Discouraging news for Sony as the company banks on the PS3 games console as being able to turn around the company - last month the Nintendo Wii outsold Sony's PS3 by more than five to one in Japan, painting a gloomier picture than the previous month where the ratio was four to one.
Nintendo sold 251,794 units of the Wii in May, compared with 45,321 units of the PS3 sold.
For several years now Sony executives have bet the farm on the PS3 being able to pull the company out of the financial nose-dive it's been experiencing, but even with the PS3 out, the cash is slow to follow. In the year up to the end of March 07 Sony suffered an operating loss of 232 billion Yen ($1.91 billion), most of this attributable to the startup costs of the PS3.
Unless Sony can start making the PS3 attractive to buyers, this downward spiral is sent to continue. If early figures are anything to go by, Sony is finding it increasingly difficult to make the PS3 attractive to gamers, especially compared to the Wii.
The problem as I see it is attitude to gamers. While Sony believed that gamers wanted to buy a games console that was packed with the latest cutting-edge technology, Nintendo took a different approach and concentrated on making the product fun. This is a move that seems to be paying off.
There are two further factors affecting the sale of the PS3. First is clear - price. Sony gambled that consumers could be persuaded en masse to spend what is a crazy amount of cash on a games console if it was crammed with high-tech components and marketed as an entertainment system. Early reports seem to suggest that beyond the initial PS3 feeding frenzy, convincing customers to part with a sizable amount of money in exchange for a games console is harder than expected. Sony might have to bite the bullet and let the price of the PS3 slide a little (or a lot) in order to fire up enthusiasm.
The other problem is a lack of compelling games. Sony needs to get a decent set of games out there in order to drive sales. Technology alone can't drive sales of the PS3. Sony has to find a way to lead customers by the heart, not head.