300w ago - Sony is back in the game, after some hardware tweaking and promotions that are shifting PS3 units. Some recent experiences however tell me that perhaps not all new PS3 owners are up with the capabilities of the machine.
Corporate market analysts iSuppli have already indicated that by 2011 the PS3 will be top of the console pile, and an even more recent analysis quotes 2008 as the year this dominance will emerge:
"2008 will be a turning year for the PS3," iSuppli analyst Pamela Tufegdzic told Reuters. "Sony is offering a better forthcoming software pipeline with blockbuster titles like Gran Turismo 5, which will boost PS3 sales this year."
The report goes on to say; "...Come Christmas, consumers who originally bought the Wii will likely purchase the PS3," she said. "The battle over consoles ultimately boils down to price."
Recently in Australia, Sony offered a free PS3 with any XBR, X or W series Bravia LCD TV . Once the dust had settled on this offer, Sony Australia announced an associated PS3 sales (!) spike of 20,000 plus PS3's. Good numbers in a country of only 20 million residents.
Great, but it seems many of these PS3's went home to unaware households. Click on for a couple of real life recent exchanges regarding PlayStation 3 usage in a modern home.
Witness the recent email exchange, note that this is within a medium size technology company, the participants are cashed up gadget users in a modern western civilisation, well, Melbourne Australia at least.
I have a brand new 40GB PSP3 for sale... It has never even been unpacked, so I don't even know what it looks like.. It came with a new LCD TV I just bought and I have no use for it.
If you're interested put a bid in. Best bid at or over the reserve and its yours.
The obvious quick reply came back to the hopeful PS3 offloader.
Are you sure its a PSP3 ( Play station Portable )? as I have never heard of a 40GB one that's all and I would be interested in if that's the case, or is it a PS3?
Two things from this two emails: One, the TV buyer was not influenced by the 'thrown in' PS3 as part of the package, and is oblivious to anything related to the brand. He later responds to the query saying 'Goes to show how much of a gamer I am '
Two, the respondent, who picked up his misnaming of Sony's flagship device, though interested in PSP's (the PlayStation Portable) is looking for a 40GB model, good luck, I would love one of those myself.
There is of course another obvious query to make of the prospective PS3 seller.
The final acts in this exchange came from a second respondent who is more aware of the PlayStation 3's capabilities
"Why not keep it and use it as Blu-Ray player?" he says.
Ahaaa! Exactly what Sony intended, buy a spanking new high definition LCD panel and get into the world of high definition discs. But so far the response from the new TV owner has been simply "!??!"
And this is not the only example. Within the same company, a manager purchased a new 70" XBR Bravia TV (around AU$10,000) and gave his free PS3 away.
He is happily attempting to watch his behemoth without the aid of any high definition disc player.
Sony will be happy either way, continued acceptance of the PS3 configuration as a sales worthy item, along with an increase in PS3 install base figures. This will flow onto more support from third parties in game and other feature development.
Yes 2008 may well be a pivotal year for the PS3, but it could be even bigger for Sony if some further permeation of consumer psyche, can get the notion of a PS3 as a games machine only can be quashed.
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