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PS3 Japanese Estimates Down, No 360 Price Drop 84

There are unhappy gamers on a couple sides of the console wars today. IGN is reporting that Japan's allotment of 100,000 PS3 units will actually be more like 80,000. From that article: "The lack of digits in that number is even more staggering when you consider that the PS2 sold out of nearly a million units when it launched back in March of 2000. Having lived through a few weeks of attempting to obtain a PS3 pre-order, we're not too surprised by the lowered shipping numbers. Allocations disappeared quickly at online retailers that were brave enough to start pre-order programs. The online arm of media retailer Tsutaya ran out of units in 6 minutes according to Nikkei (it felt more like 1 minute to us)." Meanwhile, the Seattle PI reports that Microsoft has once again denied the possibility of a 360 price drop any time soon.
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PS3 Japanese Estimates Down, No 360 Price Drop

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  • ...they run out of batteries for controllers?
    • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 )
      Nah, they have plenty of them, just the smoke really messes up the boxes and ticks off the retailers.
  • Considering the price of the PS3, I'm not surprised Sony expected a lower turn-out, and I'm not surprised MS is holding on the price of the Xbox. What I am surprised at is that anyone else is.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      TFA/S says nothing about Sony expected low turn-out. It says everything about component shortages, though. They aren't shipping fewer because they won't sell, they just can't make them fast enough, even with all the bad press lately.
      • I'm sure, if Sony had wanted to, they could've spent many millions on new facilities and ramped production up to the point where a million units would've been available. But that would've been a risk, considering the high price of the unit (which might've gone higher because of the additional production expense) and the potential competition from HD-DVD. Given that, I would've wussed out too, and taken the confidence hit rather than risk having to liquidate a huge glut of expensive machines.
        • by amuro98 ( 461673 )
          That isn't the issue. Sony has the capacity. What they lack is are Blu-Ray drive components - specifically the laser diode. I'm sure Sony could produce at least 2, maybe 3 times their current rate, but if you're lacking a part, that's going to bottleneck the whole operation. The same thing happend with the PS2 and the 360 - both suffered initially from poor yields on their CPU, which ended up severely restricting the initial shipments.

          Remember, Sony was originally planning to ship around 2 million (down
    • They would have easily sold at least 500K (half the amount the ps2 instantly sold out of on the first day) on launch day no matter the price. The places that offered online pre-orders in japan were out of units within 6 minutes.
  • Nintendo fans report feeling "alright" about the current turn of events. As one astutely commented, "Meh."
  • ...Sony giving away vouchers for a PS3 on launch day for when one becomes available so they can bump up the initial sales figures.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ShadowsHawk ( 916454 )
      Nintendo is the only one that goes by sales figures. $ony and Micro$oft go buy units shipped. Probably not a huge difference but it is worth taking note of.
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @12:43PM (#16659491)
    We aren't going to ship 4 Million, we're going ship 2 by the end of the year
    We aren't going to ship to Europe until March.
    We are dropping the lower priced system's price by 10000 yen(or so) in japan but we're not scared
    We aren't going to be able to make the launch numbers.

    Jesus, could they be any stupider? Now they are running advertisements for the PS3 on TV. what? Do they think they are going to get more interest with a doll in the ad rather then showing game play? The simple fact is they want people killing each other to get the system, and it's just not happening. They can't sell more than they are shipping, and that's already low, but they need people to drool so much they aren't picking up a 360 instead. What's worse, those guys who preorder or who will go the distance, probably have a 360 at home so while they gain market share, they aren't getting the 1 system families.

    The PS3 has been a huge mistake every step of the way, and just when you think it is over.... it's not.

    Hell I wouldn't be surprised if the systems don't boot up or immediately don't work, Sony's track record wasn't great, but the PS3 makes me think there was a mandatory lobotomy of all Sony management.

    And this doesn't get into the fact that Sony's advertising diversion is.... well if Management got lobotomies, they got headectomies. Their advertising isn't just weak, it's ineffectual.
    • Jesus, could they be any stupider?

      Enough said.
      • "Stupider" is perfectly valid word. Notice the first suffix in the below definition (taken from the New Oxford American Dictionary)

        adjective ( -pider, -pidest)
        lacking intelligence or common sense : I was stupid enough to think she was perfect.
        dazed and unable to think clearly : apprehension was numbing her brain and making her stupid.
        informal used to express exasperation or boredom : she told him to stop messing with his stupid painting.

        Notice the first suffix.
        • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
          I don't have an Oxford American Dictionary, but my OED, Webster, WordNet, and Random House all disagree with that.
          • I don't have an Oxford American Dictionary, but my OED, Webster, WordNet, and Random House all disagree with that.

            I would you suggest that you measure the validity of a word not by how many different dictionaries it appears in, but rather by how obvious it makes the concept it attempts to express.

            "Stupider" is a perfectly cromulent word. You'd have to be stupider than a tree to be unable to understand its meaning of "more stupid".
            • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
              Well then, by your logic, I agree. I think that "stupider" is a distinctively cromulent word.
          • It's the New American Dictionary, it's stupider by definition.
    • I don't know, that doll was pretty creepy. Maybe the advertisers are making it part of a campaign that will climax with: "buy a ps3 or this doll will come and kill you in your sleep"
      • I don't know, that doll was pretty creepy.

        I second this. It did nothing to make me want to buy the console itself. If anything, I was turned off to the product. They can't possibly be trying to gain mindshare at this point, but you never know.

    • They're really missing an opportunity with their commercials.

      To get the best sense of the graphical prowess of the modern consoles, you need an effectively-uncompressed video feed. The gameplay videos you can download, by and large, don't cut it; they can show gameplay but they can't show the graphics. They are compressed far more than a TV feed and typically shrunk to less than NTSC resolution, let alone HDTV resolution.

      TV is the best place to be putting out some game clips that really show the PS3 kicking
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      For all that rant, there is a good point to consider in there. Namely, what if there are defective PS3s?

      Microsoft got a good lashing last year when a fair number of their consoles had issues. Not a very significant number, but enough that word got around the net fast. You can argue that perhaps we were looking for reasons for the 360 to fail, but you can make that same argument now for the PS3.

      If the launch is anything short of perfect, we're going to hear about it. Seeing as how only the hardcore, internet
      • Actually people are already a little suspicious of the console.

        Let's start with the PSX? The first YEAR of console production had overheating issues. This isn't one batch, most of the early consoles had issues with this. But at least the console didn't break of get destroyed (though a couple discs got scratched).

        Then the PS2, was a lot better, less overheating (though some), but after a couple years we got DREs, Disk read errors to those who don't know. PS1 games no longer were read, some PS2 games did
    • Haven't most games console adverts (for the system itself) been completley bizzare, and only vaugley related to gaming though? I'm in the UK, and we've had plenty of odd ads: What has an alien faces Scotswoman [youtube.com] to do with the PlayStation, or The Third Place [youtube.com] to do with the PS2? Or the later Fun Anyone? [youtube.com] ads for that matter. From cradle to grave [youtube.com] (and later banned), but does it really say much about the Xbox? The fake gunfight [youtube.com] to sell the Xbox 360 is a bit more game related than most though. After the odd "barbe
      • There are some poor choices for ads, but there's some great ones.

        The point I was making was Sony is advertising something they will sell out of. Assume Audi makes 200,000 cars of a new ST type (Stylish touring). They then sell all 200,000 of the initial run. Would it be smart for them to run adds for the ST? Not really. Now if they are going to make more, it might be smart so people might hold off on buying another car and see if they can get an ST

        However in Sony's case their ads have been completely i
    • Actually, according to the print edition of the Wall Street Journal [wsj.com], Sony's in serious trouble and at major risk of damaging their entire company with the disasterous PS3 launch, combined with the battery recall.

      Meanwhile, Nintendo is laughing all the way to the bank and quietly gearing up production as fast as it can.

      I'll be pondering that on Nov. 19th when my son and I line up in Seattle to get our pre-ordered Wii and then spend the day driving to Costco and ToysRUs and Fred Meyer to buy another one for a
    • The one mistake that will absolutely doom the PS3 is low production counts. Not having 2 millon PS3 units shipped by Christmas will be bad for Sony.
  • These guys can jockey for position all they want, I'm holding out for the Okama Gamesphere.
  • This will be *the* cheapest Blu-Ray player out there and is priced to go head-to-head with the Toshiba HDA1 HD-DVD player. I think a lot of people will be buying it, and I'm wondering out of those people, how many are buying it for Hi-Def movies. The PS3 might do well if they also try courting non-gaming theater buffs. The inclusion of the Blu-Ray drive may be a huge factor in making the PS3 viable and marketable, while also bolstering their Blu-Ray efforts.
    • by k_187 ( 61692 )
      if that's the case, why not make a cheap blu-ray player and leave out all the expensive/hard to make PS3 parts? The PS3 part is to get more blu-ray players out there, not the other way around.
      • by Quila ( 201335 )
        if that's the case, why not make a cheap blu-ray player and leave out all the expensive/hard to make PS3 parts?

        Blu-Ray was the big expensive part, and because of it Sony will be taking a loss on every PS3 sold. Sony can't afford to take a loss on just regular Blu-Ray players, where they get don't get the licensing fees and accessory sales that will allow them to make up for that loss with the PS3.
      • by aphxtwn ( 702841 )
        Sony's pushing for the same thing Microsoft is. To have the PS3/xbox be *the* entertainment hub for a house. Also, I don't know the exact numbers on the costs of manufacturing the existing Blu-Ray players, but the HD-DVD HDA1 is selling at a loss. Since the HD-DVD player is $500 and the BR players are over $1000, perhaps it may be cheaper to use the cell processor rather than other types of hardware. I think the Cell processor may be a bigger part of their technology strategy. As soon as manufacturing
      • The way Sony sees it, you'll save up a few months pay, or pool together with your friends to be able to afford a PS3. You will stop eating, you will stop buying PS2 games and accessories, all to get a shiny new PS3. And as a bonus, you'll get a Bluray player (highly subsidized).

        Point is, they're supposedly taking a huge loss by including Bluray in the PS3. They're banking it all on the PS3 selling in droves. Then they hope that people will actually buy Bluray movies afterward. If they just made a cheap Blur
        • by aphxtwn ( 702841 )
          Cheap BluRay players would definitely be noticed. The DVD market is huge, and if Sony could produce a cheap player that would target the Walmarts, Sony would be set. The main issue is the processing power required to decode the amount of data that's required for HD, but that processor cost will diminish over time. The current HD media players are basically desktop machines stuffed into a theater component case.
          • I doubt it would be noticed, especially by shoppers at Walmart. In order to really take advantage of Bluray, you also need to have an HDTV and decent sound system. Most people would not notice the difference between DVD and HD-DVD or Bluray on a 27" SDTV. And from what I hear, a lot of the Bluray movies that are currently on the market don't look much better than their DVD release. And they especially don't look good enough to warrant the price of new equipment.
          • The DVD market is huge, and if Sony could produce a cheap player that would target the Walmarts, Sony would be set.

            The Walmarts already have cheap DVD players. They cost under $50.

            How many people are going to look at a "cheap" Blu-Ray player, costing ten times as much, and conclude that it's a good value and they need to take one home?
    • I seriously don't think anyone is going to buy this thing for its next-gen DVD capabilities...yet.
      - Most people are happy with DVD or can't take advantage of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. 600 bucks may be a great deal for a Blu-Ray player, but people just don't care about the technology yet at almost any price.
      - People did buy PS2 for its DVD playback, but DVD was already well-established by that point. 600 bucks is alot for something that's not guaranteed to be viable in a few years. The format war really hurts both
    • 480k is a lot of people, but I don't think those preorders were for the Blu-ray player aspect.

      To put it in perspective, 400k (the US allotment) is less than 1/600th of the US population. Even were we to get 1m, that's still only 1/300th. In order for Blu-ray or HD-DVD to be successful, they need to be far more ubiquitous than that.

      The real problem is that most people still do not have an HDTV. If HDTVs were truly ubiquitous and at or beyond 50% of the market, Blu-ray and HD-DVD would probably be able to tak
      • 400k is not the US allotment; Canada is not part of the US yet. The US allotment will likely be about 360k, with 400k units allocated to North America.
      • 480k is a lot of people, but I don't think those preorders were for the Blu-ray player aspect.

        I agree. I'd have to say a large bulk of the pre-orders are from folks that just want to "buy low, sell high ... on eBay". Reading through some of the pre-order line interviews on some of the gaming sites (Kotaku and Joystiq come to mind), it seems like a majority of buyers are just trying to make a quick buck. With all the money that was made with eBay selling of the PS2 and the Xbox 360, it's almost hard to blame

    • by Vaakku ( 698260 )
      PS2 sucked as DVD player. If you are a movie buff you will buy decent Blue-Ray player for same price.
      • My PS2 is my primary DVD player. It does a heckuva lot better at that than the actual DVD player I got which skipped, overheated, and generally refused to read DVDs that had nary a flaw.
        • What sort of cheap DVD player do you have? I have $25 player from Jewel (grocery store) that I picked up on a whim and it works fine. I'm betting that your post is FUD or you got a lemon.
      • If you're halfway intelligent and aren't in the top 5% income bracket, you'll remember how quickly DVD players came down once the format became common knowledge. Seeing how DVD's are already pretty decent quality, I don't think waiting a year or so for a much wider selection of players at much better prices is going to be too hard for most people.
    • by amuro98 ( 461673 )
      I know that Sony is trying for a repeat of their PS2 strategy, where they made the PS2 the cheapest DVD player on the market when it released in Japan. While that worked for DVD, I think Sony is seriously deluding themselves that people are going to buy the PS3 just to get a "cheap" blu-ray player.

      Let's see, first of all, at best the penetration of HDTV is at 25%.

      Second, the PS3 is not launching with an actual remote for Blu-Ray playback. While I assume you'll be able to use the PS3 controller as a remote
  • If it is "all about the games", what kind of effect is this going to have on those developers working towards "Launch Window" games? Will the effect be minimal, because those who actually buy the system have all the disposable income imaginable to buy every single game out there? Or are we looking at marketing budgets going to the toilet because nobody has the console anyway? 80,000 on release day in Japan, and they expect how many by the end of the first month? Could it be possible that the Xbox360 will be
    • by tuffy ( 10202 )
      With so few PS3s available, third-party developers who've invested huge sums of money into programming and assets aren't going to have the patience for Sony to crank out enough hardware to make PS3-exclusive titles profitable. So, I'd expect a lot of big titles to have X-Box360 and Wii ports - which will hinder Sony's ability to dominate this generation of consoles as those other consoles become more appealing.
    • I'd see Nintendo taking Japan before Microsoft. All Nintendo has to do is release WiiHD in 7 months and then there would be something to talk about. WiiHD will have HDMI out and a bit more graphical punch and all the future games will play on a standard Wii or WiiHD. Just think of how fast GBA SP or DS Lite came down the pike... Nintendo is very good at taking what is great and making it just that much better.
      • by Zebai ( 979227 )
        Fortunetly for us Wii fans, the release date for the Wii is very shortly after the ps3. So while all those ps3 drooling kids try to find a ps3 and cannot find one, they will see a nice shiny Wii sitting next to that Sold out sticker, and Wii will get a huge marketing boost from shelf placement. Just from that simple fact because when christmas comes, the mom and dads trying to fullfill their kids console request are going to have to make a choice of getting them something nice or getting them nothing at
      • The difference being that the DS Lite and GBA SP weren't more powerful hardware-wise, but were simply sleeker and slightly better screenwise (backlit and brighter).

        What you're proposing is a second iteration of the Wii which is actually functionally different. That sounds to me like a surefire way of pissing people off. Not to mention the problems with supporting a split user base across low end and high end versions (an issue that plagues MS and Sony).
        • What he was suggesting was remarkably foolish, but with 3D games you can support higher resolutions in a newer version without causing compatibility issues; if you tripled the power of the GPU and made the frame-buffer 6 times as large, I'm pretty sure that you could run any Wii game at 1080p without any extra development or any performance hit. I personally suspect that Nintendo would only do this if (in 12-18 months) a large portion of potential users do not buy the system because it does not support HD.
          • if you tripled the power of the GPU and made the frame-buffer 6 times as large, I'm pretty sure that you could run any Wii game at 1080p without any extra development or any performance hit.

            You'd need to either put larger textures or run some non-linear sharpening algorithm on them. Otherwise, objects close enough for their textures to be drawn at the highest level of MIP-mapping won't look any sharper. In addition, use of the 3D hardware to draw 2D objects such as status bars and fighting game characters

            • by Jerf ( 17166 )
              It wouldn't be perfect, but it'd be better (in most ways) than upsampling from NTSC/PAL resolutions. Future games would be tested with it. It would be reasonably analogous to the PS1/PS2 situation, although obviously not perfect.

              Plus, Nintendo may be able to do some careful work to avoid this problem, since they presumably wouldn't be just sticking any ol' updated graphics card in, but a card custom designed for this purpose.

              I think it's a distinct possibility, if Nintendo percieves that lack of HD is hurti
        • What you're proposing is a second iteration of the Wii which is actually functionally different.

          Like the Gameboy Color was a second iteration of the Gameboy which was actually functionally different?

          Granted, Nintendo waited about nine years after the introduction of the classic GB before introducing an evolved model...
  • Of course.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaseM ( 746707 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:05PM (#16659907)
    I always get a chuckle at these denials and the fact that they're even reported as news. Of course Microsoft is going to deny a price drop (even if it's coming), just the way Nintendo denied they were remaking the DS...announcing a price drop would kill current sales of the 360's as everyone would hold out until the price drop actually occurred.
    • It's worth noting that Amazon is advertising a 360 deal where if you purchased a console you got $50 off the price of a game (Dead Rising, Madden 07, Oblivion and Lego Star Wars 2 - all listing at $49.99 on the site) - the deal ends today. While I know Amazon can afford to make great deals on stuff, the margins on new games are still very small, so someone is probably subsidizing this sale. If it's Microsoft, then it would imply that either a price drop or a bundle of 360 plus a game (which would be, in e
    • by amuro98 ( 461673 )
      While that is true, Microsoft also said to expect aprice drop once a year.

      Granted, Microsoft probably eliminated that spokesperson for the same reasons you mention above, and this was also long before Sony did such an effective job at making the PS3 lanch virtually non-event for 2006.
  • Could a Japanese developer releasing a launch title in Japan exclusively even break even on development costs with that limited amount of consoles?
    • by xero314 ( 722674 )

      Could a Japanese developer releasing a launch title in Japan exclusively even break even on development costs with that limited amount of consoles?

      Good question but I think you are overly simplifying the situation. First of all the 80,000 units shipped (which could be nearly 5 million USD in sales of a single game at $60 a pop. I have no idea what the comparison is in yen) is only the initial launch allotment, and like all entertainment no one expects to profit solely on initial release. Within 6 months t

    • Could a Japanese developer releasing a launch title in Japan exclusively even break even on development costs with that limited amount of consoles?

      After New Zealand and Australia found Sony and other DVD player makers guilty of competition law violations through the DVD region coding system, and likely for other reasons as well, Sony has decided to make games on the PLAYSTATION 3 console region-free [ign.com]. This gives Japanese publishers greater incentive to sell games that don't involve a lot of text to gaijin

      • Sony has decided to make games on the PLAYSTATION 3 console region-free.

        And at the same time decided to put the #1 exporter of Japaneese games/systems out of buisness (Lik-Sang). So essentially you could play import Japaneese games on your PS3, unfortunately it will be difficult to actually import games.

        The initial poster's point still stands; if you're only going to release 100,000 systems then (because most game sales are made within the first 6 weeks of the game being released) the best you can do is sel
  • Maths (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:52PM (#16660817) Homepage Journal
    Japanese Allotment: 80k
    American Allotment: 400k

    Population of Japan: 127.42 million
    Previous Japanese Market Volume: 30.31 million (Dreamcast + Gamecube + PS2 in Japan)
    Number of PS3s per person: 1 per 1593
    Number of PS3s per gamer: 1 per 379
    Potential Market Share at Launch: 0.26% (Allotment / Previous Volume)

    Population of America: 300.00 million
    Previous American Market Volume: 70.8 million (Xbox + Gamecube + PS2)
    Number of PS3s per person: 1 per 750
    Number of PS3s per gamer: 1 per 177
    Potential Market Share at Launch: 0.56%

    Combined Potential Market Share: 0.47% (480k) [5.66% relative Market Share]
    Current 360 Market Share: 5.93% (6 million) [70.07% relative Market Share]
    Potential Wii Launch Market Share: 1.98% (2 million) [23.59% relative Market Share]

    Projected March 07 Market Share: 5.93% (6 million) [27.28% relative Market Share]
    360 March 07 Market Share: 9.89% (10 million) [45.46% relative Market Share]
    Wii March 07 Market Share: 5.93% (6 million) [27.28% relative Market Share]
    • by sqlrob ( 173498 )
      6 million by March for the Wii? Isn't that a little low? I thought that there were 4 million by year end. So another 2 million by March seems an underestimation.
      • by pl1ght ( 836951 )
        No, it isnt low. Based on the Nintendo Gamecubes sales, the projection is within line. 250 still is a lot of money to the masses for any new console, let alone the 600 price tag of the PS3. It will still be early adopters come March.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I used the official company goals/projections. Unofficially Nintendo may have 6 million availible by January, and Sony may fall short of 6 million in March. It seemed unobjective to factor such things in.

        6 million for Nintendo is not bad at all, seeing as how the Xbox 360 has been out for almost a year now and has only recently crossed the 6 million mark. The rate at which they produce new consoles in their projections is quite steady and reasonable.

        What concerns me are the PS3 forecasts. If taken in two mo
      • Yes, it is low, but Nintendo as a company is very conservative and always releases lowball projections. Internally, they may expect to have 10 million consoles shipped by March 2007, but they will never publicly admit to such a number. Also, 6 million by March means after the initial launch, production will be steady through the rest of the fiscal year, in case they are unable to ramp up production beyond their current capabilities.
    • Once again I would like to point out that North America is not the same thing as the United States of America. The North American allotment is 400k; North American has additional countries in it like Canada for example.
  • Microsoft's pricing strategy leaves room for the Wii to really take off. The Xbox 360 is not just competing with the PS3, it is also competing with Nintendo's console. High definition graphics don't matter to the majority of people who are currently using standard definition televisions. I don't think that demand for Zelda/Mario/Metroid is as high as the Nintendo faithful would have you believe, but the Wii will sell very well if its competitors prices are sky high.

    Why doesn't Microsoft kick Sony while

    • If Microsoft doesn't drop it's price on the PS3 release date I'd be very surprised.

      That said, Microsoft isn't about to shoot itself in the foot by telling people that a price drop will happen. If they say, "Nov 17th we will drop our price $50US", then people will stop buying 360s until Nov 17th. Microsoft wants people to keep on buying normally up until that point and the best way to do that is to keep people believing that no price drop is happening.

    • When I look at the American Best Buy site, I don't see similar bundles being offered.

      Not Best Buy... Amazon's doing it, though. [amazon.com]
    • by amuro98 ( 461673 )
      You have to remember it's almost time for the annual holiday shopping craze. Dropping the price on the 360 won't really help sales one way or another. Besides, Microsoft already has the "Core" unit at $300 - half of what that high-end PS3 you won't find in stores will sell at.

      You also have to remember that the PS3 isn't going to be in stock anywhere. It's going to be the PS2 and the 360 all over again. And with such small numbers, it's not going to put a dent in Microsoft or Nintendo's sales.

      The longer

Loose bits sink chips.