Talking as part of Gamasutra's latest 'Analyze This' column, OTX's Nick Williams says that, according to his company's data, one third of those who plan to purchase God Of War III have yet to buy a PS3, implying a major bump for hardware sales when the game debuts.
Analysts including Williams were questioned as part of this month's column dealing with the major turmoil in the world economy, and how it might affect the game industry.
They particularly asked how the consoles trailing in the hardware battle -- the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 -- would fare during 2009, and Williams explained:
"The price point for the PS3 remains a real problem for Sony. Sony execs now find themselves in the precarious position of trying to balance consumer price expectations with the high costs of producing each PS3.
That said, the PS2's continued success more than eight years after launch suggests that Sony is thinking long term with the PS3. If Sony can continue to bring down hardware manufacturing costs, it seems likely that it will offer a price cut by the end of Summer 2009.
The launch of God of War III in late 2009/early 2010 will mark a pivotal moment for Sony. But in order to ensure that this game is a hardware sales driver, the cost of the base-level PS3 will need to be in the same ballpark as the Xbox 360 and Wii.
According to our latest consumer tracking study, only two in three people who plan to purchase God of War III currently own a PS3."
OTX's Williams also weighed in on the Xbox 360 and how it can weather current market conditions, commenting:
"Microsoft faces a different set of challenges. The Xbox 360 is now the de facto leader in connected consoles, and Xbox Live is the leading edge for new experiments with downloadable content.
In order to stay a few steps ahead of Sony in the online space, Microsoft needs to continue refining Xbox Live as a valuable medium for both consumers and publishers. During a time when consumers are doing less shopping, an impulse buy on Xbox Live is going to be a lot easier to swallow than a drive to the local store."
You can now read the full Gamasutra 'Analyze This' feature, including additional, detailed comments from Screen Digest and EEDAR analysts about the state of the game business and prospects for the rest of 2009.