PlayStation 3 Has to Suffer, Signals Sony Boss

Sony Europe's David Reeves reflects on Sony's third quarter losses of US$204m.

Explains Reeves:

Our priority has always been the PS3. The forecast was 10m at the beginning of the year and it's still 10m. If we'd cut the price, lost another billion dollars, we might have had a huge Christmas but it would have been followed by a huge loss.

That certainly makes sense. It doesn't make the PS3's golden ticket price point any easier to swallow, but it's a reasonable response to critics — myself included — who've repeatedly singled out the PS3's price as its albatross.

Do you have to lose money to make money? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Judging from Sony's quarterly losses considered alongside PS3 manufacturing costs, holding steady on pricing was, perhaps in hindsight, the wiser choice.

Reeves undercuts his momentum slightly by retreating to value claims to highlight the PS3's prowess:

How do I justify it? Look at the capability of the machines. With PS3, you can go online for free, it's got all the games you want, it's got a Blu-ray drive so you don't need a new player, you can store photos on it, and you've got Home.

Actually, it doesn't have all the games I want (what does?), the Blu-ray drive seems less of a selling point as downloadable video — contrary to my own expectations — may be moving to supersede it. And PlayStation Home? Still a blip on the radar.

Still, it's nice to see someone at Sony with a grip on reality. Reeves even admits the company has "learned from Nintendo...[and] an enormous amount from Microsoft," concluding that:

Overall, the market has sharpened up individual competitors to do better — we should celebrate the industry and how we've collectively grown it beyond all recognition.

I don't know about you, but I'll drink to that.

Matt Peckham has no dog in this fight and wishes Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo the best of luck. You can follow him at twitter.com/game_on.

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Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
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