Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Good News From Launchville

I can't even get this stuff posted before there are five more pieces of bad news.

Here's the additional information from this morning.

First off, from Famitsui via Kotaku, an article (it's not in English--sorry), but here's the number that matters: 0.98.

Believe it or not, that's the attach rate.

The attach rate is how many games were sold for each console purchased. That's easily the worst attach rate in the history of console launches, surely. A 0.98 attach rate for a console without a pack-in game. Incredible.

If you're wondering what the attach rate for the Xbox 360 launch was in the U.S., as best as I can determine, it was roughly 3.9.

Yes, that's an apple-to-oranges comparison, because I'm comparing a U.S. launch with a Japanese launch. But any way you look at that number in Japan, it's a disaster for Sony.

[UPDATE: There's an article on Joystiq (thanks John Harwood) that says the attach rate for the 360 launch in Japan was a horrific 0.91. So I guess what we need to find out now is the attach rate for the Japanese launch of the PS2.]

Then there's an article on Gamasutra about an analyst's (Lazard Capital Market's Colin Sebastian) prediction for the number of actual launch units Sony will have available in the U.S.
"We expect Sony to deliver 150-200k units to stores in the United States for the launch; consumers without pre-orders may find it difficult to locate an available system. We estimate sales of approximately 750k PS3s domestically by year-end. We expect a more robust launch from Nintendo, with at least 1.2 million units sold in the U.S. and up to four million units shipped worldwide by year-end."

I don't know if Sebastian is any good or not--I don't know his track record--but 200k units would not surprise me at all, and it dovetails to some degree with Gamestop's announcement yesterday that they won't be able to fill all their pre-orders. If Gamestop was just going to be one or two units short per store, they would have said that--not giving any numbers at all indicates to me that it's a serious shortfall, not a near miss.

As to how many of launch units will be purchased for resale, I don't know (quite a few, I'm guessing), but it will be interesting to see the attach rate compared to Japan.

Finally, also on Kotaku, a Fry's employees (followed up by a reader) claiming that the store is going to be forcing mega-bundles on anyone who wants to buy either a PS3 or a Wii. Here's an excerpt from the reader's comments:
I noticed the newest article about Fry's PS3 budle and decided to call the one closest to me, Houston branch, and to my suprise the bundle is actually real, but I have a little more info. The PS3 is going to be sold as 20 and 60gig in the bundles, and it also includes you buying a warranty.

The PS3 games included: NBA 2K7, Resistance: Fall of Man, Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, Madden 07, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Tony Hawk's Project 8, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, and another game (Sorry I called back to check up on it and now they wont give out the info).

The Wii bundle Includes: Madden NFL 07, Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, GT Pro Series, and Rampage: Total Destruction. I will tell you guys none of this is final but this is what they told me before they went all hush hush.

Outstanding. So if this is true, Fry's is basically extorting an extended warranty purchase out of you if you want to buy a PS3. Oh, and you have to buy eight games. Hey, that should help the attach rate!

Again: both of these launches are FUBAR at this point. Totally out of control, totally mismanaged, and extremely disappointing.

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