We've been hearing between 4 and 7 million units could ship. And if you look at PlayStation Portable, with UMD discs, everyone is shocked at how many titles have shipped for that platform. And they're selling as well or better than the game software. So I think Sony has proven that they can drive a new video format like this with their gaming platforms.An interesting figure, but an even more interesting point. Can Sony be trusted to successfully introduce a new format? That is the big question and I believe we should briefly turn to the PSP in order to examine this point.
As far as the PSP is concerned, there really is a vast movie catalogue available on UMD now. However, the movie tie ratio seems high because the game tie ration is actually lower than expected. The Hollywood Reporter (via azcentral) quoted Arcadia Research video game analyst John Taylor:
It wouldn't surprise me if PSP movies end up with a 3-to-1 tie ratio on PSP. To date, the game tie ratio is around 2.5 games to every one PSP hardware unit sold, which is somewhat lower than expected - in part because of the availability of movies.So the above should read: movies are only selling slightly worse than games. I myself have never believed that movies would sell all too well on the PSP, since there is no double value in a UMD. The console cannot connect to your TV. So, if you want to watch the same movie on your TV set, you need to buy the DVD as well.
There are other factors that make the format attractive, though. Taylor elaborates that Sony waived royalty charges in order to rally the studios´ support for the console and was wondering "whether the high price of games ($40 to $50) and low price of movies ($20 to $30) is cannibalizing Sony's game sales." A good point. The disappointing game tie ration is further related to a lack of killer apps.
However, the console has started to sell well, recently outselling the DS in Japan. GamesIndustry.biz wrote:
All eyes (...) are on the battle between Sony's PSP and Nintendo's DS, which saw the PlayStation Portable pulling ahead of its rival in weekly hardware sales for the first time, taking just under 31 per cent market share as opposed to just over 25 per cent for the DS.This is related to DS production not meeting demands. But the reason is secondary. It´s important to note that the PSP has started to outsell the DS and it´s important to watch this development closely.
The DS, of course, still has a huge lead in terms of overall installed base, but its sales are slowing slightly after the initial rush - while demand for the PSP remains high, with Sony's limited shipments being snapped up as soon as they arrive at retail.
Because, and this is how we are finally getting back to the PS3, if the PSP can be perceived as a success, then developers and movie studios alike will further trust Sony with the PS3 and allocate further resources and investments. If not, they may become hesitant instead and may look into switching allegiances (movie studios may switch to the HD-DVD format, while game developers may switch to Nintendo or Microsoft).
The PSP must be a complete success before Sony can start to think about selling a shipment of 4 to 7 million units in the first year. The figure itself is hard to interpret. Shipping 4 million consoles would be too little in my opinion. 7 million sounds good. We´ll still have to wait and see, I guess.
Sources: The Digital Bits, The Hollywood Reporter (via azcentral)
Thanks to: SPOnG