Although Sony Corp. originally promised a ten-year lifecycle for the PlayStation 3 game console, it now looks like it wants its PS3 to stay on the market for a considerably longer period and repeat success of the PlayStation 2. But there is a problem: the third PlayStation is already outdated for mainstream gamers, but is still too expensive for casual gamers.
“We believe that the platform has a lot of life left in it. Two, three, four years; we think there’s time left in the platform,” said John Koller, vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, in an interview with GameSpot.
Demand for consoles is determined by availability of fresh games as well as prices. Recently an executive from Electronic Arts said that EA would release new titles for the PS3 and Xbox 360 for a couple of years. This is logical because there are tens of millions of such consoles installed and used for gaming.
“It depends on the content. We have a good lineup this year and it looks like a good lineup next year. We need to keep fueling that. We really have to keep PS3 alive. And so to do that, we have to further the content. I think there will be a good story for the PS3 over the next year to two years,” said Mr. Koller.
The reason why Sony PlayStation 2 remained on the market for twelve long years and even managed to be relevant throughout the period is because it was affordable for gamers all around the world and was supported by game developers. The situation with the PS3 is a lot tougher: it is expensive to make and games for it are expensive to create.
At present, seven years after Sony PlayStation entered the market, the PS3 12GB and the PS3 500GB cost $199 and $269, respectively, in the U.S. (£149 and £199 in the UK, €169 and €199 in Europe). By contrast, price of Sony PlayStation 2 was cut to $129 in April 2006 (5.5 years after the launch in the U.S.), and to $99 in April, 2009 (8.5 years after the introduction). It is obvious that the price-cut pattern of the PS3 is completely different from that of the PS2.
Keeping in mind that Sony PlayStation 3 features numerous complex components, it may be uneasy to reduce its price to $129 or $99 any time soon.
It is unclear why Sony wants its PS3 console to remain on the market for two – four years more the light of its plan to stream the PlayStation 3 games to various devices using PlayStation Now service starting this year.