Sunday, January 07, 2007

PS3 demand already in decline?

When the first reports of PlayStation3 units sitting on store shelves surfaced, I ignored them. They originated on forums and blogs with little or no credibility and it was impossible to substantiate them. Now, however, at least some reports appear to be true.

There are still plenty of fake stories out there, as we shall see below, but consider the following reports by reputable media.

PS3 available on ... still

One of our sources says, "It would appear that nobody is really buying them. As of today, my store only had somewhere around 12 units left, but other stores were in the 30s."


PlayStation 3 -- a Bust or a Boon for Sony?

Blogs, recently filled with stories of gamers on the hunt for PS3s, are now littered with accounts of stockpiles of the machines uncovered at major retailers. Even scalpers have returned machines they picked up before the holidays to sell on Web sites like eBay but failed to unload.

One slightly frustrated wife of a wannabe PS3 scalper who didn't want to be identified said her basement was cluttered with several units they hoped to return after the demand for the machines took a post-holiday nose dive on eBay.

ABC News

Plenty O PS3s But No Takers

I can tell you is that the Best Buy near my house had 31 Playstation 3s sitting in a lovely wall o' consoles this morning when I swung by the store. Many, if not all of them, were the 60GB model. (...)

I can't help but wonder if this seeming lack of interest in the PS3 at Best Buys is because of a general post-holiday buying drought or something more about the system itself. It certainly doesn't look good, especially when coupled with the details were reported on last week about the PS3's grey market.


Those PS3s Sales Look Sluggish In Japan!

Well, the PLAYSTATION 3 is selling. And we'd be bullshitting you if we said it wasn't. Thing is, the PS3 ain't exactly flying off the shelf. Sony hit Japan with a huge year-end shipment (one of the biggest since launch apparently). The Wii was nowhere to be seen and sold out at multiple location. And the PS3? Both 20GB and 60GB units remained unsold.


At the same time, there are plenty of unsubstantiated reports by individual gamers. On blogsites like Korexz, video and photographic evidence is being passed around:

Digg users are linking to in-store snapshots of piles of unsold PS3 consoles, like this one:

On some, desperate notices are attached that make me question their authenticity. Which store would attach flimsy, hand-written notices to inventory, pretty much begging the customers to buy stock?

A similar picture was published on Tejan´s blog under the heading ´PS3 Sucks´.

Unfortunately, Joystiq reprinted the above without considering the possibility of it being a fanboy fake (adding an ´allegedly´ does not cut it here, I am afraid).

So we need to activate our bullshit sensors when coming across apparent proof of consoles sitting on store shelves. There are plenty of fake images above to prove that point. However, articles by the likes of ABC News and Kotaku prove that not all PS3 consoles are selling through immediately, as seems to be the case with Wii in the US and Japan.

Alongside these reports, the console continues to get more bad press with Kotaku quoting a GamePro article in which Hideo Kojima says he is not interested in HD at all and the additional storage capacity of Blu-ray discs does not get him all uppity either.

Ultimately, I blame the PS3´s software library for the shortfall in demand. Apart from ´Resistance: Fall of Man´, there appear to be no must-have titles on store shelves. What is more, coming titles like ´Motorstorm´ have had their own share of bad press recently. This is not to mention the ongoing Killzone 2 controversy.

Incidentally, the retail situation in Germany is a different story. Wii units appear to be readily available in larger outlets located in major cities. They are being sold, according to the sales clerks. But you do get to see the odd stack of Wii boxes.


Grandmaster B said...


Anonymous said...

I know around here, ps3's are everywhere. i go about every 2-3 days on wii hunts, and at every store theres always ps3's sitting around, most of them the 60gig's and theres been some 20's sitting at walmart for awhile. I've yet to see a wii in a retail setting...which is discouraging. theres still people waiting in freakn lines.

Anonymous said...

i feel all warm inside when i read this kind of news, its like common sence for once in human history has provailed,and blind mass studipity hasnt taken place (yet) fingers crosssed it doesnt rear its ugly head and all the morons start buying piss consoles i meen ps3s

dualshock is old and has allways been floored and hard on the hands

blu ray uinsuited to game loading again sonys loadtimes stink

cell cpu is a dsp/flouting point monster cruncher but a rubbish cpu inline stripped back cores and dsp threads unabile to tap main memory seems a magor design floor and a compleat deaster for game programming
gamedata is usually say 80%cpu 20%flouting point

cell is the opersite 80% fpu power

decade old controls
loadtimes no better than a ps1
build qoality and firmware issues
poor buggy unpolished online service

lied about graphics
poor backward compatabillity issues poor ps1 ps2 visuals

massivly expencive

like i said before COMMON SENCE USE IT

Starstriker1 said...

Well, can't say I'm particularily surprised.

Also, if this trend continues, and sales continue to be slow, what does that mean for the first party exclusives?

Maybe the 360 will be seeing a Final Fantasy game... though, I have a hard time seeing the Wii get any of them. If you're going to both Wii and the 360/PS3, you probably need to be preparing from the start.

chris4state said...


I went myself to a local Wal-Mart and saw 10 PS3s on the shelf.

Jarod said...

The Wii selling out immediately only seems to be the case? I know the “seems” is simply a cya qualifier, but I'd like to know where they aren't selling out immediately if there's a possibility of it not being true. I've got 6 major stores within a few miles and I have yet to see more than a handful of Wii games or any accessories at all (except I did see a memory card at the Wal-Mart once). Even the games they do have are of the GT Pro, Far Cry, Over the Hedge or whatever it’s called quality level. I can also add to the anecdotal evidence that in northwest Columbus, Ohio the PS3 sections, while not always having a console (seen them several times though), are stocked full of games and accessories at least. So let's not kid ourselves, everyone and their mother wants a Wii, literally, so even with 4 million units I haven't been able to snag one yet. Oh well, Zelda is still awesome on the GameCube and I can wait for Mario and Metroid.

I also wouldn't be surprised if this remains the case after good games finally make an appearance on the PS3. A $600 system that requires at least a $3,000 home entertainment set up to achieve is full potential is simply not going to sell as well as a $200-300 system that is fully realized on a cheapo $100 TV. I think Sony and a lot of people who keep saying the PS3 will come on strong since it's too great a system, forget that the PS2 had a majority of its sales outside of the US and Japan. Selling a system that is out of reach for many Americans and Japanese even (the poorest here can afford a PS2 but a PS3 is something of a stretch) doesn't bode well for its sales in the third-world and non-northwestern European markets that Sony dominated with the PS2.

There are other money reasons, like 50 million PS3's alone equaling the value of all the 150 million consoles sold in the last 6 years. But to shorten an already too long comment I'll just say also that anyone solely buying a PS3 for the Blu-Ray player will hurt Sony since they lose so much on the system that they'll never make the money back on movie sales alone. Even with games they need a ridiculous tie-in ratio (something like 11-12:1) to make a profit. People buying it for movies would simply raise the ratio of games Sony needs to sell to those who buy the video game system to, you know, play video games.

Tink said...

(Thankfully) Germany does not represent all of Europe; here in the Netherlands it is still incredibly hard to get a Wii, whenever they're in stock at some retailer, they're gone before you know it. You need to be very lucky or have some sources if you want to get your hands on it. In my case, I got EXTREMELY lucky.

Anonymous said...

i live in germany and have friends who cannot get the wii. or is this a different germany?!?!

Grandmaster B said...

Starstriker, I really dont see Xbox getting a main Final Fantasy simply because Japan is still a large market for the game.

It will go to Wii before Xbox, I am quite confident on that one.

Grandmaster B said...

It would even go to DS before the Xbox, ala DQ9.

Anonymous said...


if the games com out that prove what the PS3 is capapble of (Killzone, Lair) things can change qickly. The Wii is something new but no more as a toy with games that get more and more in the minigame style.

Also there is the question what the Wii can do technically, because technic aspekts are gameplay aspekts too...not oonly graphics. Whats about AI, Huge Landscapes without loading, realitic physics...

I am absolutly sure that the PS3 will sell very very well maybe even get Nr.1 zhis time, just wait for the jaw dropping games.

Anonymous said...

there won't be jaw dropping games for ps3.

what idiotic developer would develop a jaw dropping game (or any game at all) for a system thad doesn't SELL?

ps3 is a joke

Anonymous said...

You guys are truly pathetic. Accept the defeat of the wii by the PS3. For one thing the graphics of the wii suck and the damn thing cant even play blue-ray. It has no future. And the bitching about how many ps3's remain unsold is moronic. Who believes those pictures and the stories.


prim said...

my life is just fine, thank you

wii cant EVEN play blue ray discs?? you must be kidding me..

why on earth should wii be able to play blue ray? blue ray is not standard jet and it might never be.

blue ray is ps3 biggest problem, its the reason for the lack of systems and european delay.

honestly, i was surprised to see ps3 on stock.. but hey, when i think about it, it DESERVES to be on stock collecting dust

Anonymous said...

I think you are alltoo negative and gloomy on Sony.It's a great robust system of high quality and it's only a matter of time til it will shine.
Sony has great games with great graphics!Flow will be great, Lair, Naughty Dog, Konami, Square.....Great great mature software line up!
Furthermore, it's quiet!
360 is loud while Ps3 is quiet!
And that alone speaks volumes!
The neutral, industrial design, the name the support is all top notch!
You can diss Ps3 as much as you want, but at the end of the day we will see who will have the last laugh!Playstation 3 is a reasonable quality future proof system with style and support.Your never ending drivels won't disrupt its'brand power!It's clearly the system with the highest value for the consumer.And well worth the price.
While PS3 owners will enjoy Lair and GTA4 you will still play Gamecube Zelda on Wii in 640 resolution with muddy textures and low polygon count!
I have played Zelda and it's the same as Ocarina with Cube graphics!
Good for people new to the franchise
and boring for people who have been there and done all that!

Nintendo is lacking software freshness , new IPS, support etc etc.

Picture this:

Hollywood was 4 years in development
but is seemingly unable to provide a
visual bump in software from the get go!

I could go on and on...

ian said...

Want graphics eh? Because good graphics always equal a great game.


Im sure Metroid 3 and gems like Disaster: Day of crisis will satisfy the Wii graphics argument.

In time the Ps3 will pick up momentum im sure, just that this time i dont think Sony will blow away the competition in sales like before. Not that i care particularly but i see a true 3 horse race in the home console market.

ian said...

....oh and anon, i love your comprehensive review of Zelda TP. Excellent i must say.

Starstriker1 said...

I don't think I'm going to wade into that kind of argument, as it too often gains too much of a "my religion is better than your religion" kind of tone.

(while I'm at it, my religion IS better than your religion, whatever it is. :p)

Grandmaster, thats a good point that I hadn't considered at all... in that case, I'd have to say that FF13 isn't going to be finding it's way off the PS3 anytime soon... it's more likely to be cancelled. I have a hard time seeing a game built from the ground up for a system with a wierd architecture and huge horsepower shifting to a weaker system with an emphasis on control. Not that I'm saying that it's not possible, just that the results would be messy.

Not to say that excellent graphics aren't possible on the Wii. Powerful systems are a means to an end, but not the full story. I've seen artistic masterpieces on the CUBE, in Metroid Prime and Crystal Chronicles. Art style and the skill of the artists go a long way. I can't wait to see what developers end up doing with a system twice as powerful as the cube, in that regard.

Grandmaster B said...

Starstriker, yes too true.

Anonymouse, you are a bit of a clown really.

Nintendo are also gaining support slowly. Nintendo's new way of playing games is also a main sales point going past good graphics which only wow you for 5 or more mins anyway. Do you play games to look at them or play them?

I play them for both and as long as the visuals are decent (which they are) then I am happy. Gameplay first, graphics 2nd is my preference. I am intent on playing DS and dont care much for home systems too much anymore.

Nintendo do need some better software though, I do admit but I think its all coming.

Starstriker1 said...

I dunno. I found the gameplay in Crystal Chronicles, though not bad, to be fairly shallow and repetitive with some questionable design choices, like the brilliant idea of requiring game boy advances for the multiplayer.

What drew me into the game is that, in all other aspects, it is a masterpiece in graphics, audio, and style. So lets not kid ourselves, presentation matters. just don't require massive horsepower to have said impressive presentation.

Korexz said...

Sure... I just put PS3's in the glass case at Walmart.

I have keys after all!

Face it the PS3 is already going the route of the 3DO, CD-i, Jaguar, Saturn, and every other overpriced system that lacks desirable content.

Neo said... just don't require massive horsepower to have said impressive presentation.

I concur. While horsepower does give developers some advantage, I've seen so many horrendous presentation on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

It's not as if how much horsepower is needed, it's how much developers can take advantage of it. If processing power is the only factor in making a decent presentation, then take a look at Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire for the PlayStation 3.

Anonymous said...

I also live in germany, in a very big city, but there is no chance to buy a wii anywhere!!! Not even nunchucks!!
Even my friends who live in other cities can´t get some!

Anonymous said...

Funny Thing is, that in the now "Old Generation" the Playstation 2 was the one with the least Power. It still was the most succesful home systems of all time.

Now it seems that the Wii is more successful than the Powerhorse PS3. And suddenly "graphics" seem to be an issue again? Intresting, because i never heard anyone bitching about the Graphics of the PS2.

By The Way: I would bet a fair amount of Money that HD-DVD makes the Run against Blu-Ray.

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