Sony loses a billion goddamn dollars on PS3

Buy twenty Faberge eggs and flush them down a solid gold toilet. Film "Waterworld" five times. Buy everyone in Ireland a twenty pints of Guinness. Do any of these things and you'll still be a more successful console developer than the team behind the Playstation 3, which has now officially lost Sony over a billion dollars. I've never been partisan in the great "Retarded Internet Fanboy Console Showdown", but when somebody mislays the entire Gross National Income of Belize you just have to say something.

As reported by Businessweek, PS3 losses have doubled since last year with the total pushing across the ten-digit mark. I'm sorry, allow me to state that properly, the "Holy God you could pay the entire population of South Korea twenty American dollars each ten-digit mark". To the shock and horror of precisely nobody outside Sony it seems that the "market a thousand dollar console and sell it for less than it costs to make" strategy is failing quite spectacularly. Selling below cost is a tactic that has worked well for Nintendo in the past, but when you tip the half-a-grand mark people don't see the three hundred dollars you're saving them, they see the six hundred you're asking them to pay.

With total PS3 sales at 5.6 million, Sony could have bought every single customer a brand new Playstation 2 and a couple of games, throwing in a fifty dollar bribe to "tell everyone it's a PS3 and that it's really good". Many users seem to have the same idea, with the PS2 selling 3.2 million in the last quarter alone (that's more than half the number of PS3s sold, ever). Side-by-side they look like a Mercedes and a hovercraft: sure, the hovercraft is more exciting and futuristic, but it's way more expensive, less useful and nobody actually wants one.

The power of the vaunted cell processor is not in question. In fact a team of astrophysicists at the University of Massachusetts are using a network of eight PS3s as a supercomputer, solving the gravity wave solutions of black holes consuming stellar bodies. But when you're getting more praise from physics professors for the flexibility of your computing architecture than from kids who like to blow stuff up, there's a good chance you've missed your target market. (Unless you give us a game which lets you slam stars into black holes, because that honestly sounds pretty awesome).

2 comments:

David Curran said...

They could make scientific computing games
Grand theft galactic cluster

Super Mario protein fold

SimHuman

derivative derivative revolution

You could call this Primal Hunter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIMPS

Luke said...

Man, I would totally play those. I remember spending entire nights playing with even the simple growth/fail rules of SimCity.

Isn't the whole premise of Folding@Home like that? You hook up your computer to just try different proteins and see what they do.