Wednesday, 04 March 2009 11:53

EA back PS3 during troubled times

The signs are all around, we are in the recession, and even the entertainers are feeling the pinch.  But Sony this week received a little PlayStation 3 support in both Killzone 2 sales and some –almost – kind words from the largest game maker going around, Electronic Arts.

The financial world is imploding, and in such circumstances people turn to cheaper forms of entertainment, we are told. 

Is a video game console something that falls into that category?  Probably not, given the initial outlay of funds, plus, what is considered exorbitant pricing in software.

It is a little early to check February’s sales figures, but in the UK at least the PS3 exclusive Killzone 2 has emerged on top of the pile with the Xbox 360 exclusive, released on the same day as Killzone 2 picking up second place. This knocked off the previous leader Street Fighter IV .

* 01 Killzone 2
* 02 Halo Wars
* 03 Street Fighter IV
* 04 Wii Fit
* 05 Professor Layton and the Curious Village
* 06 Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection
* 07 FIFA 09
* 08 Call of Duty: World at War
* 09 Ben 10: Alien Force
* 10 Mario Kart Wii

Undoubtedly those top two titles also shifted a few pieces of console hardware as they both had PS3 and Xbox 360 bundles associated with them.

But what of console sales?  January in the US saw the following numbers released by the NPD group

* Wii - 679,200
* NDS - 510,800
* X360 - 309,000
* PS3 - 203,200
* PSP - 172,300
* PS2 - 101,200

Not too shabby, but when contrasted to those of December 2008:

* Wii - 2.15 million
* NDS - 3.04 million
* X360 - 1.44 million
* PS3 - 726,000
* PSP - 1.02 million
* PS2 - 410,000

And November:
* Wii - 2,040,000
* Nintendo DS - 1,570,000
* Xbox 360 - 836,000
* PSP - 421,000
* Playstation 3 - 378,000
* Playstation 2 - 206,000

The January figures don’t look so hot. 


But of course you can do anything with statistics, and the simple fact is, that the industry as a whole grew some 13 percent in revenue since January 2007.

It is also not really fair to compare pre Christmas figures with those of January, checking the figures for January 2008 in North America, the trend is still up.

* Nintendo Wii -- 274k
* PlayStation 3 - 269k
* PlayStation 2 - 264k
* Nintendo DS -- 251k
* Sony PSP ----- 230k
* Xbox 360 ----- 230k
But one brand trend is not up, that of the PlayStation, I guess that is why many in the industry see a price cut to the most expensive player in the market, the PS3, as an almost immediate inevitability.

Speaking with GamesIndustry.Biz , Electronic Arts executive and general manager of Redwood Shores (creators of Dead Space and the upcoming Dante’s Inferno) Glen Schofield, gave his thoughts on the PS3’s current place in the gaming ethos.

"I'm really not sure what's going on with Sony," he said. "They've been such a great, great partner and PlayStation 2 being such a great machine that, God, I hope they get out of this and they figure it out and they're around for a long time."

According to the report; he refused outright to call for a price cut, stating: "You know, I can't tell them what to do. I don't know their finances." But Schofield added that it was good for health of the whole industry to have three successful home consoles in the market. "I love having the three major machines like that."

And fair enough, the gaming industry is [still] thriving, and much of that success is on the driving innovation factors and price point positioning of having three successful platforms in the competition. 

With the Wii continuing to lead the pack,  if something has to give within the scope of the global financial situation, it is most likely not going to be Nintendo.  This only leaves Microsoft and Sony.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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