Sony Computer Entertainment said that it expects to sell fifteen million PlayStation 3 game consoles this fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2011. The figure is slightly higher compared to shipments of the PS3 last fiscal year and may potentially imply that the company will need to cut the price on the game system in mid-2011 to boost sales going forward.
"Sales at the end of the year are as we expected," said Kazuo Hirai, executive vice president of Sony and the president of its PlayStation business unit, at a conference in Tokyo, Japan, reports Reuters news-agency.
Back in late September, 2010, Sony said that shipments of its PlayStation 3 game console released in November, 2006, totaled 41.6 million units. Despite of high sales of PlayStation 3, the console is still somewhat behind Microsoft Xbox 360 on worldwide basis as well as and is considerably behind its main rival in the U.S. Moreover, life-to-date sales of PS3 are nearly two times lower compared to life-to-date sales of Nintendo Wii, according to estimates by various analysts.
Next year sales of both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will be determined by success of their Move and Kinect motion-sensing controller platforms and the quality of games designed for them. Keeping in mind that Sony PlayStation 3 carries $299 price-tag, Sony may need to cut the price of the unit to attract new customers.
"The PS3 still has strong momentum globally, but Sony will come under pressure to reduce pricing by mid-year," said David Mercer, an analyst with Strategy Analytics.