The trade show will be held from the 16th to the 20th of February. Sony has booked a total of 80 booths with 20 set aside exclusively for the PS3, the newspaper has learned. The article goes on to say that this move is seen as countering the Xbox360´s launch in the region.
But it´s not all good news for the current market leader in home consoles. Business Week paints a slightly gloomy picture for Sony´s new console.
Six years in the making, the PS3 is a crucial component of Sony's strategy to dominate the digital home with a full lineup of super-sharp TVs and other gear. To attract teens and parents alike, the console plays high-definition games and movies from Blu-ray DVDs. It boasts a huge hard disk to store photos, music, and TV shows. And it can connect to the Net for play against far-flung rivals, while a new multimedia chip called "the Cell" (...) juggles the workload. (...)The PSX´s failure and the PSP´s disappointing software tie ratio are valid concerns. But, while the article undoubtedly underestimates the PS3´s price tag, it now appears that a Japanese launch in June could be realistic.
If that seems like a lot to pack in, it is. But there's a lot at stake. Sony is banking on the console to lift its consumer-electronics division out of trouble, and the Blu-ray drive is expected to give a boost to that Sony-backed format, one of two competing to become the next-generation standard for videos. "PS3 is very important for us," says Sony Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda. "There are so many key devices from the electronics group that will go into it."
Some question whether Sony is trying to cram too much into the new box. The PS3 is expected to cost $350 to $400. While it has the potential to be a megahit, Sony's message might get muddled in the process of going after too broad a market, says Deutsche Securities analyst Takashi Oya. "It would be difficult to sell PS3 initially as anything other than a game machine," Oya says. Sony declined to comment on such concerns. (...)
Kutaragi's Midas touch has let him down before, especially when it comes to creating multipurpose machines. Exhibit A: the PSX. Released in Japan in 2003, it was designed to appeal to a broader audience than the hard-core gamers attracted to the PS2. It comes with a 250-gigabyte hard drive and a simple Web browser and plays games, movies, and music. But the PSX bombed as consumers were confused by the hybrid and put off by its $800-plus price tag.
"If Sony wants PS3 to be a hit, it has to avoid the marketing mistakes it made on PSX," says Reiji Asakura, author of Revolutionaries at Sony, a book about the development of the PlayStation.
Another risk is that Sony could undermine software sales by positioning the PS3 as something other than a game machine. The company makes the bulk of its game profits not from consoles but from games, which can cost $50 or more. Even when Sony doesn't design the games, it picks up royalties from each sale. (...)
If consumers buy the PS3 as a multimedia machine, they might not purchase as many video games. Sony ought to know: The handheld PlayStation Portable (PSP) has been a success since its debut in December, 2004. But since the PSP also plays music and movies, fewer people are buying games designed for it. In the PS2's initial year on the market, players bought more than three games for each machine that was shipped. For the PSP, that ratio slipped to 2 to 1.
Sony hasn't set a launch date, but analysts expect the PS3 to be released in Japan by June and hit U.S. stores in time for Christmas. With all its features, the PS3 might indeed help Sony in its battle for the living room as rivals roll out their own digital-entertainment hubs. Unless, of course, all consumers really want is a simple game machine.
Source: DigiTimes, Business Week
Thanks to: Gamasutra, Reg Hardware, Kotaku