Wii outsells PS3 5-fold in Japan

Wii outsells PS3 5-fold in Japan

Summary: 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.

TOPICS: Hardware

Sony PS3Discouraging 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.

[poll id=148]

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.


Topic: Hardware

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  • Have you seen this?


    Based on that advert, I'd buy the Wii! The key line is were the blonde says [i]"I'm cheap *and* fun"[/i]. It is a good ad. The PS3 is staid, boring and ...dull. The Wii is fun.

    Where's my credit card?????
  • I originally set out to buy the PS3...

    The price made me buy the Wii.. I think they lost alot of people because of price and I believe that's the only factor.

    As for game selection.. Well I mean the Wii had little as well.
  • XBOX360

    You forgot to include the Xbox360 as a selection in the poll.
    • If you read his title and his article...

      It's about Wii vs PS3.
      • Thanks

        Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways. I tend to pick out articles on ZDNet, don't bother to read them, and make random replies. Sheesh. If the poll completely corresponds to the article title, then I guess that only people in Japan should participate in it. Any discussions on the lackluster sales of the PS3 should definately include the XBox360.
        • Obviously

          "I tend to pick out articles on ZDNet, don't bother to read them, and make random replies." Obviously. SMH...

          Anyway, unless PS3 comes down in price the Wii will win. Personally I'd rather keep my PS2 then get a Wii. Nothing is cheaper than "already paid for."
          • I have a PS2 and a Wii...

            ...and my PS2 makes a good stand for the Wii.

            Honestly, however, I did see this coming when even the 360 came out last year. Every Sony fanboy repeats the mantra "Well, PS3 hasn't even been tapped yet, give it 18 months...the Cell Processor will make it amazing...I can run Linux on my console...1080P...I have HDMI..." and so on.

            IMHO, PS3 will suffer the same fate the the NeoGeo home system did, with one major difference...the PS3 hardware isn't the best that you can possibly get, while the NeoGeo was.
          • NeoGeo?

            The power of dual core CPU's in PC's are barely being tapped. The Cell has 9 cores and multi-threaded programming for 9 cores is very difficult.

            Regardless, NeoGeo? For it's time it was way over priced, and SNK is not Sony. Sony isn't going to let the PS3 die, at least not any time soon.

            Five years from now, the PS3 will still be around with full support from Sony.
  • Games ?

    Wii outsells PS3, but where are the games ?
    • Are you kidding?

      With a market as large as that for the Wii you'd have to be mad in the head to not develop for it. They will come.
      • Which should bring in the other point...

        Wii even with it's limited games is kicking the pants off of PS3.. oh and XBOX 360. :)
  • This is a first.

    Usually, popularity in Japan is opposite that in the US.

    The Wii is awesome, but I think as the PS3 library builds, it will gain momentum. I'm
    waiting for a price drop, Home, and a few more games before I buy mine, but I still
    intend to buy one.
  • Or maybe a good idea gone bad.

    How often has it happened that justifying an action with the expression "kill two birds with one stone" has led to disaster. Shows overconfidence in the vulnerability of the birds.

    Here the idea was to gain advantage for the Blu-Ray player by assuring its widespread distribution in PS3. Something the competition in that market would not have available. That's not just high-tech or performance, it's a kind of cross-marketing. But the cost of this inspiration was high.

    Especially when Sony was competing with itself. The PS2 is cheap, has a large number of games, and the sales figures show the device was widely considered satisfactory.

    If you build it they will come is not a good marketing strategy for a device costing more than the median computer.
    Anton Philidor
    • Is a game console worth a computer?

      In price the Wii just makes more sense. Anton makes a great point. If you are going to invest in a computer-type device why not make it a real computer when to prices seem to match anyways.

      A PS3 would take up my entertainment budget for a few months. And would not give me the entertainment value and the working value that a PC would. But if I want an entertainment device the Wii allots me to make a minimum investment in my entertainment and still allow me to budget for additional entertainment outside to the game console or even the PC. (I still like going to six flags)
  • 86 the Blu-Ray part

    It isn't driving sales, the onerous DRM plus the cost of the drive is adding an estimated 25-40% to the price. It was a strategic move to try to bundle the Hi-Def experience with a game console, but it failed. Same could be said for X-Box, the Hi-Def part just isn't drawing in purchases, so back to first principles, make it powerful and cheap.

    I can't help wondering how many of the millions of Rootkitted customers will never buy Sony again.

  • My daughter won a PS3...

    ...and, yes, it is too expensive! But I can see the quality in it. It can almost justify the high price, but that won't convince the gamer. The problem is definitely the lack of decent games. Other than Resistance:FoM, there is little to distinguish it.

    I do appreciate the other media features and I'm not a big gamer, but I would like to think I had a choice if I were to want one or two. I have visited the games stores often just to see if there are any new releases. NOTHING to speak of since the Aussie launch in Feb! That's just not good enough.
    Big Scoddie
  • By the way...

    I am typing this comment on a "Think Outside" Stowaway Universal Bluetooth keyboard connected effortlessly to the PS3. The web site looks just fine on my Sony 46 inch Full HD screen. Even from way back here on the couch. The more I use the PS3, the more I love it. I am now wondering if it is actually too exoensive for what you get. Still needs more gomes though.
    Big Scoddie