Business, Hardware

PS3 short term sales show promising trend for Sony

About three weeks ago, Sony had announced that they were releasing a new PS3. This new PS3 was to be more "green" and it would also be slimmer, hence the slim PS3 name that had been attached to it. This new PS3 did not only come thinner than its predecessor, but it was also a good $100 cheaper. These price changes put the PS3 in the same league as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and made it more competitive with other consoles simply because it wasn’t so much more expensive. As a simple rule of economics, when you lower the price, $100 or 25% in Sony’s case, you increase the access to consumers because in modern economics – the lower the price the bigger the market there is for the product.

Now that we’ve got some background, we can get to the real news. There have been recent reports that the Sony PS3 had seen a boost of 999% in places like the U.K. UK is usually a good indicator since prices are usually higher than in the rest of the world, and market leadership in UK usually means you’re positioned well for the rest of the world.

In addition to that, when we hear numbers like that, we begin to wonder? did sales reach a new high? Or were sales really in that bad of a slump? Judging by the data coming from ChartTrack, the PS3 managed to beat the Xbox 360, Wii and DS Lite by a margin of about 3 to 1. While this sounds impressive, it’s really quite a pointless number in the grand scheme of things simply because short term sales won’t change anything. Sony really needs prolonged levels of high sales considering how many consecutive quarters they’ve been posting losses and how much they’ve been losing on the PS3. Gran Turismo 5 will be a key title for the console and the final push before Microsoft strikes with its Xbox Natal console.

As one can imagine, such a story has generated quite a few waves throughout the console and gaming community. But the biggest problem for such a move by Sony is the fact that Microsoft had also dropped the price of their consoles from 399 to 299 for the Elite and from 299 to 249 for the Pro. Mind you that the Pro will eventually be phased out in favor of having a 199 arcade and a 299 elite product line-up. So, while the initial news appears to be promising for Sony, they’re far from home free considering that Microsoft had just done a price cut right on the heels of Sony’s.

UPDATE Sept 8th, 2009, 06:03AM GMT – the ChartTrack site is currently down, probably due to extraordinary demand.