Curious as to how badly Sony needs the PS3 to be a winner? Thanks to lackluster sales in the electronics division, a massive battery recall, and a particularly expensive transition in the gaming division, Sony's profits are down 94%.
Full article here.
It seems to be a common misconception that Sony makes most of their money outside of the PlayStation brand. That's not been the case for several years. Despite their ubiquitous presence in everything from televisions to radios to computers, it is the PlayStation brand that pays the bills at Sony. And that brand is in severe trouble due to supply shortages, research and development costs, and skyrocketing manufacturing expenses. Not to mention the need to spend more on marketing than usual thanks to the stiffer competition from Nintendo and Microsoft this time around. Sony is in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation. They can't lower the price of the PS3 without taking a huge loss (more than they already are) on each one they manufacture, but they're also going to have a very hard time selling many systems at their current pricepoint.
As a guidebook author, I want all three consoles to succeed as it only means more games that need strategy guides. And while I'm sure that we're not going to see any company suffer a knockout blow during this generation, I can't help but fear that Sony's recent stalling may be the first step towards an irreversible decline. At least to the fringe-level of relevance that Nintendo now has. And despite having no plans to purchase a PS3, I use the word "fear" because I believe that gaming as a whole has reached a place where it needs all three consoles to prosper. Neither Nintendo nor Microsoft have ever demonstrated enough software support to make me feel comfortable about a future without Sony, both from a gamer's perspective and from someone who looks forward to writing ten guidebooks a year. It's popular to hate on Sony right now, and I admit that it's even fun sometimes, but even those of us who have hitched our cart to Microsoft's Xbox 360 need Sony around to ensure the overall health of the industry.