Thursday, August 16, 2012

Console Post Of The Week: Rode Hard And Put Away Wet

Sony has some interesting nuggets in their recent earnings release.

For a few years, Sony projected increases of 10-15% annually for PS3 sales. That was remarkably lacking in ambition, but it looks positively to the moon compared with their latest projections.

Let's take a look.

In fiscal year 2010, the numbers broke down like this:
PS3: 14.3M
PS2: 6.4M
PSP: 8.0M

Fiscal year 2011:
PS3: 13.9M
PS2: 4.1M
PSP: 6.8M

That modest increase projected for the PS3 turned into a modest decline. On top of that, PS2 sales declined by a third, so combined, PS2/PS3 sales declined by 13%.

This is the point, historically, where you roll out a new console, because there's nothing left to get excited about. Well, not this time. Instead, it's become like the ninth sequel to "Weekend at Bernie's," except the two guys are dragging around a PS3 instead of a body.

2012 projections? For PS3/PS2 sales combined (which is how Sony tracks it now), Sony expects a decline from 18.0M units to 16.0M. That's an 11% drop.

PSP sales, meanwhile, declined by 15% last year, but hey, that's okay, because the Vita is here, right?

Sony lumped the PSP/Vita sales together as well, and their projection for 2012 is 12 MILLION UNITS. Wait, the PSP sold 6.8M last year, and they're projecting combined sales of 12M?

Oh, wait. Let's just compare Q1 PSP sales last year to combined sales of the PSP/Vita in Q1 of this year. That should show how sales are taking off.
Q1 2011: 1.8
Q2 2012: 1.4

So they're forecasting a 76% unit increase after a 22% drop in the first quarter? Um, what?

Then there's this tidbit:
SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida that the price will not go down this year. "It's too early," he said. Sony engineers are working on "cost reduction," which Yoshida said takes time.

That's so Sony. Consumer demand has nothing to do with price in Sony's world, apparently.

Here's the thing, though: he's lying. Well, either he's lying or they're going to have to gut their fiscal year projection for Vita unit sales. There's nothing in-between those two possibilities.

My guess is he's lying, and that Sony will announce a price cut within 8 weeks. Even if they lower the price to $199, though, they still won't hit that incredibly aggressive unit target.

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