By James Brightman
With a great lineup of exclusives this year from Sony, some have declared 2011 the year of the PS3, but in recent months, NPD data shows Xbox 360 to be selling a good deal better than PS3. Will PS3’s upcoming lineup of titles help reverse this trend for the balance of the year, or is the Kinect momentum too strong for Sony to overcome? We asked Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter for his take.
“It’s really hard to argue that console sales are tied to release schedules, now that we’re in the sixth year of the console cycle. I doubt that many hard core gamers have held off purchasing a PS3 while they waited for Killzone 3 to come out,” he began. “At this point in the cycle, the only people who have waited are those who planned to buy a console at a price point under $200, and while I think that there are a lot of those people, pricing remains stubbornly high. Microsoft gained an advantage with Kinect, and a 4Gb Kinect bundle costs the same as the entry level PS3, allowing Microsoft to maintain its sales advantage (I know that the 4Gb bundle doesn’t ‘do everything’, but cost-conscious consumers appear not to care).”
While Sony does have an opportunity if the company can get more aggressive on pricing, Pachter doesn’t believe that’s about to happen.
“Sony can retake the advantage if it can afford to lower price and attract the cost-conscious consumer, but I think that they will wait to see what Microsoft does first, then merely match them on pricing, so I expect Microsoft to remain ahead in 2011,” he concluded.
Microsoft also has the advantage in the long-term, if you agree with the viewpoint shared by ngmoco boss Neil Young.
Pachter’s comments come from our monthly “Podium” column, to be published soon.