Sony, Why Did You Wind Up In Third Place?

on June 5, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Kotaku asks one of Sony’s top executives the simple, but well-timed question, being that we’re at the end of another console generation in which Sony now sits in, well, last place. The question is relevant because Sony was first the prior two generations, so it’s interesting to know what’s the firm’s take on the whole ordeal.

The question was asked to John Koller, Sony’s head of marketing, and his answers were indeed candid:

“It’s a lot of factors,” said Koller. “We’ve been pleased with overall sales. And also very pleased with just how well then consumers who have purchased PS3s have attached and buy software. We have a very profitable consumer. If you’re a retailer or anyone else that sells PS3s, you’re more than pleased with the PS3′s performance. We’ve been very pleased.

I think when you look at what the PS3 offers, it’s extremely powerful and it’s one that core gamers really gravitate to. And that’s something that’s been really gratifying to us in many ways. If you look at games that are coming, like the Last of Us, those are experiences you don’t get on other platforms. From an experience standpoint, I think there’s really only one place to be right now and that’s the PS3.

Why we’re in third… you know, there’s a lot of things that happen in the market that cause sales to occur. I think we’ve been very staunch in our belief that there’s a certain value behind the PS3 and there’s certain kinds of games for the PS3 that have stood behind that. There’s no secret that we opened behind a high price point. [Editor's note: $500-$600 for two different models in 2006; compared to $300-$400 for the rival Xbox 360 which launched a year earlier and $250 for the 2006-launching Wii]. And certainly others got a relatively nice head start on us because of that. That’s certainly been part of it.

But we absolutely have no regrets. This has been a very good cycle for us, and I think if you ask any publisher they’d say the same thing. It’s been good, and we think it does portend good things for the future for PlayStation.”

It’s no secret that games are in development for PS4, but will Sony release the console alongside Xbox 720 holiday season 2013, or will the firm make the mistake of allowing MS to go first again? I believe it’s the former, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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Author: Ernice Gilbert View all posts by
Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!

11 Comments on "Sony, Why Did You Wind Up In Third Place?"

  1. nick June 12, 2012 at 6:52 am -

    how can a company that has gone from first in one generation, than not only first in the second generation but totally and completely obliterating the competition and shattering electronics sales records in another generation, to stone cold dead LAST in another generation, be “very pleased”! ?
    as ive said a million times, only $ony can spin an out house into the taj mahall!

    seriously though the reason why is quite obvious.
    1 they started late that really hurt them.
    2 they started VERY expensive that REALLY hurt them!
    3 it took them so long to get adequate tools over to developers so allot of third party games either did not come to the ps3, were delayed for extra polish over 360 versions, or were really crappy!
    some games like prey never released because of that problem, while other games like rainbow six vegas and the darkness released on ps3 months after the 360 version because developers required more time for fine tuning.
    either that or the dreaded bugthesda serum really poor ports!
    4 they really dont know what to market!
    this is one thing i really cant understand about $ony!
    so many awesome ps3 games have released over the years, you would think that you would see heaps of adds for them right?
    out of EVERY ps3 exclusive released ive probably seen 4 of them advertised!
    infamous 1 was the most advertised, and surprised surprise it was australias best selling game for the year it released!
    i wonder why……………..
    more currently though, vita just came out and its struggling in sales.
    so you would think $ony would advertise the hell out of it, right?
    there more interested in advertising that crappy harry pot head wannabe!
    ive seen more adds for sorcery than i have for the vita and all its games put together!
    resistance burning sky has been out for 2 weeks now, and im still yet to see a single add for it!
    5 the way they treat their fans.
    firstly the way they treat EU opposed to the US.
    they do SO much crap for the states, from competitions, to events, to game sales, to free giveaways, to god name it!
    EU though 99.99999999999999% of the time EU misses out on them!
    or in the case of sales 98% of the time we dont get them at all, 1% we pay more, and the final 1% the very rare time were actually treated equal!
    than theres the whole lawsuits debacles with the stealing of other OS, or PSN support 2 things people paid for!
    than their ridiculous if you want to use PSN you have to give up your god given right to file a class action lawsuit against us TOS.
    then their poor handling of the PSN hack last year.
    6 their ridiculous obsessive focus of turning core games into casual games!
    canning 8 days and the getaway 3 for crappy eyepet!
    restricting one of their best most talented developers team SOHO to crappy kids games!
    turning ape escape one of playstations most beloved franchises, and one of the VERY few games still with us from the creation and still exclusive to the system, into a crappy kids mini game!
    not to mention bringing back some of playstations most famous mascots only to pit them in yet again another crappy mini game!
    not to mention medievil moves deadmunds quest, sorcery, and that crappy wonderbook game.
    people buy the ps3 for core games, not crappy kids games!
    i wish $ony would get that through their thick skulls!
    there NEVER going to steal the ninty crowd, so i wish they would stop trying!
    their just wasting their time and money, their developers time and money, and our time and money!
    put it towards a game your fans would like!
    7 their obsession and waste of time turning the ps3 into a mediahub!
    its NOT needed!
    they would be far better off putting their developers time and resources from home, facebook, twitter, youtube, netflix, hulu, ect,ect into something fans do want!
    too much to list actually, the reason why playstation has gone down the shitter this gen is quite obvious!
    there focuses have moved from doing one thing and doing it very well, core games, to doing a million things half a$$ed, ie video streaming, social media, crappy kids games, motion controls, and core games.
    a bit too much to bite off!
    as the saying goes better to be jack of few trades, master of one.
    than jack of every trade master of none!
    ie better to do one thing perfectly, than do a million things half a$$ed!

    suffice to say id be easier and quicker to list what $ony have done right this gen, than to list what they have done wrong!

  2. Ghost250 June 12, 2012 at 9:07 am -

    smh who cares if they’re third place last time i checked they are still making money off PS3 hardware and sotware. if anything they would have been second if they released the PS3 the same year as the xbox but unlike M$ sony actually cares about the quality of their product. i still have my original i bought at launch just like many others, how many of thousands of people who people who six or seven different xbox’s can say that. so this third place bull needs stop. last time i checked nobody here works for sony so why does it concern anyone. just as long as you get your games from sony shouldn’t be worrying about anything.

  3. nick June 12, 2012 at 10:09 am -

    dude, you really that short sighted?
    people care because games cost money to make no?
    sonys stock is the LOWEST its EVER been in the companies HISTORY!
    so of course people are going to be concerned!
    and of course $ony cares about the quality of their games, thats why they released ape escape, playstation move heroes, ect, ect which were some of the worst games of the generation!

  4. foxton June 12, 2012 at 10:28 am -

    Nick im not even gonna attempt to read all that drivel because i know exactly what its gonna say! it depends on how you look at it, yeah they may be 3rd in overall sales, but we all know ps3′s are outstrippiing all other competitors in Europe and selling more than 6 ps3′s to 1 xbox in Japan! If you take into account the higher price point when first released they’ve probably taken as much money if not more in hardware sales than the other two.
    Lets face it sony are only behind the other 2 in N.America, judging by current sales trends by the end of the year or atleast by the time the next gen is released sony will have shifted probably just as many xboxs globally. We all know the Ps3′s are the most powerful and offer the most as a stand alone product, so effectivley are they really that far behind?! no i dont think so, i think the vast mojoruty of us on this site are agreed Sony have the best games. This is just the usual propoganda, you can dress this up to portray this exactly how you want to if you ask the write questions. this is politics at its greatest. Just because Sony fall a few million units behind in the USA doesnt mean that they have failed!!!
    And Yeah Ghost your right, the only reason xbox sold more is because of YLOD and people having to buy about 5 xobox’s each!!

  5. Ghost250 June 12, 2012 at 10:33 am -

    not to be an ass but this is coming from the guy who has “Sony You Suck” as an avatar and your trying to me that you care that’s laughable. i’m sorry but i don’t bash on trivial stuff such “Why are you third place sony” so if that makes me short sighted then so be it. it’s not my problem that sony made decisions to get them in the position they are in. Another thing last time i checked the only sector on Sony thats making money is the video game sector so being third place crap obviously isn’t hurting sony in that regard. aw we all know one of the biggest reasons why Sony is where they are at now is because of their T.V.’s FACTUAL. btw just because you don’t like those games doesn’t mean other people do not. I.E: i happen to think crysis is a piece of shit series, some of the worst games ever made, and provide nothing but pretty graphics. you on the other hand think that the crysis games are some of the best games ever. so don’t preach to about an irrelevant matter to me.

  6. Ghost250 June 12, 2012 at 10:36 am -

    @foxton exactly my point thank you

  7. TheGrimOfDeath June 12, 2012 at 11:47 am -

    Foxton and Ghost250, you guys are now my heroes. *sniff*. Also Nick who cares. Like both L and G said it’s still making a LOT of money in the video game part of society.

  8. Mezzo June 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm -

    It’s unfair that Sony’s PS3 is being placed 3rd Gen despite the fact that it came out a whole year later than it’s competition.
    Despite launching a year later & being about $200 expensive, Playstation 3 is just 2.5 Million consoles behind Xbox, if you ask me, that a big achievement.

  9. CaribbeanCLANK June 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm -

    Sony may be last place in the NA market but in other regions they are doing better than the othe consoles. And anyone who says or believes Sony is weak in the games department needs to get their head examined. Sony has the strongest games library of this generation and Nintendo and MS have some serious work to do and money to spend to bring their game library to the level of Playstation. Playstation may be last in numbers but PS3 offers the best GAMING experience this generation.

  10. nick June 13, 2012 at 11:00 am -

    sometimes i wonder…………..

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