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Fewer PS3 Units Tomorrow Than Hoped For? 94

Posted by Zonk
from the high-demand-low-availablity-high-price dept.
Gamasutra is reporting on the possibility that there may only be 150,000 - 200,000 PS3s available tomorrow. Kotaku has heard that this may stem from removal of the 20 GB units from the shipment to the U.S., though this is just speculation at the moment. Several bloggers have noted that their local videogames store has notified them of lowered availability, so it doesn't seem that this is outside the realm of possibility. From the article: "'Due to the limited initial installed base of the platforms, we believe the financial impact over the holiday period will be more significant for hardware manufacturers and video game retailers (such as GameStop) than for software publishers.' In addition to predicting a strong push for Xbox 360 products due to a shortage in PS3 supply, Sebastian also says the newly launched consoles may not have as significant an impact on holiday sales." A reader also wrote in to mention the cost that Sony is sucking with each of these units. Apparently, the company is eating about $300 for every PS3 sold.
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Fewer PS3 Units Tomorrow Than Hoped For?

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  • Good Lord (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by drinkypoo (153816)
    Eating $300? On one hand I don't want to buy any more Sony stuff. On the other hand, if we all bought them and used them for non-gaming applications (or at least didn't buy any sony-licensed games) we could put some serious smack down on Sony. On the gripping hand, it would still increase their installed base, and that of Blu-Ray, which I also want to fail because Sony is associated with it.
    • Re:Good Lord (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EggyToast (858951) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:35PM (#16873962) Homepage
      Even more interesting is the fact that I don't think I've spoken to a single person who is actually buying the machine to play. Everyone's just buying them to sell on eBay, for "mega profit."

      Which, of course, makes me wonder -- if people only want it to sell on eBay, who's going to buy it on eBay?
      • by Pharmboy (216950)
        Which, of course, makes me wonder -- if people only want it to sell on eBay, who's going to buy it on eBay?

        Fanboys, and there are plenty of them who will blindly buy it.
      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        Which, of course, makes me wonder -- if people only want it to sell on eBay, who's going to buy it on eBay?

        Professional sport athletes, movie stars, business moguls, etc. Or I should say, their agents/assistances' are doing it for them. These are the kinds of people who will pay thousands of $ for a system that costs $600. Because 1) they can. 2) they want the latest 'cool' thing 3) Have kids they want to please 4)possibly enjoy it themselves (but not likely).

        It kind of reminds me of that rich German

      • by StikyPad (445176)
        People who don't want to camp out in front of stores just to get a console, AKA people with more money than time, perhaps?

        Just a guess...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Reapman (740286)
      Yes... just like all those that bought the XBox to "stick it to Microsoft" really hurt them. Sony would love to sell each and every one of these, don't fool yourself. Sony will make a unit regardless of if you buy it at least initially. If it sells they loose $300. If not, they loose what.. $1000? (no sale of unit, plus loss)

      I hope by wanting Blu Ray (however it's spelt) to fail, your also not supporting HD-DVD right? Blu Ray failing hurts more then Sony, they're just one of the partners in that.
      • Re:Good Lord (Score:5, Informative)

        by DoktorSeven (628331) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:43PM (#16874108) Homepage Journal
        Thank you. I do not get people who think that by buying a product, they are somehow hurting a company. They've already accepted and budgeted the loss from a sale of a console. You're not going to hurt them by doing this.

        You hurt them by *not buying it in the first place*. They are *not* prepared to eat the total cost of the console, and therefore *not buying the console at all* would be the proper way to hurt the manufacturer.

        As for Blu-Ray, Sony is the one fully behind that. HD-DVD would be the competing (and in my eyes, superior) technology. Sony is trying to wedge BluRay into the market by selling their gaming consoles with this technology to artificially create a user base, which is reprehensible, and typical of Sony's evil marketing schemes as of late.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          They're not prepared to eat the $300 either. They expect to make it back on selling Blu-Ray Movies, and the licensing fees from PS3 Games, which are supposed to be some of the most expensive games yet. Eventually they will get the manufacturing cost down, once the blue lasers come down, once the rest of the blu-ray drive comes down, and once they figure out the software PS2 emulator and get the PS2 hardware out of there. Until then they're losing money each time they have to make a console.
          • by Chris Burke (6130)
            But $900 > $300, and buying a console increases their market share and makes the PS3 look better to developers (even if game sales end up not reflecting the PS3 you bought) and Blu-Ray look better to studios (even if movie sales don't reflect the PS3 you bought), and in any event helps PS3 marketing trumpet their continuing-to-be-sold-out super-popular console that you aren't cool if you don't have (even drinkypoo owns one!) Compare the financial damage done to Sony if they have to manufacture another c
        • by bumchick (201482)
          Dude really. Why are you so bitter?
          BluRay is no more proprietary than HD-DVD, it is fully backed by a consortium of companies that has *MORE* members than the competing HD-DVD group. BluRay has initial manufacturing kinks, but why is HD-DVD "in your eyes" superior? It holds less data, and is less robust to scratching than BluRay - seems those would be the only two measures of quality of a *data storage medium*.

          Please stop spewing random hatred - it is in your interest as a consumer to have multiple companie
        • In a sense, you're right. But think about it this way:

          1) If people don't buy them:

          Sony eats the cost of making the consoles.

          2) If people buy them, but never get any games:

          Sony loses $300 on each console, gets an artificial signal to build more consoles, and then eats the cost of making those additional consoles. Game industry starts to learn the difference between "market share" and "real profits".
        • "They've already accepted and budgeted the loss from a sale of a console. You're not going to hurt them by doing this.

          They budgeted for you to buy the console AND 3 or 4 games. Not 0. Yes, it would hurt them.

          "You hurt them by *not buying it in the first place*. They are *not* prepared to eat the total cost of the console, and therefore *not buying the console at all* would be the proper way to hurt the manufacturer."

          The price of an unsold item would drop until somebody picked it up. Then, in theory, they
          • by Turken (139591)
            Actually, the real problem in this whole thread which nobody seems to realize is that if someone buys a PS3 but without any games or movies "to hurt sony," the real hurt is going to be on THEM, because they just spent $600 on a really big expensive paperweight.
            • Boy you're right about that. At least the PSP could be modded to play ROMS and home-brew.
            • When you buy a PS3, you get a (really powerful) processor, a hard drive, a graphics card, and some accelerometers. What if someone figures out how to salvage these for alternate uses? (E.g., sells the hard drive, rents out supercomputing time, etc.) Then, it would be a much smaller loss per purchase, or perhaps even profitable.

              And if it is profitable to do that: bye bye, Sony.
          • by Weedlekin (836313)
            "Yes, you can hurt Microsoft or Sony by buying their system and never buying games."

            But not as much as you hurt yourself. To make Sony lose $300, you have to lose $600 (it is lost because you are buying something you never intend to use), so you hurt yourself twice as much as you hurt Sony. I don't know how much MS lose on each current XBox-360, but I'm willing to bet that it's a lot less than they cost at retail, so once again to hurt Microsoft, you've got to hurt yourself a lot more. It's a bit like stand
        • by Reapman (740286)
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc_Associat ion [wikipedia.org]

          Really? Just Sony? Ya your right, I never heard of those other pipsqueek companies before either..
        • by StikyPad (445176)
          You say tomato, I say BluRay is better than HD-DVD. Just because you're not personally in favor of BluRay doesn't mean Sony's trying to force some sort of undesirable format on the market. Granted, they've done that with a lot of their proprietary media, but BluRay was developed by a consortium of which Sony was merely a part. If you really want to punish the sort of behavior you're describing, then don't buy BluRay OR HD-DVD, because the only reason the formats weren't merged in the first place was ego
        • Wow. Where do I start?

          Okay, I don't like HD-DVD either, really, but given Sony's backing of technologies like UMD, MiniDisk, SDDS, and Betamax, I think it'd be a good bet to back HD-DVD over whatever Sony supports.

          Okay, it's not just Sony behind BR, sue me. But they seem to be the biggest backer, given that they're rolling out a game system designed to artifically create a user base for the format though gamers wanting to just play games on the console.

          And in a sense, yeah, you could say that just buying
          • by IrquiM (471313)
            The fact that they are using blueray for ps3 games is not only to force the public to buy blueray products. It also gives you the possibility to create bigger games that you can put on one CD. As game development moves forward, 360 owners will have a hard time changing DVDs or using half of 360 processing power to uncompress gamedata, while ps3 can store raw data on the blueray discs.

            Why blame Sony for using bigger discs to store games on? Using HD-DVD discs for ps3 gameplay was, I bet, never a possibility
    • by GrayCalx (597428)
      On the other hand, if we all bought them and used them for non-gaming applications (or at least didn't buy any sony-licensed games) we could put some serious smack down on Sony.

      Its kind of like communism, while it sounds good on paper, its just not going to work. And I know the same discussion was held multiple times here on /. when everyone wanted to bring Microsoft to their knees by buying Xboxes and 360s. AFAIK it didn't work.

      I think the counter-point was that the money is lost when they build the
      • Ahh, but it removes a potential of several hundred dollars worth of games over the next 2 to 3 months. If sony didn;t sell it to him, they would sell it to someone who is going to buy games and accessories for it. It would be one thing if no one was buying these, but since the demand is more high, buy a PS3 but no games would hurt sony more than not buying it, because they WILL sell it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chosen Reject (842143)
      So Sony creates a $900 machine and sells it for $600. They lose $300 if you buy it. If you don't buy it they lose $900. Yep, if you buy one, you will really show them who is in charge of economics.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wdomburg (141264)
        That only works if production outstrips demand. Until that happens, it's more like "Sony creates a $900 machine and sells it for $600. They lose $300 if you buy it. If you don't buy it, someone else does, along with accessories and games (like Sony is banking on)".

        Not that I advocate buying a machine you don't want just to stick it to a corporation. They may be out $300, but you'd be out $600.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blighter (577804)
          I think your theory only works if they decide to stop producing them before the guy who wants one and will buy the accessories gets one.

          Otherwise, when you buy one Sony takes a $300 loss, but eventually they fabricate and sell one to the guy who will buy the accessories, games and what-not. And at that point they get to say, "hey look, our install base is huge, only a truly foolish game producing company wouldn't make a game for us!" And perhaps their software-sales to install-base ratio will be a bit l

          • by Wdomburg (141264)
            I think your theory only works if they decide to stop producing them before the guy who wants one and will buy the accessories gets one.

            That's why I said, "That only works if production outstrips demand." :)
    • by Binestar (28861)
      Or, you could not buy it and cost Sony the full $800
    • by donaldm (919619)
      The following Ars Technica story give more detail http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061116-823 9 .html [arstechnica.com] however it still is what is called "rubbery figures" in that it is a so called "technical estimate" which is based on something but that something is not defined, however they do have a nice shiny chart to the tune of Sony loosing $240 (about $60 difference). The best way of determining truth here is get a cost breakdown from Sony and they aren't talking not that I blame them. Personally I do think the
  • Sony's Plan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by keithpreston (865880) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:31PM (#16873872)
    1. Lose Money on Each System 2. Sell less systems, create marketing hype 3. Systems become cheaper to make 4. Finally meet demand 5. Profit!!
    • I wish your comment had line breaks, because it is really insightful!

      I suggest people mod it up anyway.
    • by gregtron (1009171)
      Or they could cut out the middle men and just sell over ebay for $1200 a pop.
      • by Pharmboy (216950)
        I had a similar idea: Sony pre-sells the first 10,000 to 30,000 units on eBay, which gets a ton of cash, then you donate the excess over normal price to a worthwhile charity, which helps them and gets you good PR value.

        They cut out the profiteers, get the boxes to the fools willing to pay anything to get them, help some people/organizations, get some good press. Everyone wins. Except the profiteers.
    • by tuffy (10202)
      How about:
      1. Sell few systems to customers
      2. Third parties lose money making games for system, since there's few customers
      3. Third parties abandon system for ones that do make money
      4. Customers abandon system for ones with more games
      5. Sony abandons system - takes big loss

      For a system like the PS3 that relies heavily on licensing third party games to be profitable, not getting systems into people's living rooms is a major problem.
  • Yes. Am I surprised? No.

    It's surprising how demand for these are so high and production is so low. I mean, just yesterday we read about millions of iPhones coming for EARLY next year... but PS3, which has been anticipated is going to launch with a paltry number of units? Seems to me that Sony don't really care much about their customer base.

    Well, not so much the base as the loyalty. Good bye Mr. Sony, hello Mr. Wii.
  • FEWER? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rydia (556444)
    What, are they going to have negative PS3s?
    • by Quaoar (614366)
      Well, considering they lose $300 for each one they sell, perhaps it would be better to lose -$300...
      • by C_Kode (102755)
        Well, considering they lose $300 for each one they sell, perhaps it would be better to lose -$300...

        At a loss of -$300 for each PS3 not sold they will be billionaires in no time!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by GrayCalx (597428)
      Just make sure not to hook it up to your friend's real/positive PS3. If they collide the universe ends.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      Yeah, to get one on launch day, you're going to have to have 1) your pre-order ticket 2) a sweet place at the front of the line of people waiting overnight 3) $600 4) A PS3 to give them so they have one to sell to you.
  • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:40PM (#16874048) Journal
    So, at E3 there were going to be a million, then they had to reduce it to 400,000 a few months before launch. Then the day before, the announced there would only be 200,000. So I'm expecting them at about 6pm to say they only have 100,000 in retail stores, then at 9pm, they'll announce that due to an error some boxes did not have a PS3 placed in them before shipping, so really stores only have 50,000 or so, and then at 11 they'll announce contract dispute with retailers, meaning only 20,000 will be allowed to be sold, and at midnight they'll announce that the North American launch has been delayed until March 2007.

    Don't say I didn't warn you.
    • by eclectro (227083)
      Don't say I didn't warn you.

      I'm not worried. I will still get the empty box I can sell on ebay for a fortune!
  • The Real Launch? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miyako (632510) <miyakoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:43PM (#16874106) Homepage Journal
    I'm really not that upset about the shortages of available PS3s. I want one, but really, those guys that I saw with their tents set up outside of best buy on my way to work this morning, tents covered with a layer of ice- they want it more than I do- and so that's fine.
    The thing is, I do wish sony would just come out and admit that this isn't really so much of a launch as a preview. Then they could tell us when they are going to really launch- launch as in, if I were to stand in line for 3 or 4 hours I would be able to get one. That's the thing, I would be willing to stand in line for several hours- maybe even camp out- if I thought there was any sort of reasonable chance of getting one. The fact is that if I lined up in front of best buy this evening and tried to get one at 8am tomorrow, I would be probably like the 20th person in line to NOT get one.
    I will stand in line for the Wii though- not that I want it more than the PS3 (I'm actually slightly less excited about it, because until I actually have a chance to play it I'm still just not sure how well the wiimote is going to work out) but because i know that I might actually have a chance to get one.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      those guys that I saw with their tents set up outside of best buy on my way to work this morning, tents covered with a layer of ice-

      I would love to be there when the last dude gets one, and all the losers who camped out for days behind him still go home empty-handed. A good round of "laugh at the huge losers" would be a lot more entertaining than any PS3 game.

      -Eric

  • Of course they're shipping fewer units. They know they're not going to beat the 360 or Wii heads up, so they're hoping to create an artificial shortage and get some news stories about frazzled geeks sitting outside the store for days to buy one, or spending thousands on eBay. Unfortunately, that's the only kind of publicity the PS3 is likely to get, other than a lot of people renaming it "PS teh suXXXor"
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      thanks for the name, but we're already calling it the Piss3

      --The Sony Sucks club
  • I fear this rumor is untrue, well at least where they say there will be no 20 gig units in the U.S. The gamestop near me claims they only have 20 gig units.
  • Due to the limited initial installed base of the platforms, we believe the financial impact over the holiday period will be more significant for hardware manufacturers and video game retailers (such as GameStop) than for software publishers

    I fail to see how having fewer PS3s availible has less impact on the potential sales of titles for the system. It looks to me as a "everybody loses" situation, with this being the most positive way to word it. Better than, "Hey, some of you are slightly less screwed!"

  • The Fred Meyer by my house has a confirmed 2 60GB and 2 20GB shipment of PS3s.
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @03:15PM (#16874704)
    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35 784 [theinquirer.net]

    The difference between the cost of the parts of an Xbox 360 and a low end PS3 is $482.55. Even with manufacturing costs and other costs getting the system to the store, in order for Microsoft to lose as much money per console as Sony they would have to price an Xbox 360 at $99.

    Microsoft makes over 10 billion dollars a year in profit. They can afford to lose money in the short term for long term profits. Video on demand is going to be huge. Once they get a large install base, they can start providing video download services for other electronic manufacturers. You could buy a Toshiba DVD player which has video on demand provided by Microsoft. Microsoft and Toshiba would each make a few pennies for each download that the customer makes. There will be competitors, but that's business. While Sony has Blu Ray as its huge potential market, Microsoft has video on demand.

    If Microsoft wanted to really screw Sony, they could have a one day sale with the Xbox 360 premium and a copy of Gear of War for $299. If they feel like it, throw in a year of Xbox Live Gold and a copy of Project Gotham Racing 3. Or a Core system with a memory card and a copy of Project Gotham Racing for $199. Nov 16 would be a great date. Right between the PS3 and Wii launch. It would cost Microsoft money, but it would steal thunder from their competitors. Of course, it's too late now.

    It will be interesting to see whether the PS3 is worth $499 for the low end model. I honestly believe that people will buy the Wii regardless of what it costs or what the other console makers do. You're either a Wii fan or your not.

    • If Microsoft wanted to really screw Sony, they could have a one day sale with the Xbox 360 premium and a copy of Gear of War for $299. If they feel like it, throw in a year of Xbox Live Gold and a copy of Project Gotham Racing 3. Or a Core system with a memory card and a copy of Project Gotham Racing for $199. Nov 16 would be a great date. Right between the PS3 and Wii launch. It would cost Microsoft money, but it would steal thunder from their competitors. Of course, it's too late now.

      I was thinking the sa

    • I'm wondering where the inq got the current number for the MS BOM. The last one I saw is detailed here: http://www.linuxelectrons.com/News/Hardware/200511 24115105551 [linuxelectrons.com]

      Anyone know if there is a more up to date one somewhere?
  • Taiwan will only have 500 units for the whole country! Granted there are only about 23m people living there but still... why bother?
  • What's with all the PS3 articles? Is this the only thing /. can come up with to report? Actually, they're all the same article "5 days left..." "4 days left..." "shortage article #1" "shortage article #2"

    WHere's the news? Change the Tagline to:

    News for PS3 Owners. Stuff that doesn't matter.
    • by dlc3007 (570880)
      Gee... I dunno. Maybe there are stories about the PS3 in the "games" section of /. because this is the GAMES section of /.
      I realize that is hard to comprehend.... news about games in the games section of an on-line discussion forum. Think about it for a bit and get back to us, will you?
    • by ukpylot (815651)
      News for PS3 Owners. Stuff that doesn't matter.
      No, no one who reads this wants a PS3 so it should be News for Sony Haters. Stuff that doesn't matter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hurfy (735314)
      C'mon even my local paper had 2 PS3/Wii stories today. Including a decent description for the features of both. This is Spokane i would hope that a nerdy site would outgun us on gaming 'info' ;)
  • by Drakin (415182) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @05:07PM (#16876682)
    Today's the 16th. One day before launch.

    We finally got 1/3 of our (reduced) allotment of launch date PS3's in. The other two are who knows where.

    No launch games have been delivered, nor have any of the accessories.

    Sony, in it's infinite wisdom, seems to have given ever box it's own purchase order number. Which means that the carriers make no attempt to keep all the boxes together, which they would with a single P.O. number.

    So, we have 2 PS3's. No games. No accessories.

    Nintendo however has nearly doubled our launch allotment of the Wii.
    • Where do you work? That would help a little.
      • by Drakin (415182)
        I work for a Wal-Mart in Canada.

        The remaining units (20 gigs. The previous 2 were 60 gigs) arrived within roughly 30mins of the store opening. All were sold out as soon as they were in the department. No idea when or how many PS3s should be expected in the short or long term. Games and accessories also arrived with this shipment.

        Nintendo on the other hand, has delivered us all the Wiis we've been allocated for launch (27, up from the original allotment of 15) as of today, and has confirmed another 21 will b
  • ...to everyone that Sony are only releasing the bare minimum number of consoles to keep the public's interest in their latest console?

    At launch they're losing so much on each unit sold that they're no doubt just waiting to build demand before starting larger (and therefore lower cost per unit) runs of the necessary high cost components.
  • Fewer PS3 Units Tomorrow Than Hoped For?

    I doubt that considering I've been hoping for NONE. So unless Sony has started making their PS3s out of anti-matter (which, by the way, is more plentiful and cheaper than PS3s) then they will probably exceed my personal expectations.

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