With PS3 sales lagging behind Nintendo's Wii console, Sony may have to cut its price tag to compete. Senior Vice President Takao Yuhara said that while a price cut has not been decided, "We may look at the price as part of our strategy to expand the market when the timing is right".
Compete.com has been tracking the number of U.S. consumers observed shopping online for each console since November 11th, and the numbers don't look good for Sony:
To add insult to injury, Nintendo recently announced that it has shipped 3.2 million Wii consoles during the 4th quarter, and sold 17.5 million games. Compare that to Sony's 1.9 million consoles and 5.2 games. A ZDNet survey shows interest in the Wii outpacing interest in the PS3 by almost a 3 to 1 margin.
Sony, naturally, sees things a little differently. Sony spokesman Dave Karraker is quoted in the NY times as saying the Wii does not belong in the same category as the more powerful PlayStation 3. "Wii could be considered an impulse buy more than anything else," he declared.
After "impulsively" waiting in line for hours before Christmas in a fruitless attempt to buy a Wii, I eventually turned to eBay. The console has been a huge hit in the Burnette household. Just today we had three neighbors over, five kids in total, all clamoring to play Wii Sports.
Unfortunately Santa only brought two controllers.
I've been calling the local game stores for weeks trying to find new Wiimotes but they're always sold out. And when I tried to pre-order the upcoming "Wii Play" game, which comes with a remote, the local EB Games attendant informed me they had to stop taking orders because they had already reached their expected quota.
The little console with the funny name isn't Nintendo's only surprise hit. Try to find a DS or DS lite in the store - around here they have been sold out since before Christmas. One wonders how much larger Nintendo's sales could have been if they were able to make as many game machines as people seem to be willing to buy.