For the last several generations, the average shelf life of a console has been about five years. When a system was in its third year, many would consider that to be its prime, where franchises have been established, price cuts are given and a stream of quality games is to be expected.
For Sony and its PlayStation 3 (now in its third year), the early adoption phase of the third place console is not over. According to an interview with John Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, the PlayStation 3 is still for early adopters. When talking to Gamasutra about the SCEA hardware lineup, Koller said "The PS3 is still in its early adopter phase, tech-oriented consumer... they're interested in the multi-functionality of the system."
If you look at the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360 from Microsoft, both of those systems have been around as long, or in Microsoft's case a year longer, than the PS3. However, neither company is touting the same "early adopter" message as Sony. So what gives? With Sony still losing money on each PS3 sold, Blu-ray still on the rocks, and a price tag $150 over its nearest competitor, the PlayStation 3 is in a precarious position. For many, sluggish PS3 sales are attributed to the aforementioned and not to a three year "early adoption" mindset.
Sony's PlayStation 2 is one of the most successful and popular gaming consoles of all time. Still going strong in its ninth year, Sony recently celebrated selling its 50 millionth PS2 in North America. With such a massive success in the previous generation, there is no wonder why many are disappointed with the PlayStation 3, which has sold less than 20 million worldwide in two years. Hopefully those April price cut rumors are true, because the PS3 could really use a shot in the arm.
Read the entire SCEA interview here.