The Los Angeles Times published a technology piece today that questioned Sony's ability to turn its next-gen product into a viable income generator.
Titled "In consoles, the game isn't going Sony's way," the article depicts the contrast between Sony's vision for the PlayStation 3 as a decade-long performer and its current status as the weakest of the three new consoles in terms of sales performance.
Microsoft has soled 5.3 million Xbox 360 units since its November 2005 launch; Nintendo has sold 2.1 million Wii consoles since November 2006; and Sony has sold 1.2 million PS3s in that same time frame.
Nonetheless, the article notes the PlayStation 2 also suffered from slow early sales and that the profits lie in games, not consoles.
However, Sony's latest console may be operating in a more difficult context than its predecessor, the piece goes on, because of the hefty price tag - $600 - and, paradoxically, the continued appeal of the now-inexpensive PS2.
Sony executives apparently take a long term view:
Sony executives stress that the game is just starting. They say the PS3's technology is so advanced that it won't be considered obsolete for another decade, giving them plenty of time to catch up in sales.
"We didn't get into PS3 for the first six months of 2007 - we're into this for the next 10 years and beyond," said Jack Tretton, president of Sony's U.S. PlayStation unit. "A million units one way or another at this point isn't going to worry us."
While market domination of the Blu-ray player, which is built into the PS3, would certainly give the product an edge, for any graphics device or console unit to resist obsolescence for five years, much less 10, would be unprecedented.