We Got Game: How does Japan’s economic downturn affect Sony’s holiday plans?
Back in October, Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai, told the Financial Times that current PS3 prices would be what Sony would enter the holiday season with. The basic arguement used was the PS3 is a better value than rivals half it’s price. Now one can argue that point but ever since the industry embraced blu-ray over HD-DVD, it would seem that Sony would have the upper hand. So it would seem.
While the Nintendo Wii is not the juggernaut that the X-Box 360 or the PS3 is, it is outselling both consoles rather handidly. Consumers have embraced the Wii as the more fun and family oriented console. It is the console for “anti-gamers”. Gamers still argue between the X-Box 360 and PS3 as to who has better graphics, accessories, and games. What isn’t in question is the X-Box’s dominance with online gaming. No matter what Sony tries to say, they haven’t made the inroads to online play like Microsoft has.
It is that single reason as to why X-Box has a slight lead over the PS3 right now. Plus, Microsoft has stated they will probably drop their prices for the X-Box for the holiday season and possibly beyond. So, why does Sony believe that they don’t have to drop their prices? Could it be Sony actually thought their exclusive titles including Metal Gear Solid 4, Resistance 2 and the enormously popular LittleBigPlanet would have people pounding the stores down to get a console? That and the features options that the PS3 posesses were just part of the equation.
Sony has shareholders to placate and like most major businesses, they were hoping the world market wouldn’t be affected by the U.S. recession. Well, that blew up as of today, didn’t it? For all that haven’t heard, Japan is officially in a recession. Their economy is almost in as bad a shape as ours. Still think Sony will hold out and not drop those prices? I would bet even money right now. Shareholders were already close to a panic and this won’t help. And you can forget Japan giving Sony a bailout. That will never happen. Sony will not give up on the gaming world with so much at stake and October having an upside in terms of sales combined with November looks even better. Mortal Kombat vs DCU, Need for Speed Undercover, Resistance 2, Call Of Duty: World At War, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, Quantum of Solace, Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underground, EndWar, WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 are all November titles.
Sony has alot of decisions to make and little time to make them. I have a feeling that we will be hearing new plans sooner than later.