Sony: Profitability More Important Than Passing Xbox 360

By James Brightman

The Xbox 360 and PS3 are only a few million apart in global installed base now, despite a year’s head start for Microsoft. A number of analysts have predicted that Sony’s console would “soon pass the Xbox 360 for good,” but Sony itself doesn’t seem to concerned about topping Microsoft. 

IndustryGamers recently caught up with PlayStation software senior brand manager Scott McCarthy, who sang the praises of the PS3.

“We obviously are very bullish on our platform. We do feel like we have a great message with Move… and we feel we have the strongest lineup we’ve ever had coming this year. PS3 has superior technology inside the box, and this is going to be the year where we make a lot of noise based on the exclusive titles you’re going to be able to play,” he said.

“Those things together will give us a voice. We gained a lot of momentum with the ‘It Only Does Everything’ message, and that was a great hardware message, but this year we’re going to follow it up with another punch that is an ‘Only on PlayStation’ message. You know, LittleBigPlanet 2 led us off; then we’ve got Killzone 3, SOCOM, Infamous 2, Twisted Metal, Uncharted, Resistance… the list goes on. And that’s excluding Move specific software. For the gamer there’s a lot to look forward to, and for the Move consumer there’s also a lot to look forward to.”

We asked McCarthy directly if he thinks PS3 will pass Xbox 360 this year, but he sort of sidestepped the question, instead noting that profitability is king.

“So do we pass Xbox 360? At the moment, I think we’re trying to just keep up with inventory and trying to move as many units as we can through the channel. It’s also one of those things where, do we notice what Microsoft is doing? Obviously, they are our competition. But is it like we surpass Microsoft or we fail? No. Our goal is to be profitable and we’re going to achieve that this year and do even better next year,” he explained. “That’s been Nintendo’s position for years. We have a very aggressive plan this year. And when we’re profitable we’re happy. If we happen to close the gap with Microsoft in the meantime, then that’s good too.”

The profitability goal will of course factor into what kind of price cuts we’ll see on PS3 this year as well. Sony has managed to consistently lower its cost of manufacturing, so hopefully those savings will be passed on to consumers again soon.

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