Sony Playstation 2 Outsells Playstation 3: What Does This Mean?

Includes: EA, SNE
by: Bruce Everiss

Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) full year financial results, for the period ending March 31st, 2008 make interesting reading. During this period the company sold 13.73 million Playstation 2 units and 9.24 million Playstation 3 units. This, possibly, tells us some or all of the following.

  • The Playstation 2 to 3 transition has not been the bloodbath that the PSX to PS2 transition was.
  • Publishers who desert platforms early in the transition lose out.
  • HDTV is maybe not yet such a critical USP.
  • The PS3 is still far too expensive for a lot of people.
  • Current generation consoles, the Xbox 360 and PS3, are eventually going to be a lot bigger than people think when eventually all these people upgrade.
  • There is more to the games industry than Europe, America and Japan. A lot of these PS2 sales will be in less developed economies.
  • Presuming that the whole PS2 operation is now vastly profitable, the PS3 losses are a lot worse than they look as they are being subsidised by the PS2.
  • Maybe the PS3 catalogue of games does not yet contain enough system sellers.

To look at this from the publishing side we have Electronic Arts’ (ERTS) figures for the same period. The figures show PS2 revenue at $601million against PS3 revenue of $284 million. So more than double. And I wonder how accurately all of this was predicted by the analysts.