” releases 5 years of games. And to a system much more capable “and with rumble lol.” If you really think about it. Its not a question of if Sony will get Microsoft. Its just a question of when. Its has nothing to do with 2007 or 2008. Only 2012 and after.

  3. you are the man!!!! perfect way to explain what is happening!!!

  4. Open your eyes X-bots and minigamers (Wii fans), this is really whats going on not the smoke and mirrors that Micro bucks wants you to beileve. Now that Halo 3 is passed us, Peter Moore is with EA and BUngie said goodbye to Microsoft, I think it is safe to say that the best for the 360 is behind.

  5. […] the Ps3 really a failure? Over at the excel gaming network, they take a look at where the current ps3 sales are compared to the ps1 and ps2 sales in their respective […]

  6. The jump at 18 weeks is probably a result of the PS3 European launch, so it shows the 360 and PS3 are equal. Thats bad for Sony though, as the 360 had an installed base of about 25mill Xboxes whereas Sony has an installed base of 120 mill. You can see why Sony has revamped the spec to get a price reduction as quick as possible to cater to their installed base a little more.

  7. You Guys think Halo 3 was the only chance Xbox had to get an advantage?? well Halo 3 was just another steping stone, there are still a lot of games coming out that are exclusive like Mass Effect, Bioshock 2, Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Too Human and ofcourse also some of the PS3 exclusives like GTA4, Resident evil 5, Assassins Creed they are coming out on the Xbox 360 also, so it is not even close to say that the best of the 360 is behind, this is just the begining, so I suggest you go and get a 360 and enjoy great games.

  8. Interesting analysis, but I miss a graph showing the selling speed of Wii and 360 next to PSone and PS2. Doesn’t at least Wii outsell both of those last gen consoles as well? And if I might add: 360 has a healthy install base regardless of Wii (or PS3) so to say ‘the best is behind them’ is rather fanboyish. There will be tons of great games for Xbox.

  9. Though your stats seem on the up and up, you are leaving out one important data set and that is the potential number of possible customers.

    What I’m getting at is when the PS1 was released the gaming world was a much different (and still somewhat underground / hardcore) than it is today. The PS1 era catered to people just outgrowing kiddie Nintendo systems and wanted something a bit more mature. However, the potential audience was fairly limited in that gaming was not nearly the economic juggernaut it has grown into today.

    During the PS2 era gaming was becoming more mainstream. Potential customers now included frat boys who wanted sports games and shooters. During this era gaming also received allot of controversial press thanks in part to Grand Theft Auto which “helped” move gaming onto the mass media radar. The PS2 rode the beginning of the boom in gaming and since it was an established platform thanks to it’s predecessor (PS1) it was sure to dominate the market and peoples minds.

    Now that we are in the HD era and the potential customer base is substantially larger because it now reaches the general public and is no longer a niche form of entertainment, what we are seeing is not only the PS3 but also the X360 failing to reach a broader market than the PS2. This is troubling for both MS and Sony because each generation of console should “theoretically” outsell it’s predecessor, yet they aren’t.

    In MS favor is that if the X360 does as well as the PS2 than that’s a huge improvement over the original XBOX and will be seen by the media and market analysts as a success.

    Working against Sony is that the way a business is judged in the free market is that you must grow to be successful – think quarterly reports and that sort of thing. If a business invests a large chunk of it’s revenue from a previous product into a newer, better product the company must do more than match it’s previous sales results because anything less than 1% better than before is a loss for the company. In other words Sony will and is loosing money even though they are doing as well as the PS2.

    Market share is everything – not only in how much a company controls but how well that company can expand into new territory. MS has grown from it’s previous efforts and obviously Nintendo has found a wining formula but Sony has only been able to match previous results even though they have spent the most money this generation.

    If the PS3 was a success it would be doing better than it is and not just as good as the PS2. That is why the media and market analysts see the PS3 as a “failure” because technically it is right now.

  10. I’m not going to be a fanboy of any sort when commenting on this article. Here is what I see though. I always knew and agree that the PS3 was doing just as well as the 360 in it’s lifespan. If you look at VGGhartz.com the PS3 has sold almost half as what the 360 has sold in it’s 2 years on the Market.

    Now I think though that Sony is in a bit of trouble right now as unfortunatly their sights are more of selling the PS3 as a cheap Blu-ray player rather than a Videogame System. It has always been that way but I have just noticed it and it really bothers me. The fact is the way it should be is the PS3 is a videogame system with the added bonus of it also being a Blu-ray player but it is backwards with Sony trying to sell it as a cheap Blu-ray player and has the bonus of playing PS3 games. The one other thing is that Sony is flooding the Market with too many SKU’S. Now we had the 20GB & 60GB but now have the 40GB & 80GB and with the 40GB removing the Backwards Compatibility they are changing the Hardware Specs too much and are going to cause consumer confusion amoungst all. Luckly for me I got the 60GB when it dropped down to $500.00. Sony should have kept to their word with 1 SKU that being IMHO the 60GB in all territories and if people complained lower the Price simple as that!!! but NO I now even hear rumors of another SKU coming and only to Japan it is the 160GB PS3 with 2X HDMI Ports, 6 USB Ports & 3 Ethernet Ports/ If this is true then my faith in Sony is Lost.

    The 360’a problem seems to be now a lack of New Killer Ezclusive Software titles to come I can only think of 2 exclsive titles worth getting and that would be Mass Effect & Alan Wake. Now will just have to see where this all goes. Sony please get your head out of the Sand!!!!

  11. […] Posted in Computers at 10:31 am by pmatos Just to keep up with my last post subject I found out a great post on why PS3 is not dead. […]

  12. So when X-Box 3 comes out (I asume way before 2012) why would you buy old hat PS3? Wierd logic you have there Sentra!!

  13. Like the first commenter has said, it is not a matter of “if” it’s a matter of “When”. The only thing wrong with the PS3 was the price, which is now reasonable. The Xbox 360 has a world of problems, the most significant being it’s DVD drive, which puts it behind because of the Roms storage capacity. If Microsoft had put in Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drives as standard, 360 would have won the “war” because developers already like the ease of coding for a 360, and they would also have apparent limitless potential with their games because they wouldn’t have to squeeze Gears of War onto a 9gb disc. Might I also add that in the near future we’ll be seeing 200GB Blu-Ray discs – combined with texture streaming technology, and you’d be able to have 5 GTA IV’s on a single multi-layered disc. Microsoft – you can’t beat that, sorry.

  14. I would not say the PS3 is down. Just the very high price I would say trun some people off. I was set on PS3 till I found out how much it was. I have a 360 and to be honest I like it alot. The Live is just to good. I think however to say the best is behind the 360 is a bit premature. We still have Gears. Which I know all the PS3 people really want.

  15. I think the PS3 is getting heat, but it is expected. I also think that people who are underestimating the PS3 right now are simply undermining the capabilities of Sony. Keep in mind this is the same company that releases the Playstation 2, Playstation original, and countless other success in technology.

    And equally as important, they have managed to retain some great so far exclusive titles, and that, ultimately, is most important.

  16. Interesting figures, although I think there is something to be said for ‘getting in there early”

    The PS2 wasn’t the most technically advanced console of its generation, both the Xbox and Gamecube could boast better specs, but the PS2 had a head start on both of them. I can see parallels in the 360 as it was the first console of its generation, although its obviously not inferior to the Wii and there is some argument over how much more powerful the PS3 truly is over the 360.

  17. FINALLY a compitent blogger, thank you man, these are the points I bring constantly and no one remembers these facts. YOu my friend are doing a service for people who know the TRUTH. thanx again.

  18. FACT. The PS3 have some games so is not dead, nor a failure. Heavenly Sword, Haze, FFXIII, FFXIIIversus, Unreal Tournament III, Motorstorm, Resistance, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Gran Turismo 5, L.A. Noire, White Knight Story, Call of Duty 4, KillZone2, God of War 3, Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4, Warhawk, Tekken 6… just to name a few.

  19. Gear of War 2, Bishock 2? those games don’t even have a release date!

  20. I would like to know how much sony payed you to write this. Seems really onesided and fanboyish. Face it until sony puts out some major titles the system is dead in the water. Lets see how many people stand in a 6 hour line for one of their games.

  21. Good work – Link me up as im adding u to my links over at Gamecovered.com

  22. […] Is the Playstation really a failure […]

  23. The real problem for Sony is that the PS2 is still a great console (I still play it)and there still making games for it. The main reason people play sony consoles is the exclusives like final fantasy metal gear sold and god of war; all of wich dont have a ps3 game yet.

  24. I’m a pc gamer first console gamer second.All I have to say is. WHat the HELL kind of fanboy article is this?!?!?!?!?!?!?!2009?!?!?!?!
    In 2009 My nvidia or ATI card is going to blow the RSX out of the water, its already really hard making games like farcry2 for the PS3,hell they said it was hard making madden run 60fps, two years after EA got its dev kits. My new nvidia640mb card is already more powerful than the Xbox or PS3 512mb cards. And the PS3(wich I own)only has 256mb of specified ram. If it wern’t for the blueray palyer that it has, I would have sold it.Fact is sony dropped the ball. They thought the cell would not need a second CPU as backup and they were wrong.SPE’s don’t cut it.Specified Ram is good for setting a standard, but its bad for braking benchmarks. The fact is Nvidia gave them a good card with better textures than the Xbox’s ATI card and sony didn’t back them with the hardware,no backup CPU. Us sony fans(not fanboys)should take this to hart and make sony come up with a better console or make them think better about what HOME should be, and what the next PS should bring to gaming not Sony’s pocket. And while people are stuck with the PS3,(some because they have to,others are in denial)a lot of gamers like me haved moved on.I moved to PC because i don’t like MS,its bad that I have to pay them for my OS already. And because I put games in front of blind fanboyisms,I can enjoy FFgames,a better version of Gears of WAR,Bioshock,better version of UT3,better version of Call of Duty3&4,Farcry2,and the list goes on and on.I don’t care wich system sells more I care about wich one gives me the good games, not half assed games that don’t meet developer or industry standards. If the PS3 is so complicated that good games for it come in 2009? than the PS3 already lost. I wish we could buycott the PS3 make them give us a better console for the $600 we gave them,but everybody has Xbox or Wii and mayority of sony fans are fanboys that are so in love with the PS3 they won’t ask for a better console.Its a shame rally.Thats the truth people, deal with it.

  25. I happen to have a hardon for Japanese made games. I like american and euro games to, but I can go without Japanese developers. So far all the Japanese 360 titles have either sucked or have been geared to north america.

    So ive decided not to bother with the 360. I realized that it was the Japanese games that had me favoring my ps2.

    Also Gears Meh. Rare who cares. Lionhead mediocore. Bioware boring. Halo redundant. FPS’s oversaturated. I have an Old Xbox and games from all these developers, can couldn’t care less about them now. Im not that into tecmo either.

    Shadow of the colosus in HD is killer still. Im in love with that game again. Dragon Quest XIII awsome, forget blue dragon. Much of the ps2’s lineup still have the 360’s stumped in my books.

    Im looking forward to new Dragon quest, Final fantasy, metal gear, Ico team, GT games. The only 360 games im interested in are convently Multi platform. Orange box, assasines creed.

  26. sony game creators are having problems releasing new titles because of the blue ray disc space on the ps3. most creators do not know (yet) keep in mind the word yet. once the creators get the hang of it, the games from there on will be at 1080p. i would have bought a 360 instead of the ps3 but i do not wish to pay an extra free for every month for xbox live when sony will eventually have the same thing or even better. Yes, sony is behind with title releases but once they are out ( mg4, gta4, code 4, haze, ut3, and you cannot forget HOME ) then sony and microsoft and compare game sales or console sale. Sony is the future.

  27. i dont think so..
    it’s good !!! i really enjoy playing that gadget..

  28. So when X-Box 3 comes out (I asume way before 2012) why would you buy old hat PS3? Wierd logic you have there Sentra!!

    No his logic is good. The PS2 is still outselling the xbox360, same will happen when de next xbox is out, the PS3 will also be outselling the new xbox…….

  29. I think that both the 360 and PS3 are failures… just a personal opinion.

  30. Heavenly sword, haze, killzone 2, god of war, warhawk, resistance, home, FFX 13(two of them), Socom(two of them), metal gear solid 4, time crsis 4, uncharted Drakes…… I think you guys left out some exclusives 360 fans. Please know you infromation before you bash a system about its games. There is no doubt in my mind we will have surpassed 360 by the end of 08, probably in mid 08. As for wii, wii doesn’t sell as many games as 360 and ps3, so as far as revenue goes….ps3 will dominate.

  31. A very informative post. In will be interesting to see how Sony’s console will perform in sales when there is a price drop.

  32. You know about the calm before the storm, right?

    To anyone who doubts PS3’s unconceivable potential, PRAY! for a thunderstorm is about to unleash, and YOU, are NOT PREPARED!

  33. I do not believe that PS3 will be doomed. They shouldn’t under estimate Sony’s marketing strategy, as we all know they are the pioneers of most gadgets we use today. You’re right, it is too early to proclaim who is the winner among the Next generation consoles. I bet, 360 would have the same fate as the Dreamcast, the early bird doesn’t ALWAYS catch the early worm.

  34. why doesnt anyone ever bring up the point that all the xbox 360 exclusive titles can normally be found on pc. Gears of war, halo 3 (eventually), Bioshock, ut3, farcry & farcry 2, fable & fable 2 (eventually), world in conflict are all on pc with better graphics, smaller load times and better more versatile controls. The main reason i bought my ps3 is because i found with having both my xbox and ps2 most of the games i liked on xbox were on computer or coming out for computer, whereas with my ps2 the only place i could play those games was on my ps2. Not to mention at game launch the computer version’s are generally 10$ cheaper.

  35. For starters, i’m typing this on a PS3.
    Any chart that includes 360 sales probably includes the amount of 360s that were given away to angry customers whose original 360s broke (and that is a huge chunk, i know 15 people who bought 360s and only 1 person has not had his console break, and 3 of these people are on their third machines). another point is that sony was saying that the PS3 costs them $850 for each one produced, well when a 360 breaks 3 times, and each time they send a new one, it will probably cost microsoft more because of all the units they have given away without making a profit on. microsoft is probably only still able to make the 360 because it has money from it’s software. i’m sure that if they counted on the 360 and if it was their only product, they would be bust by now.
    bottom line, i like the ps3, and dont like the 360 (or pretty much anything that microsoft has done).

  36. sorry to make 2 posts but i ran out of space in my other post
    i think that the wii would have been the king of the consoles if it had been released 5 years ago. it would have beaten the ps2 and the xbox hands down, but nintendo was too slow and now they are pedalling last gen merchandise. the wii is good and fun to play, but it isnt really a games console, it’s something that your mother would see and think “that looks fun, and little timmy was wanting one of those games console things, he will be so happy when i get this for him” but then little timmy gets his console and says “thanks gran” (which would be the same reply as if he had recieved socks). in 2 years or so, when the 360 and ps3 have some incredibly good games, people will look back at the wii and think “what were those nintendo nuts doing?” just as we have done for the gamecube.
    bottom line, i like the wii, but it really is just a 50 year old who thinks that he is still hip.

  37. 2.0 POSSIBLY COMES OUT IN EARLY NOVEMBER. ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS (HOME) ! AND DID ANYONE READ UP ON THE SEQUEL TO RESISTANCE WITH ADDED VEHICLES AND AIR CRAFT ???

  38. has anyone pre ordered Call of Duty 4 ? look for me on the playstation network im “winzlow” im a really huge fan of action games

  39. Sony Fanboys-In Denial-Kutaragi told me to work harder

    They want to believe their hard earned 600 dollars was worth it, they’ll defend sony to the death, or at least till a new game is out.
    a TV Spot for every game? I guess when theres only 1 per quarter you have to let the general public know about it

    I cant remember the last time a game saved any console

    I have 2 broken 360s, I’ve installed linux on a PS3, CONSOLES suck period

    PC Gaming is and always will be supreme, no console can compete with a quadcore q6600 OC’ed to 4ghz with dual 8800GTXs in sli

    Next time you think you’re hardcore with your PS3 or 360, rememeber that PC gaming rigs easily break the 5K mark to stay cutting edge. We modify & config & write scripts & change texture settings & all kinds of tweaks to make it better/faster/stronger/harder than simply putting in the disc & playing for 8 hours straight

    I used to run, jump over you rocket jump off the back of your skull, grapple to the ceiling & punch a key to auto taunt you about the rocket I just forcefed you. Can you do that on a console? betcha never even imagined it

    I’m a PC Fanboy & we > than you all

  40. A console gamer, accepts the game as it is presented to him – maybe changes his gamma

    A PC Gamer, modifies the game into the maximum experience of his hardwares capability. TRUE

  41. Sales figures and statistics are good for discussion and debate but when it comes right down to it, if you can play great games, great movies, connect with friends for games and chats, well we all win don’t we?

    With the parameters I have listed, both consoles are worth the adoption of next gen consoles. Much has happened since the uncertainty of the pre-PS3-360-is-out-already-and-winning arguments of last year.

    Blu Ray over HD DVD and I still feel that just saying “Blu Ray” over “HD DVD” may have had an unwelcome side effect on consumers because it always comes down to the consumer and I as an adopter of the PS3 am very happy with my console.

    Sales have improved with MGS4, SKU’s have been all over the place trying to figure out where if at all Backwards Compatibility fits and given the higher cost of living these days (I borrow a cup of gas? LOL) it makes sense that Sony try to accommodate all of their customers.

    Console Exclusive games may be on the way out as far as Sony goes but I don’t see that as a bad thing. As gamers we all win.

    I am actually visiting my inlaws this week and taking my console with me, and router and perhaps even my PS Eye but I don’t want to miss out on any gaming or the friends that I have made while gaming online.

  42. Lets not forget that microsoft basically gave the finger to sony by announcing that FF 13 would be avilable on the 360

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