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Eidos believes in PS3, wants price cut

Eidos Chairman Tim Ryan believes the PS3 will live up to its potential. He said so in a written statement that was presented to Eidos' parent company SCi recently, but Ryan, along with many others, thinks Sony must drop the PS3's price before it can be all it can be.

"The board continues to believe in the long-term commercial success of PlayStation 3 but believes this may take more time than originally forecast by Sony," he wrote. "The board is of the opinion that the key driver to the acceleration of the installed base of PlayStation 3 will be a further hardware price cut."

We're not sure if Ryan got the memo, but Sony has plans to release a more wallet-friendly PS3 in the coming months. But could Ryan be mudslinging to redirect some of the blame he and his company is receiving after reporting a $60 million fiscal year loss? Ouch!

Sony still looking for Home producers

Those that have been following the development of Home should not find it surprising that the ambitious online program was delayed to next year. Troubling signs from the beta suggested that the project simply wasn't moving as quickly as it should. Even more telling, a quick look through Gamasutra reveals that there's still a crucial job opening specifically for Home has still been unfilled.

The Home Content Producer will be responsible for:
  • Developing content strategies for Home to achieve Home business objectives.
  • Coordinate development efforts of Home content.
  • Act as a liaison between first and third party game publishers/advertisers and external developers of Home content.
It appears that this is a serious position that is crucial to the development of Home. It's interesting to note that not only is Sony concerned about getting the service out to the masses, but is focused on getting third party content (including advertising) into the platform. Qualified individuals can apply for the job here.

Consumer price ceiling may be causing PS3 sales slump

According to Tech Analyst Tim Bajarin (with Creative Strategies), people set a price ceiling of $399 for new electronic items and anything above that ceiling will not only get infested with rats (damned crawlspaces), but won't be able to sell in volume. They cite the iPhone as a suffrant of this concept as well as the PlayStation 3. No, suffrant isn't a word, but it should be. It's a new way of saying "one afflicted by suffering" or something. This price ceiling isn't end-all, that is, televisions and computers are exempt from the ceiling because those are "worth" the extra cash.

What we thought was interesting was the coupling of the $399 price ceiling and the rumored price drop of the PS3 to that sweet $399 mark. If that's what it takes to sell volumes, there might be more behind this analysis than meets the eye. Still, most people reading this site are exceptions to the rule -- we nabbed the PS3 before this price ceiling, but then again, we don't exactly constitute "volume" sales. Do you guys think PlayStation 3 sales will skyrocket if the price hits $399?

[via Joystiq]

Future Plus teams up with Sony for high-end advertising in the UK

Sony is continuing their treatment of the PlayStation 3 as the Ferrari of consoles by teaming up with customer publishing agency Future Plus, to produce a 60 page, high-end brochure for UK consumers. The glossy PS3 novella will be distributed by Sony across the British Isles at special events and kiosks scattered throughout the area.

Over 250,000 copies of the 'lavishly produced' brochure will be handed out to consumers in the pre-Christmas ramp-up period. The publication will be separated into four different sections highlighting the HD capabilities of the PS3, upcoming Blu-ray movie titles and games, as well as the console's robust online features. The hope is that the brochure will provide prospective PS3 owners with all the possible information they need to convince them that Sony's console is the one to choose this holiday.

It will be interesting to see how well Sony's high-end marketing campaign will work in the UK. The cost of the PS3 there is astronomical (by American standards at least) so embracing the luxury market may be a good idea. At the same time, it might not do much for the actual sales of the PS3. Think about it -- who sold more cars last year? Ferrari or Toyota?

Full Press Release after the jump

Continue reading Future Plus teams up with Sony for high-end advertising in the UK

The failure of the PS3: the book

A book was recently released in Japan called "プレステ3はなぜ失敗したのか?" tries to answer the question "Why did the PS3 fail?" It's a bit early, but the sensational title certainly will turn heads (as it did ours).

It's clear that system sales did not meet Sony's expectations. However, it's premature to declare any system a "winner" or "loser" in a generation that has been in motion for less than two years.

[Thanks, Brandon! Via Canned Dog]

Analyst predicts $399 PS3 in 2008

It's time once again to look into the future. That's right, Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities, all the way to the year 2008! And what does he see? He says that we should "expect a price cut no later than April, likely to $399 for the 80Gb model" of the PS3.

This would be a $100 price drop on top of the already slashed $499 price he predicted for the holiday season. Pachter believes that Sony's recent IPO announcement, will enable Sony to drop prices even further for early next year. And hopefully, just in time for Metal Gear Solid 4.

[via Joystiq]

How are analysts handling Karraker's departure?

They're worried, honestly. Though some may say PR people are a dime a dozen in any industry, Karraker had a lot of history at Sony and his recent departure from the team is going to make it a difficult holiday for Sony, says analyst Michael Pachter. Karraker always made himself available for questions and comments, putting himself forward especially after the shaky PS3 launch and subsequent waves of negative press. Can someone fresh really fill the shoes of that man?

Michael Pachter isn't completely sure. "The other PR people at Sony are quite competent, but it would help to strengthen the team with someone as good as Dave to handle the schizophrenic press over the next 6 months." Just because we always refer to ourselves as "we" doesn't make us schizophrenic! Although we don't consider ourselves press, either. As to further boost Sony's fears, Pachter also claimed that the few PS3 exclusives and pricing disadvantage relative to other consoles will make this one difficult holiday for Sony. Things will shape up in Spring, he said, "with the release of Grand Theft Auto 4, Gran Turismo 5, and Metal Gear Solid 4." We bet so, too!

Dave Karraker leaves Sony Computer Entertainment of America

Dave Karraker, current Senior Director of Corporate Communications, is leaving SCEA. In an e-mail sent to members of the press, Karraker stated "I am saddened to leave such a great group of people, but I have been presented a global opportunity near my home in an industry where I have previous experience that I feel I must pursue." His position with the company ends this Friday. He will be moving on to Skyy Spirits.

We at PSP and PS3 Fanboy are saddened to see you go, Dave. You've been so incredibly helpful in providing the answers that our readers have been looking for, and we wish the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Sony: I choose you, Limelight Networks!

If you've ever thought to yourself during a system software update: "geez, this is pretty slow for a small update. Why take so long, you Sony man?" then, first off, you've got to learn how to mentally line up a sentence. Second, you'll be pleased to hear that Sony recently adopted Limelight Networks' content delivery system to speed up our PS3 and PSP updates. It's not just going to make the delivery of the updates faster, but a lot more stable, too. For those with a PS3, you know that getting a system error halfway through an update is rather annoying.

Limelight describes their service as such from their press release: "Limelight's CDN is designed from the ground up to rapidly distribute rich media files, direct to the consumer, ensuring that SCE customers always have the best experience available with their PS3s and PSPs." We're sure that's just official speak for what we've already said -- faster and more stable downloads are coming our way. Sony, you did this because you love us, didn't you?

Sony financial IPO may subsidize PS3 cost

Sony will sell about $2.9 billion worth of shares in a new IPO for its insurance unit, Japan's biggest IPO this year. 34.5 percent of Sony Financial Holding Inc. will go on sale in the Tokyo Stock Exchange on October 11th. It's expected that the money generated from the IPO will raise funds for the consumer electronics and games divisions.

"Sony could use the funds for various options to strengthen its electronics and game businesses,'' said Mitsuhiro Osawa, a Tokyo-based analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. "A cut in the price of the PlayStation 3 is one option,'' said Osawa.

Analysts are predicting that another PS3 price cut may happen in the coming months. Certainly, the gain of nearly $3 billion in funds will certainly help subsidizing any losses that Sony would incur from such a move.


Sony has run out of 60GB PS3s -- get one while you can

Well we knew it wouldn't last forever. Sony has just confirmed with GamePro that they have run out of 60GB PS3s in their warehouses -- the only 60GB units left are ones that are in the retail channel now. This means that if you want a $499 PS3 with full backwards compatibility, you better hit up the shops soon.

According to David Karraker there is still 'ample supply' left in the retail stores, but with the holidays fast approaching and some fantastic games hitting the PS3, don't expect that supply to stay ample for that long. Still no word on whether Sony will keep the 80GB PS3's price at $599 once the 60GB SKU runs out of stock completely, but GamePro is agreeing with Michael Pachter that Sony will probably drop the price on the 80GB unit before Christmas.

Sony pleased by recent PS3 sales climb

Sony has responded to this month's NPD reports on sales. "We were obviously very pleased to see that PS3 sales increased with 159K units sold at retail for the month of July, which puts us up 61% over June numbers." Impressive! Although the PS3 didn't outsell the Xbox 360, it got close (the Xbox 360 sold 180k).

The sales increase is most likely spurred by the recent price drop, but also the upcoming library of games that will be arriving on the PS3. However, it seems unlikely that Europe will receive a price drop. In a statement to Next-Gen, the always outspoken David Reeves admitted that a price drop so early in the game would be like admitting defeat. "Had we gone down in price in July, that's three months after we launched PS3. It'd be kind of like saying, 'hey, we failed.' But we didn't. We've been selling through much more than we ever thought we would be, even in Germany. If [a price cut is] what they want to do in the US, fine... But we don't need to do it in Europe."

With games like Warhawk and Heavenly Sword available in the coming weeks, it'll be interesting to see how Sony's next-gen platform fares. Until then, Sony can enjoy the still-incredible sales of PS2 hardware and software.

PS3 sales have doubled since the price cut - GameStop

During a conference call detailing their second quarter earnings, GameStop executives confirmed that PS3 sales have increased by two-fold since the price cut. Not only that, they mentioned that the PS3's increased sell-through rate has held steady in the weeks since the price cut and that they expect the sales to continue doing well with the release of high-profile PS3 games coming out soon.

Hopefully those 60GB PS3s won't run out anytime soon, because consumers sure seem to dig that $499 price point. Even with games like Warhawk and Heavenly Sword coming out, it's not hard to see the PS3's sales go south again if the price jumped back up to $599.

So have you picked up a PS3 since the price cut?

[Via N4G]

Super Rub-a-Dub outsells Calling all Cars! in Europe

During Sony's press conference at the Leipzig Game Convention, the boss of Sony Europe David Reeve detailed sales numbers on a handful of key PSN titles. Leading the pack was Tekken 5 with 103k sold, followed up by flOw with 47k sold. The really interesting thing though is that Super Rub-a-dub outsold Calling all Cars!, 34k to 31k. It's pretty bad when David Jaffe's baby can't even outsell one of the worst reviewed titles on the PSN.

We contacted David Karraker from SCEA who clarified that these numbers were just for Europe, which makes some sense since Calling all Cars! hasn't been out over there as long as it's been out in America. Still, it's got to be a disappointment for Jaffe that even after all the publicity, attention and (generally) good reviews for Calling all Cars!, it still gets beaten by an over-grown tech demo. Oh well there's always next time!

Paramount drops Blu-ray support -- everybody groans

After months of reports proving that Blu-ray sells more movies than HD-DVD, Paramount's parent company Viacom has announced that they are dropping Blu-ray support and going HD-DVD exclusive. According to Viacom, they made this decision based on researching the benefits of HD-DVD, which "confirmed the clear benefits of HD DVD." Some of the benefits of HD-DVD that they mentioned included lower sales, a much smaller user base, and limited storage space (okay okay, they actually said 'market ready technology' and 'lower manufacturing costs').

There are rumors of a 150 million dollar payout by the HD-DVD consortium to nab the Viacom exclusivity, which sure would help explain the move more than the officially given reasons. Regardless, we now can look at the format-war that nobody wanted getting strung out even longer. Yay -- thanks Viacom.

[Thanks to everybody who sent this in]

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