Sony’s Playstation 3 Faltering

At ExtremeTech, you’ll find a good article, replete with hard data and solid statistics, arguing that Sony’s Playstation 3 is on the verge of becoming a lost cause in the game-console wars.

Outflanked by Nintendo’s Wii casual-gaming sensation on the hardware side, and graphics-intensive game titles that seem to fare better in the marketplace on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 than on the PS3, Sony finds itself looking increasingly vulnerable with its flagship console.

As the article’s author Loyd Case contends, it doesn’t help that decent and improving Blu-ray players have hit the market recently. Last year, Sony could and did argue that the built-in Blu-ray player that came with the PS3 made the console a defensible purchase even for consumers who weren’t avid gamers.

The market numbers — in North America and in Sony’s home market of Japan — seem to argue convincingly that Sony is between a rock and hard place. It’s lagging in console sales, it isn’t attracting hit-game titles that are exclusive to the PS3, and it is not winning the battle for the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of game developers.

Sony is left with the dilemma of either continuing to fight a losing battle in the marketplace, risking complete irrelevance in the process, or dramatically slashing the street price of the PS3, which would leave Sony potentially selling the box at a loss in order to pump up sales and regain the attention of game developers.

Even that option, which is probably the course it will follow, is not guaranteed to rescue the PS3 from market oblivion.

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