Thoughts From Our Valencia Gaming Correspondent...

Thanks to Gamers With Jobs: Press Pass for posting about the new-and-improved market analysis from the DFC Intelligence group concerning Sony and their upcoming Playstation 3. Here's the link to their article and commentary.

At 600 euro, the PS3 would be more than 35% of the monthly household income of a family in Valencia. Combined with the 2000 euro for an HDTV that could take advantage of Blu-Ray and four games, the total cost could top 15% of a family yearly income. On a per person basis, that would be almost 40% of an adult Valencian’s average income. Consumers in much of Europe (and North America as well) simply aren’t ready for that type of expenditure and success for Sony will require that 1) they can keep the PlayStation 2 business alive and slow consumer adoption of new systems and 2) they can make the price more affordable.

I really don't care a whole lot about Valencia's economics and I already have the HDTV but I've said it once and I'll say it again, at $600 US, Sony better have something damn intriguing in their system. And that can't be the promise of higher-def Blu-Ray movies and a lipsticked version of the same ol' Gran Turismo we've been playing for years. At $600 you can't be just talking about a movie player and a game machine. You have to offer an experience wholly unique.

And between Microsoft's wonderful Xbox Live and Live Arcade service and Nintendo's upcoming service which will allow you to download and play any of the thousands of games previously released on their various consoles, Sony is on track to be nothing but a me-too also-ran in this next generation at $600 unless they have some very hefty cards up their sleeves. Drop the price to $450 (for the good version of the system, not the nutered one) and then the need to up the ante isn't as severe.

This is what I see going down: The gaming masses who might be willing to spend $600 for a PS3 aren't going to do so until a must-have game like Metal Gear Solid 4 comes out for it. The only problem is that there is no way in bloody hell that Konami will release that game if the installed user base isn't, say, at least 5 million strong in the US alone. And the longer it takes for Sony to sell that many consoles, the closer Konami gets to releasing their game on the Xbox 360. We've already heard about Rockstar bringing the next Grand Theft Auto to the X360, nothing is stopping Konami from doing the same. Except that whole Japenese companies sticking together thing. But just like Sony's marketshare, that's the other thing that's going to change in the coming years.

I'd like to say Microsoft just pulled off the biggest coupe in the industry since Sony did it to Nintendo 10 years ago, but it's not really a coupe if the reigning king throws himself off a bridge.

Link to the DFC Intelligence report.

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