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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

PS3 Demand

After reading numerous anecdotal reports from our beloved readers about PlayStation 3s in stock at retailers across the country, we were less than surprised to read analyst P.J. McNealy's take on the situation (we've heard almost zero reports on Wii stock recently). His firm took stock of 52 retailers, over half of which had PS3s in stock. Wiis? None. Nada.

Does this mean PlayStation 3 demand is softening? Is Sony doomed? Are pink slips being distributed worldwide? Maybe. No. And no.

According to Sony's David Karakker: "It isn't because demand has weakened, it is because we have kept the supply pipeline moving." Company line, true, but even McNealy says it's too early to tell if the console buying public has cooled on Sony's next-gen console.
-- Analyst: PS3 Demand "Softening"? [Kotaku]

Course, in comparison with this time last year, the 360 wasn't on shelves simply because Microsoft had none to deliver. And when March rolled around and they landed on shelves, I certainly don't remember people pointing to the sudden doom and gloom of the company. Fact is - eventually these things end up on shelves.

Still, I'm betting demand is soft. I was assuming it would be simply because demand for the PlayStation 3 is directly tied to demand for next generation television - more so than virtually any other consumer product out there other than HDTV's and well ... other HD players. Until Sony ups the library a little more, the gaming side of the PS3 is very much an early adopter purchase. So is the Blu-Ray side ... but it's an easier fiscal decision considering the choices out there right now.

However, until demand for the far more available and undoubtably more profitable PS2 flags ... I wouldn't be holding out for any nails in the Sony coffin. That might be a decent wait - with it's massive install base, I'm guessing we'll see decent PS2 titles through 2007. God of War II, anyone?

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