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NPD: Behind the Numbers, February 2009
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NPD: Behind the Numbers, February 2009


March 21, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 6 Next
 

PlayStation Family Sales, Price Cuts

In 2007 and somewhat in 2008 Sony could point to its robust PSP and PS2 markets while the PS3 strove for footing. However, the PS2 is far down this year, and the PSP is appears to be slowing as well.

Dropping PS HW Sales

After increases for the beginnings of both 2007 and 2008, the PS2 has finally fallen off a cliff. Sales of the oldest active console on the market dropped from over 600,000 for the first two months of 2008 to just 232,000 for the beginning of 2009. While the PSP didn't suffer quite the same loss, a drop of 22% should not be shrugged off lightly.

While Sony could energize sales of all its systems with a price drop, the reasons for doing so are not so clear. For the PlayStation 3, the company may still be taking a loss – or perhaps breaking even – with each system sold.

With the company dedicated to profitability, it seems unlikely that the PlayStation 3 will get a price drop until well into the second quarter of this year. Mr. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities has said that he expects a mid-year price drop, which seems reasonable.

Until that time, Sony may opt to increase the value of the system with bundling rather than offer a true price cut.

For the PS2 and PSP, one must ask: What would a price drop accomplish other than increasing hardware sales and cutting the company's margin on profitable hardware?

Any consumer waiting to get a PS2 which it reaches $100, as opposed to $130, is cost-conscious enough to avoid expensive new software and opt instead for games from the giant pool of used games available at retailers like GameStop.

On the PSP side, software is already selling so poorly and new killer titles are so infrequent that Sony is possibly better keeping more profit from the hardware.


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