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Jack Tretton is unconcerned about PS3 sales

Any product compared to the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii is bound to feel some form of inadequacy. Yet, SCEA's Jack Tretton says he is "unconcerned" about the latest PS3 sales figures, despite the fact that every PS3 sold loses money and in comparison, the PS3 is still in third place. Mr. Tretton goes on to solidify his confidence in the PS3's abilities by saying, "we're into this for the next 10 years and beyond. A million units one way or another at this point isn't going to worry us."

Mr. Tretton isn't alone in his convictions. Just last week, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachtor believed the PS3 will be the victor of the current console race, due to it's integrated Blu-Ray player. Will Blu-Ray prove be the victor in the next-gen HD format? Early predictors on sales might indicate so, but we feel our trusty magic eight ball sums it up best. Ask again later.

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(Page 1)

1. Blu Ray Will NOT be the deciding factor.

DVD playback will... hmm, no I mean, CD playback? hmmm. no

what the hell can Wii play? ;)

Posted at 12:18PM on May 14th 2007 by kingofwale

2. With the trend moving towards downloadable video... I don't think Blu Ray is the great hope everybody thinks it will be. I for one am a dedicated user of XboxLive Video Marketplace and passed on the HD DVD player because of that service. Now with Apple following suit, and you better believe other companies will come out with similar hardware, I think these players won't be as popular as the regular DVD hardware generation has been.

Posted at 12:41PM on May 14th 2007 by Frosty

3. I dont know why they even bother asking these high execs about these questions... Are they going to say they are concerned even if they are? NO! It will affect shareholders and others if they say they are worried about the numbers. Its just a stupid question.

Posted at 12:42PM on May 14th 2007 by shase

4. >With the trend moving towards downloadable video...

hmmm, downloadable video with DRM?

no thanks, I RATHER go back to DVD.

Posted at 12:43PM on May 14th 2007 by kingofwale

5. kingofwale:

As consumers go, I would probably place you in the minority as most people dont care or dont know about DRM (for better or worse). I'm not defending DRM, I'm just being a realist.

Posted at 12:47PM on May 14th 2007 by Frosty

6. Bandwidth is eons away from being able to truly deliver film length HD video. Downloading should equal instant access. If I have to wait overnight, I'd rather just drive to the store and grab a disc.

Blu-ray won't be a factor now, but in the years to come perhaps. Remember, MILLIONS of people will not buy next gen consoles anywhere near these prices, be it 400 or 600. They will wait until they really start competing with mass market pricing. Large screen HD TVs keep dropping in price.

You won't see Sony start to worry until the other two start to cut into there ps2 lead anyway.

Posted at 12:52PM on May 14th 2007 by TK00

7. When people talk about Blu Ray on the PS3 being a big factor in it's success, do they mean the movie player, or the fact that it is the only system that uses a next-gen storage format for games? It seems like a lot of people seem to forget or ignore the fact that the PS3 doesn't only use Blu Ray for movies, but also for games.

Posted at 12:53PM on May 14th 2007 by Vincent060

8. EDIT: I realize that high bandwidth options exist, eg FIOS. The fact is we are eons away from : (a). availability to the masses (b) pricing that makes it appeal to the masses.

There is so much corruption in U.S. telcos, I can't see this changing for a long time.

Posted at 12:56PM on May 14th 2007 by TK00

9. It's still way too early for Sony to split hairs about console sales. They've got a solid line up of software due before Christmas, and a killer app too. (Home) If the PS3 was selling more than 360 or Wii right now I would be surprised. Despite being a solid system with tons of promise, I don't see too many reasons for dedicated gamers (read:consumers not interested in high def movies) to run out and purchase the PS3. There's enough games out there to satisfy the appetite of early adopters like myself who have plenty of faith in Sony and their hardware but not enough to draw in the skeptics. Heck, the $600 price doesn't help either.

The Wii draws a larger audience and with a $250 pricetag, it should sell like hotcakes. Wii hardware and peripherals sell like crazy, but the games, not so much. I'm curious to see if it can sell half as well as it is now in a year.

The 360 on the other hand has been out for a year longer than the PS3, and most of their services are implemented in addition to them having a year start on game library. In addition to having a $400 pricetag, it's a good immediate buy. Right now, PS3 isn't a huge competitor to the 360, but once the PS3 gets love this Fall from games and apps, it will be interesting to see what happens.

In summary, the PS3 has no reason to be leading sales right now. Tons of opportunity but not all of it has been realized quite yet. Sony is committed to their product, and I think that will become very evident in the next 6 months. In addition, if Sony manages a pricedrop due to decreased costs, sales would likely increase spectacularly. Just look at what the $30 price drop did to the PSP.

Posted at 12:57PM on May 14th 2007 by Taylor B

10. I don't think you will see the same huge growth in Digital Video download that you have seen in music when it comes to movies. For music there is a monetary incentive...I can purchase 1 or 2 tracks that I like instead of a whole album and save myself $10.

With video (movies) it isn't the same...I buy the whole movie or not, there is no in between and right now there is no cost benefit. Unless there is a serious difference in cost I would think the majority of people will go for physical media.

Digital Video will be better suited to rental of movies or to individual TV series...and when this comes Sony is well positioned with launcher and their back catalogue of video and TV series. All playable on the PSP/Computer/and PS3.

Posted at 12:58PM on May 14th 2007 by Kspraydad

11. "Bandwidth is eons away from being able to truly deliver film length HD video."

Really? What about fios? It's available to some now and has 5x the bandwidth needed to delivery 720p or 1080i HD content.

And that's assuming MPEG-2 -- switch to MPEG-4 for HD content and you'd cut the bandwidth requirements down by a factor of five, making it possible to stream HD content on many 'standard' cable or DSL home connections today.

Of course Tretton claims he's unconcerned. What's he supposed to say? "We had a colossal blunder and sales are well south of our most conservative estimates." Sure, that's the truth, and sure, Sony is terrified by their recent sales figures, which are wretched. Selling 1/8th as many units as the competition in Japan isn't a place you want to be in. That's where there is the most developer perception.

Sony is in a bad spot right now -- dropping the PS3's price $100 is likely to be insufficiently effective. Dropping more is simply too costly.

Posted at 12:58PM on May 14th 2007 by thebigfatj

12. hmmm, most people don't care about DRM because they don't KNOW what DRM is.

of course, you won't know until it BREAKS on you and you find out the music you PAID for on Itune won't play anywhere else. And then they get mad and angry.

ignorance doesn't mean they won't care. If you want to make downloadable content the next big thing, DRM has GOT to improve in a major way. If it stays like it is, it will NEVER catch on.

and like other said, bandwidth, savviness of consumer will also slow down the process for at least next 10 years.

Posted at 1:01PM on May 14th 2007 by kingofwale

13. Vincent that point is moot as every multiplatform developer will be developing games for the lowest common denominator - which would be 4.7GB. The only real exception here would be platform exclusives.

and TK00... define eons? Because high definition playback in 720p is already possible through most cable providers. Granted this is not 1080p, but if they can stream a 5 gb movie today, a 20-30GB movie is not too far off. For my Xbox, I just have to wait for two hours right now before I can play a hi def movie, and that is because I am cheap and only have 3mbps download rate through my cable provider (I can upgrade up to 10mbps for extra $$$). Is it the most practicle to download at the moment? Maybe not, but I imagine it won't be "eons" as you suggest.

Posted at 1:02PM on May 14th 2007 by Frosty

14. That's funny. The mere mention of Wii throws kingofwale into a fit of madness. As for the topic at hand, I think the man from the GDA said it best.
Although analysts argue that the PS3 is destined to be a late-bloomer, Kyoshi Shin with the International Game Developers Association in Japan reportedly said that developers in the meantime losing interest in the PS3 and shifting focus to the Nintendo Wii.

"When people talk about the PS3 on chat forums, they say it's like going to a very expensive restaurant and not getting anything to eat," said Shin.
You can completely ignore the "Nintendo Wii" part if you'd like. Shin makes a valid point. In fact, its a point I think we've all heard a few times. The PS3 is in a race against the clock.

From a consumer standpoint, as evident by sales, the mass market isn't ready for even a $400 console. And until Blu-ray wins (if it wins), not very many people are going to care about the format.

From a developer standpoint, as evident by support, they're only as good as the technology that exists. The 360 and Wii, while upgrades from the past generation, are merely the evolution of older tech (moreso the 360). Cell is very new, and quite untapped. That being said, I think anyone with an unbias view of the situation can predict what will happen in the next 10 years. People will get progressively better in working on the PS3, only to have it overshadowed by the next evolutionary step of the current tech that's been available for years.

The PS3 isn't likely to be relevant when the next set of consoles come out.

Posted at 1:48PM on May 14th 2007 by Next-Gen-Gamer

15. The main problem I see with downloads is the feeling of owning something or not; when I buy a dvd or bluray, I have a disc that I can do what I want with. It's different for music, because when I download a song, it's small enough I can make a copy on another harddrive, and I have the options to burn it to disc, load it to my ipods, psp... until movies have that convenience and ease of use/transfer, they won't be a downloadable commodity for the average user.
Another concern I have now is that if I downloaded a HD version of every movie I own, it would be too large to keep my collection on harddrives—even though I have over 1.5 TB of storage at home myself, much more than the average person. My ps3 only has 60gb, and if I were to buy an elite today, it only has 120gb. By the time I put games, movies, music, program information... not much space left for movies that are 1080p, or even 720p. I don't want to have to be concerned with deleting a file from my collection. When I run out of shelf space, I don't have to throw another movie or game in the garbage.
Over the next few years downloadable titles may work for rentals, but it would seem that pay per view, and even traditional physical rental services, haven't had enough effect on the buying market to make DVD sales anything close to obsolete. TV shows may have better luck since they can come to market through download services much more quickly than movies do.
In the future, when storage space, back-up files and everything along those lines are no longer a concern, not to mention internet speeds for the average user increase, downloadable content will be a viable contender to replace optical formats. But that is definitely some time off, and shouldn't have an appreciable affect on the physical goods market for a long time.

Posted at 1:48PM on May 14th 2007 by mccomber

16. "The PS3 isn't likely to be relevant when the next set of consoles come out."

That's sort of like saying the ps2 isn't relevant now, isn't it? From a sales standpoint, it would seem it's still the biggest competitor to the three new consoles. Hell, it had one of it's biggest titles launch about 6 months after the ps3/wii were available, and still has a couple of big titles coming out in the next few months.

Posted at 1:52PM on May 14th 2007 by mccomber

17. I am so sick and tired of this downloadable video content being the future bull. Yes it *may* be the future... in 20 years. But the problem with it happening any time soon? Downloading video content over the PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and whatever else, it doesn't matter... the problem with it is connection speed.

The average home that even has DSL to begin with, has 1+Mbps connection. My DSL is 5Mbps on a great day, but it's closer to 1.5 every other day. Do you know how long it would take me to download any kind of HD movie content on that kind of connection? Days, possibly weeks if we're talking 50+GB Blu-ray level content. THAT'S the problem with the solid formats being replaced by downloadable content argument.

Maybe in 10 - 20 years when 100Mbps connections are a staple for internet providers this could be an option, but right now? Or any time soon, for that matter? No. And again, why? Because at the end of the day internet systems would have to be completely overhauled to offer that kind of a connection. And providers are far too cheap, on the whole, to do that.

Posted at 2:21PM on May 14th 2007 by Champloo

18. "That's sort of like saying the ps2 isn't relevant now, isn't it? From a sales standpoint, it would seem it's still the biggest competitor to the three new consoles."

Of course the PS2 is relevant now. It was the winning console, so it gets to stick around another good year, and slowly dwindle away, before truly being put out to pasture.
Just like with the PS1, SNES and NES before it.

The only way the PS3 is going to be relevant when the next round of consoles drop is if it's the leader, as far as install base is concerned. Otherwise, it'll be as relevant as the Gamecube is today.

Posted at 2:59PM on May 14th 2007 by samfish

19. give it a year or two when the installation rate of hdtv's is much higher than it is right now. and when people notice how shitty their dvd's look on their new tv's.... theyll be running to bluray.

Posted at 3:03PM on May 14th 2007 by daniel.

20. "That's sort of like saying the ps2 isn't relevant now, isn't it?" Last time I checked, the PS2 and the PS3 are in completely different situations.

"From a sales standpoint, it would seem it's still the biggest competitor to the three new consoles. Hell, it had one of it's biggest titles launch about 6 months after the ps3/wii were available, and still has a couple of big titles coming out in the next few months."

Which adds to the ever-growing list of reasons the PS3 isn't going to be relevant in 10 years. Its still being cannibalized by the PS2.

"The only way the PS3 is going to be relevant when the next round of consoles drop is if it's the leader, as far as install base is concerned. Otherwise, it'll be as relevant as the Gamecube is today."


Posted at 3:41PM on May 14th 2007 by Next-Gen-Gamer

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