Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai has commented on the recent prediction
by analysts the Yankee Group that the PlayStation 3 will hold the most next-generation console market share by 2011, as well as potential allocations of the console itself in 2006, as part of a major new interview
with consumer website GameSpot.
Regarding whether he thinks PlayStation 3 will be able to edge out the competition being mounted by Microsoft, as well as that of Nintendo's Wii, and citing the Yankee Group analysis, Hirai noted that the analysts “looked at the information they had at hand”, adding that Sony's goal is to “make sure that we keep at least as much market share as we have had with the PS1 and the PS2. We don't plan on ceding any of the market share to our competitors, especially after the cycle has gone deep.”
Concerning the launch of the PlayStation 3 itself, which is targeted for a worldwide release in mid November, the executive revealed that Sony has not yet begun manufacturing of the next-generation console. However, he did note that “everything's pretty much on track.” and that “...we're internally really getting geared up to go to market with this beautiful console in three months' time, and at this point in time all signs are good to go.”
Digging deeper, and looking at specific quantities that the three separate territories of Japan, North America, and Europe/Australasia can expect to see at launch, Hirai spoke matter of factly, commenting that the company still anticipated shipping 2 million units worldwide by the close of 2006. He noted that while Sony has not come up with a firm allocation yet, he anticipates “less than 700,000 units per territory, per major territory between launch and the end of the year.”
“So even if there was some fluctuation--you give Japan more, you give the US more, what have you--you're going to end up with some shortages,” added Hirai. “So I think that if we've done our jobs right and if we've been able to really have the consumers become interested in this product, then, unfortunately, I think it's going to be very much of a challenge to be able to meet every single unit demand that's out there in the market. That's just a logistical impossibility.”
Finally, turning to the PSP, specifically concerning recent rumors of a price drop for the portable to bring it more in line with the price of the Nintendo DS, Hirai denied any such plans, responding that Sony is “happy with the pricing... I think that's a great value proposition to the consumer,” he added. “So we have no plans to revisit the price at this point in time.”