Consumer Scapegoat Justified???

“I am pretty sure if you asked just about any real gamer out there if they would like to have a PS3, their answer would be a resounding “Yes!” I think a lot of this goes back to the proliferation of the Internet, where a very vocal minority can make a lot of noise and potentially alter perceptions of the masses, whether they are accurate or not. A lot of this, naturally, is driven by the media who seem focused on taking swipes at us lately, without taking in the full picture.”

Dave Karakker, Sony America’s Director of Corporate Communications

When I saw this quote, I was flat out flabbergasted. The concept of a consumer scapegoat seemed to me, low and a concession of failure. However, after thinking about it, he was slightly correct. A vocal minority has always had great influence. (In this case I don’t believe it is a minority at the moment; however, with the Playstation 2’s success, I can see where he gets that concept) In this case, the main problem with the Playstation 3 is games and price point. Why do we all think this? Well, because there are currently better alternatives out there: the Wii for the cheaper, casual gamer and the Xbox 360 for a gamer focus more upon solid games. Does this mean the Ps3 is dead? I would think not…

The Ps3 has “failed” because of two main stigma associated with it, lack of quality games, and high price. Both have been spurred on by the internet community and the media, but if it had been handled well by Sony, neither would have been an issue…

Price point is a major concern for any business. If you go too high, no one will buy. If you go too low, you lose profits. Consumers say Sony went to high; Sony says they went to low. (The Ps3 is already selling at a loss). Which is correct? Both. Because of Sony’s marketing scheme, they seem to forget to emphasize that the console is one of the cheapest Blu-ray players around. (Oh and it plays games too!) They focus on saying the Blu-ray technology is superior, instead of saying “Hey this is cheaper than a normal player.” See this page for pricing… Why is that? Probably because they don’t want to compete with themselves. They would rather keep it a PS3 vs. Xbox 360 than a PS3 vs. Blu-ray player debate.

The next aspect is games. Here in all reality, they are not much worse of than the Xbox 360 a year ago. Neither had the most amazing launch titles. However, it is true, consumers are impatient. I’m not going to invest money into a gaming system that has no games yet, when there is one that already has a strong base. (10 million Xbox 360 Sold) What could Sony have done better? Not hype Killzone 2 like it is Halo 3. Killzone one was mediocre at best. Why would I be excited for a sequel? (Hopefully I’m proved wrong) Hype up something else. They have a very strong line up coming out.

Overall, the Playstation 3 is in no way out for the count. They will have a strong resurgence. But with better management on Sony’s end, this article might have been about the Xbox 360.

Author: John Laster