Sales Results This Week Will Tell The Real Story

With new PlayStation 3 and Wii shipments expected to arrive in stores this weekend, all eyes will be on Sony to come up with enough units, and on consumers as they make their final purchasing decisions before Christmas.
Published: December 15, 2006
With New PS3 Shipments to be released this weekend, all eyes will be on the sales numbers. Over the past few weeks, Sony and the PlayStation 3 have been clobbered by the media for a variety of reasons, and the recent sales figures from NPD didn't help things. Of course, we all know that analyzing the numbers this early is a moot point in itself - the PlayStation 3 has been behind due to ongoing shortages. The blue diode technology used for the laser within the Blu-Ray drive is believed to be the #1 culprit at this point. According to Sony's David Karraker, the company has recently been able to "resolve" the manufacturing issues, allowing them to continue in their efforts of getting 1 million units out by years end.

The only problem with this announcement is that it sounds too perfect.

Sony has been under fire from all ends of the earth, with all sorts of issues propping their way up into the media. In reality, it has been the media themselves who have been making the negative PS3 stories more vocally heard. In some cases, the truth itself has been obscured in order to make the PS3 and Sony look bad.

Consider the sales numbers from NPD and a variety of other sources. They have all given Sony the lowest established userbase of the three consoles. The media has sensationalized all of this to imply that the Wii is "outselling" the PS3 and that Nintendo is finally winning ground over their long time competition. Consider this story over at Forbes where the headline reads "Wii trounces PlayStation 3 in US sales in November". From a technical standpoint, the Wii did outsell the PS3 but only because there were more Wii's available at launch. But the article headline seems to paint the PS3 in a bad picture, almost implying that demand for the PS3 has been weaker versus the Wii. But sales and demand are two completely different elements. In the case of the PS3, we can clearly see that demand is very high, yet sales are down due to lowered shipments.

The article does briefly mention the manufacturing issues that have been the root cause of the low sales for sometime now, yet on an overall whole the article appears to paint a very bad picture for Sony. Even worse is that the same article was also carried a number of other major mainstream media websites, including Yahoo, all with the very same questionable headline.

With new shipments to arrive this weekend, the big question will be whether or not we will see the same unlucky folks who stood in long lineups on November 17th, only to be told that the initial PS3 shipment had been sold out. Obviously, these people haven't just disappeared off the face of the earth, but there's no guarantee that these individuals will want to go after a PS3 either. The negative things that have been said about the PlayStation 3 will certainly have some impact, but if you consider that Xbox 360 sales haven't considerably exploded (with most of the lost sales going right back to the PS2), then it could be safe to assume that demand is still there.

Sony will need to get their act together and make sure that they can match the amount of shipments being made by Nintendo, now that "manufacturing delays" are supposedly out of the way. If they want any chance of making their 1-million-unit-target within the two weeks they will need ALOT MORE units available, and perhaps a miracle.