Friday, 13 October 2006 06:45

PS3 battle has two fronts Wii thinks

The news, as reported by Reuters, that US retail chain Gamestop has already pre-sold its quota of PlayStation 3 consoles throughout its 3600 stores comes as no surprise. We can expect the same thing to happen tomorrow with the Nintendo Wii console. However, Sony will be fighting its battle on two fronts.

As numerous commentators (and Nintendo fanboys) have pointed out, PS3 will find itself up against a pretty tough competitor in Nintendo Wii when it hits the market this year.

The Wii has not only has been getting tons of favourable reviews for its new single-handed motion sensitive console gaming experience, but also has an enormous price advantage over PS3. To make things worse for PS3, the Wii will have about twice as many consoles (4 million versus 2 million) in stores by the end of December.

However, the PS3 has the added dimension of also being a Blu-ray player and the market dynamics are somewhat different on this front. Whereas the PS3 will be the most expensive games console on the market, it will be the cheapest Blu-ray player.

For Sony, a lot hinges on the success of PS3. Gamers concede that it will be the most powerful console in terms of raw power and graphics capabilities. However, many say that they're not looking for more realism but a new type of gaming experience, which PS3 does not really provide, unlike Wii.

Thus, the clear differentiator for PS3 will be the non-gaming feature of having a cheap integrated Blu-ray player. Whether that will be enough to lure PS2 and other gamers, as well as non gamers to part with their cash in the same numbers they did with PS1 and PS2 remains to be seen.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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