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Why are PS3's sitting on shelves? Well, duh... [update 1]

With the age of blogs and instantaneous news upon us, we want our information brief, quick, and to the point. Fast. Instantly, even. So when news pops up of any system, not just the PS3, sitting on shelves, it's so easy to aim our crosshairs at the news and say "har, har, failure... headshot, checkmate, doomsday" etc, etc. Well, here's a pretty good way to look at the reasoning behind why PS3's are sitting on shelves in some areas (still can't find any).

First off, the holiday shortages, wrought by blue laser diode production issues as well as the large amount of eBay hunters trying to snag huge profits (and some did). There simply weren't many to go around from November 17th to December 17th. What does this portend? Well, most holiday shopping is done between those times and since the PS3 was difficult to come by, many shoppers settled for the other systems. Namely, the 360 (since the Wii was also hard to find, but not due to actual shortages).

Secondly, after the holidays (we mean Christmas), PS3 production was ramped up. This would normally be good, but since the holidays just ended, people are recouping their funds, paying off that debt from holiday shopping, you know? Even if they see a PS3, they've no reason to slap down $600 or $500 for one -- there's no holiday to buy it for. It's also an irrational personal purchase at the time. January and February are historically slow sales months -- there's a reason hardly any games come out during this time.

Third, and most regrettable, is the severe lack of games for now. Since launch, there's been practically nothing on the PS3 front, hell, even the PS2 front is lacking in titles (but there are still a few goodies on the horizon!). Sony's probably going to pull out all the stops for the European launch. Tons of new titles all at once.

Hopefully this incites a little debate over why PS3's are sitting on some store shelves, but in all honestly, I truly believe these are the reasons why. It isn't because "Sony sucks" or "the PS3 is expensive" (partly true, but this reason is directly correlated to the time of year -- post-holiday), it's the reasons above. The next holiday season, when all systems are in ample supply, we'll see how that goes. Maybe it'll be different. Maybe not.

[update: Apparently the picture came from Kotaku, but we didn't get it from there. Whatever, credit is credit.]

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(Page 1)

1. Well, I don't know if it matters or not, but you know that warning when you do a backup stating that copy-protected files may not be recovered? That includes save games. Some retard at EA figured it would be a good idea to copy-protect the Need For Speed:Carbon saves so you can't copy them to a USB drive for backup and needless to say I'm working up the ambition to redo all those races (I was one race from career completion waiting to finish that one race for all gold challenges and my Rhino unlock..grr!)

Anyone out there that has NFS:Carbon (the only game I've seen do this) make sure your done playing it before you reformat! Stupid EA.

More on topic though...I think if you do find supply (I haven't seen another one in this area recently) it's probably a combination of your theory and the fact that Sony is shipping TONS of them to the US in what I would consider to be a groundbreaking achievement as far as production of high end electronic equipment is concerned. (Notice how I noted "high end production" so the Wiitards can't come back on me... oh, here they come...)

Posted at 1:52PM on Jan 9th 2007 by Andir2.0

2. the ones who wern't thinking this were the ones who want to kick sony for no good reason.

we'll see how things shake out in 9-18 months

Posted at 1:55PM on Jan 9th 2007 by alienclay

3. Personally, I think it is great the Sony is now getting the product out to stores in such high quantities. Now the whole world (at least north america) can enjoy the crunchy-chewy goodness that is the PS3.

But seriously, the PS3 is not the only system I see on store shelves. I have been seeing the Wii in excess supply almost since it has come out and as always tons of 360's on the shelves.

Is this to say all systems are failures? Is the PC going to retake the gaming market? Are flying monkeys going to steal my SIXAXIS?

No, but I agree money is tight this time of year, and unless someone got an IOU for the PS3 it probably has to wait a month or so.

Now that we have PS3's we just need PS3 games to play on them. Yes I love FFXII but cannot wait until Oblivion ships.

Posted at 2:17PM on Jan 9th 2007 by Regrezz

4. thanks for the warning, i was planing on upgrading my harddrive soon to a larger one to get ahead of stuff like this. i wonder if my downloaded games will take one off my "5 system" limit.
they should make the saves link to the specific ps3 serial number so you can move that file around but only use it on the originating ps3.

and nickyD, thanks for putting out what many an opposing wii60 fanboy would neglect to think in their blind sony bashing.

Posted at 2:31PM on Jan 9th 2007 by alienclay

5. Couldn't have said it better myself. I live in Houston Texas and cannot find a single unit-- not even a 20gb.

Friday I saw 2 60gb units at a local Target and as I called my friend to tell him I noticed the people standing next to me were already on their cellphones asking whoever was on the line if they wanted them to pick an "extra" one up for them.(as if you can buy more than one unit at a time...) Swung by Target yesterday after work(no, it's not walmart) and they were gone. I did however see several games out of stock plus a few empty slots for games about to release like Sonic.

Sure, this is Houston, but there are still a lot of people that don't even know the SIXAXIS has motion control, or that the online is free, or that there are a ton of good games planned for it. Sony needs to rework the way they are marketing the PS3 so that the average consumer can see the full picture.

-UPDATE THE DAMN KIOSKS REGULARLY- with demos that feature motion control. Hell, even throw in some demos that only the kiosks get like a small tech demo of Warhawk.
-Alter the kiosks to allow consumers to try out the motion control. Most people I see in Gamestops don't even notice the Wii until they overhear someone giving their ID to the clerks to get the Wiimote. A lot of people may find out that PS3 has motion control but won't really give a crap if they can't try it, but CAN try the Wiimote...
-Move away from the minimalistic PS3 commercials and actually SAY what is going on, like "motion control in SIXAXIS" or something. Some people find them too artsy and abstract.
-Try and push the multimedia center features more. I would even go as far as putting PS3 adverts in the multimedia sections of retail outlets so they know that PS3 is one of their options.
-Finally, put videos on the PS3 kiosks that explain, advertise, and sell consumers on ALL of the PS3's features. The unplayable Wii units at Target just play videos explaining the Wii in a comprehensive manner. A lot of consumers may need this hand-holding.

Posted at 2:31PM on Jan 9th 2007 by OrganicShadow

6. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070108-8574.html

ArsTechnica has a good article on the topic. They took a local survey of a bunch of stores in that area.

I think clearly the PS3 is way too expensive for most people now that the hardcore fans already have theirs. And it's starting to show that a solid year of being shat on by the media, blogs, fans and not-so fans has had a huge effect on PS3 brand.

Not to mention a really crappy set of games compared to the 360 and Wii...a crappy controller...and the true fallout of not having Rumble starting to pan out (ie. no forcefeedback steering wheels for PS3). Oh and I forgot to mention the problem with Blu-Ray movies and 720p or the issue with games playing at 1080i or 1080p if the are designed for 720p.

With all of the above Sony has put off all sorts of potential customers.

Posted at 2:32PM on Jan 9th 2007 by poseidon

7. Well, I can't afford one. I'm getting a Wii when I can afford it and a 360! I call Wal-Mart, Gamestop, and Target constantly and either the Wii's that came in are gone or they don't know how many more/when they'll be coming in. Considering the 360 is goin to get some decent ports of PS3 titles, I'm in NO rush to save up and spend th SIX plus!

Posted at 2:41PM on Jan 9th 2007 by JudasBarron

8. I must say good points, but in all fairness your second reason is pretty flimsy. Over a year ago when the 360 launched there was 0 on the shelves until feb/march. And while it is $100 cheaper than the PS3, it is still a lot of cash to shell out.

I think the reason is pretty simple, as you said there are practically no good games out for it, and there are very few out in the near future. That is reason enough not to slap down a good chunk of change.

Posted at 3:02PM on Jan 9th 2007 by KingKaid

9. @6
Actually at the moment the 360 is the lead development platform for multiformat games (call of duty 3, Tony Hawks 8) and appears it will be unless the PS3 out sells it so it is the PS3 getting the naff ports and not vice versa.

Also because the multiformat games at the moment are just ports they will not take full advantage of the PS3 though they will be of the 360 thus decreasingthe PS3's power advantage to Joe Public. Only 1st and 2nd party games (and the odd exclusive) will use the whole power of the machine but will they be worth the extra money the PS3 costs you over the 360? That is the question.

Posted at 3:12PM on Jan 9th 2007 by Meep UK

10. It's dishonest of the editor to shrug off the high price of the PS3 as if it's not a big reason for them selling poorly. It is a huge reason, combined with lack of production and poor game lineup, for the console not selling well. When your primary audience is teenagers who rely on their parents to provide them with things like this and their parents say things like "he wants a ps3, but they're just too expensive", (I've been told this specifically at least 15 times), you can't pretend that price doesn't matter.

To make matters worse, the kids that were hyped for a ps3, are losing interest as well because they see the games that are out there and they aren't stupid. They know that there isn't a single game available today to justify dropping $600+ for the system. As the weeks go by with no new good games on the market, their interest wanes. It's made even worse when their friends are talking about the cool Wii or 360 games they just got.

Sony SCREWED UP from day 1 on this console. Is it technically a good system? of course... Could they have done just as well with other, less difficult to get hardware? ABSOLUTELY. They were oblivious to the market they were playing in and as of today they are playing from last place. They will continue to play from that position for quite a while too.

Posted at 3:32PM on Jan 9th 2007 by jsn

11. "(since the Wii was also hard to find, but not due to actual shortages)."

I hate to nit pick you arguement since it was an interesting read, but what do you mean by this? The demand was greater than the supply so some people did not get one. That seems like an "actual shortage."

Posted at 3:42PM on Jan 9th 2007 by Gnizmo

12. "have been seeing the Wii in excess supply almost since it has come out and as always tons of 360's on the shelves. "

Your area should trade with my area. All I can find is PS3's, but I don't want one yet.

The obvious counter-argument (which can easily be countered) is that Xbox 360's at this time last year were still hard to come by. However, I don't believe they produced as many as Sony is respectively.

Posted at 3:51PM on Jan 9th 2007 by SuicideNinja

13. @ Gnizmo -- you're right, "(since the Wii was also hard to find, but not due to actual shortages)" sounds sort of ambiguous. What I meant by "actual shortages" was in the production side of things -- there was no shortage in the production of Wii's, unlike the initial month after the PS3's launch. I hope that makes more sense!

Posted at 4:12PM on Jan 9th 2007 by ndoerr

14. Some of my mates are talking about 360, doesnt mean I'm gonna be the next fool to run out and buy it, that statement needs to die already, you buy what you like, not what your mates like, if thats the case, then you're just a follower.

If I don't want 360 or Wii, no matter what mates say, I won't buy them, and visa versa.

I am already expecting a few titles I enjoyed on PS2 to show thier faces soon, and then that will be enough pursuasion to buy. I never buy what my mates buy, I always buy the opposite, gives me more to argue and discuss about.

While American's are no where near short on supply, we English are demanding we get ours FOR CHRIST SAKE, IF THE AMERICANS DONT WANT IT, SEND THEM OVER HERE, WE'LL MAKE BETTER USE OF EM! Why do we have to wait till March while some Americans have it right there infront of them and don't want or need it, don't you realise there are people in this country squelling out for one SONY! Damn you, lol.

Posted at 5:09PM on Jan 9th 2007 by Pulse

15. 12. #9

Bravo!!! Best response yet!!

Also to some of the other responders, Toys r Us, Microcenter and a few other places had $100 off specials for the Premium, bring the price to $299, half that of the 60 gig PS3 version. Add to that the $40 off coupon at CC and I got the HD DVD addon (IMO better than Blu-ray) for $149 which would put the total at $450, $150-$200 cheaper (add $60 for an HDMI cable for the lacking PS3) and that is a huge difference. I know about 10 people who took advantage of these deals and were able to spend the $150-200 saved for Gears of War AND the 360 Force Feedback (another thing Sony PS3 can't do) steering wheel. Considering these were Sony loyalists, this is a loss for Sony.

I don't see any discounts for PS3, why? $600 worth of reasons why! Sorry POS3 fan boys, you don't have much to hope for until next holiday, that's if Sony can compete with the 360 price drop (which it can't, and Microsoft is already profitable as it currently stands!)! Oh, did I mention lack of games?!

Posted at 3:47PM on Jan 9th 2007 by Paul R 0 stars

i think you wandered into the wrong site mate...
or are you just a nasty bit of trolling baiting scum?...
methinks the latter my friend...

Posted at 5:13PM on Jan 9th 2007 by seedaripper

16. 360's were still hot at this time when it came out, till like February they were still hard to find anywhere you went......

Posted at 5:24PM on Jan 9th 2007 by FattyX

17. nice post nick. i think it makes a lot of sense. i just get so tired of reading all of these ridiculous posts from folks bashing sony and predicting all sorts of doom and gloom. the PS2 is still the biggest seller out there game wise. so when it comes time for all of these ps2 owners to jump on to the next-gen bandwagon, do we really think that they're all going to just go to a different console just because the PS3 is too expensive? i personally think that they'll see the backwards compatibility as an asset to the PS3 and equate it as definite value. but the point is, making crazy predictions at this point is rather baseless. we won't know much until a year from now.

with the growth of videogame industry as it is, i truly believe that there's room for more than one "winner". as an owner of all 3 next-gen consoles, i'm starting to truly buy-in to the marketing put down by nintendo that the Wii isn't competing against the 360 and the PS3, rather it exists in a different sub-segment of videogaming than the other two. why? because the best games for the Wii won't relate well to being really good games on the PS3 and 360 (and vice-versa).

its going to be a very slow january and february for all of the consoles, but there are going to be some killer games coming out for all 3 this year. so lets give it a year and see how things go.

Posted at 5:29PM on Jan 9th 2007 by kdo

18. FattyX said: "360's were still hot at this time when it came out, till like February they were still hard to find anywhere you went......"

there's a reason for that. microsoft was having serious production issues for several months that severely affected the number of consoles they could produce. the reason why it was hard to find them on shelves until March '06 wasn't because of high demand, but because of extremely low supply. there was demand for it, but it wasn't as big as you think.

Sony did have production issues, but they seem to have gotten past them already.

Posted at 5:35PM on Jan 9th 2007 by kdo

19. Thing is, at this point whatever Sony does, it'll be seen in a negative way by people who just love to bash Sony. If these people stumble into a Walmart and see no PS3's on the shelf, they run home and jump online to talk about how Sony sucks because it can't produce enough units to meet the demand. If these same people see PS3s in-stock at Walmart, then they run home and jump online and talk about how no one is buying the PS3 and so they suck...

Around here I don't see the PS3 in stock at places like Best Buy, but I do see them in stock at Walmart. And I think this has to do with the price and the respective customer base. I actually bought mine at Walmart and the checkout lady was all freaked out because I was spending 'so much money'... Spending $600 in a Best Buy is nothing, though...

Posted at 7:08PM on Jan 9th 2007 by DC

20. So Nick, why was the Xbox 360 still hard to find after Christmas last year?

Posted at 7:34PM on Jan 9th 2007 by Adam

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