PlayStation breaks its five-year curse

Ken Kutaragi's fingerprints have nearly faded completely. His farcically ambitious PlayStation 3 hardware design, finalised six years ago, left Sony with the preposterous task of pitching a high-end console at £425 and yet still make a loss on each sale.

Fortunately, or not, the loss-making system didn't exactly sell spectacularly at first. Sony's curse of cost had repelled consumers. The company could huff and puff all it wanted; even the most fanatical PS3 fan couldn't part with £500 for a new console and game.

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yesmynameissumo2317d ago

I think for every two steps forward (cross-buy, cross-play, Vita controller, new IPs, hardware redesign) they take one step back (Linux craziness, PSN hack, ridiculous PSOne NA Vita rollout, advertising, etc.). But they also put out some pretty killer games and seem committed to lowering the price, making it a more affordable piece of kit. With PS+ coming to Vita and NOT having to pay twice, I'm proud to own 2 PS3s and a Vita.

darthv722317d ago

If I recall, it is Sony that set the price on the system not Kutaragi. Meaning that sony took the initiative of proclaiming that their system was worth the price they were asking.

Sony was expecting things to be similar to their success in launching the PS2. They were banking on the new blu format to be (one of if not THE) selling points to the platform. And most importantly, they were relying on the brand recognition. Something pretty much all companies with a successful product tries to use an an angle for justifying price increase.

The boom that was PS2 was at a time when consumers were also being presented with the advent of DVD for movies. So it became quite clear that PS2 sold not only to gamers but movie watchers as well. It was cheaper than most DVD players and the revolutionary quality upgrade from VHS to DVD was a huge factor.

Fast forward to 2006 and sony tried to do the same thing. Only this time they didnt realize that the jump from DVD to blu wasnt a noticeable difference on consumers existing TV's. So while the games gave the appearence of better quality when compared to PS2, movies did not (as much).

That really hurt them. Yet consumers also began to question the games when compared to the 360. Similar to when PS2 launched and the games were essentially CD games and not that much better than DC. So as a consumer you begin to ask yourself, what am I really paying all this extra $$ for?

The answer to that is simply...potential. If you bought into the system you felt the need to defend the purchase by knowing Sony would eventually deliver the goods (and they have). Another hit to them was not taking competition seriously.

Nintendo felt that back in the 90's with Sega taking market share away from them in almost all territories. Marketing is key and what I wasnt seeing is the amount of in your face PS advertising like i remember from the PS1 and (to some extent) PS2.

Why? Was there no $$ left in the budget to advertise? Was sony sitting back waiting for the name to sell itself? It could be any number of things. i do know that we as consumers/gamers like to speculate to the point of if the truth presented itself we would still not believe it and come up with our own conclusions.

If there is a curse that sony is under then it is actually one that pretty much all companies have felt when they release a 3rd console to a successful 2nd. I like to refer to it as the 3rd Console curse (pretty convenient).

Atari, Nintendo, Sega have all been in a position where they have had a 2nd system be the one that is the most popular and have tried to capitalize on that popularity with a even more robust 3rd. And every one has had that 3rd system sell to a fraction of what their previous units did.

Not sure if its a stigma of the "3rd time the charm" when it really isnt or people feel the urge to try something different. in any case, MS will likely release their 3rd system soon enough and could possibly feel the pain as well.

sikbeta2317d ago

PS3 only curse was the price, PS2 at the same point in its generation was below $150, PS3 doesn't brake the $200 barrier, it's all about price

knowyourstuff2317d ago

It just goes to show how childish gamers are, or at least their mindset is childish. A new iPhone and iPad comes out every year at 700 to 1000 bucks depending on the model, and people buy it every single year without question. A new console comes out every 5 years and charging an extra hundred lousy dollars for a console with a ton of extra features is wayyyyy over the line. Can't gamers grow up already? Like what are they all living in their parents house living under little to no money? Oh wait... they are lmao whatever, losers.

andibandit2317d ago


no price wasn't the only source for their curse but a major one. Darth was right on alot of points including that poor marketing added to the PS3's initial problems. I would add that the Launch Lineup of games was severely lacking.

Insomnia_842316d ago

PS3's only curse was M$ releasing the 360 first with Gears Of War and their ridiculously strong advertising strategy that actually convinced many uniformed customers that the 360 at that time was great value, not knowing about the huge hardware problems and the $50 fee to play online. With that, they created a big fanbase which helped a lot! I never felt for it, even though Gears was tempting, I've always made my research before buying any product so I waited and got me a lunch 60GB PS3 that I still have running and kicking AND I'M GLAD AS F**K I DID!!

quantae062316d ago (Edited 2316d ago )

@knowyourstuff Extra hundred lousy dollars? Lousy!? I work my butt off to get paid. I'm not spending a $600+ on a video game console for that insane amount, no matter how many features it has. I don't have that kind of money to be throwing away at a time.

Azmatik2316d ago

How could i (a hardcore ps fan) not afford a 6 bill ps3 hardcore PC fans spent well over 1000 even back then and not to mention the 360 at launch was what the same price or 50 bucks cheaper. So that point is not valid. The reason ps3 didnt sell like crazy is because MS released the 360 and ppl couldnt wait another year for PS3 ita quite simple and they lost about 8mill customers through that year alone.

DocEvil2316d ago


That is the console business strategy. Sell the console at a loss and make the money back on the games. To use your own example on cell phones, The cell phone is worth $700 (there is a LOT of high end tech in a phone including a screen and it is a mobile device to boot) but the carriers sell it at the $200-$300 mark with the same business strategy. Sell the phone at a loss and make it back on the service. How much would a console cost when launched if it didn't sell at a loss to begin with? The Wii was $300 at launch and it made money out of the gates but look how poor the tech was.

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Christopher2317d ago

I'm confused... what is the curse?

It's not the selling hardware at a profit, they've been doing that since 2009 and have said so. If it's the cell architecture, that's not done either until PS4 is announced.

Is Kutaragi the curse?

I'm confused.

SilentNegotiator2317d ago (Edited 2317d ago )

And didn't the price point stay the same with the new model?

He seems to think that the new model is the first to make profit per unit. I was under the impression that the slim was doing that.

Not only don't I understand what the author considers a curse, I don't understand what the author considers the solution.

BitbyDeath2317d ago (Edited 2317d ago )

Depends where you live, if you get the 12GB version it's $50 dollars cheaper than the 160GB slim. 500GB is $50 dollars more expensive though.

(In Oz)

givemeshelter2317d ago

I think they are exaggerating this "curse"
I see no curse either. However the Cell technology most likely will not be used in the PS4. Cell Technology never took off in the way Sony and it's other contributors hoped it would.

Monkeysmoke2317d ago

Do you know what you're saying?

We have games like Uncharted 2/3, God of War 3/ Killzone 2/3 which graphically destroys every other games on any Console this gen.

Sony clearly achieved the purpose of the Cell this Gen.

Look at 360 with more conventional architecture, its been stuck for years with nothing worthwhile compared to what the PS3's architecture is producing!

"The last of us"
"Beyond two souls"
"GOW : Ascension" are all still coming.

IMO PS4 should use the CELL

creatchee2316d ago

To be honest, the games you mentioned were not awesome because of The Cell - they were the products of excellent first-party developers with great vision and art direction. I'm fairly confident that Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, and Guerilla could have produced just as impressive titles on the 360 because of their talent. Graphics are STILL getting better on each console. The technology hasn't changed - the ingenuity and skill of the developers has.

jeromeface2316d ago (Edited 2316d ago )

@creatchee The only games that get held back are multiplat's and that's due to developers not wanting to take sides in the console war. The war of first party exclusives is over, and the ps3 won hands down. Do you really think first party devs on the 360 hold back just cuz they want to? Please... Gears and halo only wishes it had the graphical prowess of even Killzone 2, let alone 3.

Phoenix762316d ago


Im sorry mate, i do hate actually asking you this question but??...... How old are you? No seriously my friend. Im 36 (old i know laugh all you want), but the 'curse' of Sega, Nin & Atari that he was refering to strechs back to the 80's and 90's era of Gaming.

For example, Nin realsed the NES - Sucess, then SNES - Sucess then the N64 - Great System but not great sales due to PS1 released and that they stuck to Carts for games.

Sega had the Master System - Sucess, Mega Drive(Genesis) - sucess, then the Dreamcast - Not great sadly. To ahead of its time tech wise.

Now Sony have suffered the same fate as others before them...... in a way you could say.

The same fate may or may not befall MS, i cant predict the future nor can anyone else really.

But you have to admit that there does appear to be a 'Curse' of sorts to all pervious consoles.

givemeshelter2316d ago


You actually think the graphical differences between the games you mentioned and Xbox360 top tier games are that vast?
The only games I witness that have drastic differences in graphic fidelity are PC games running on capable hardware.
The differences between these console games are minimal.

I am actually older than you and had all those systems. I have been gaming since the 1970's. I had a Coleco Telestar...(Don't laugh ;-)
The curse of these companies boils down to ARROGANCE and COMPLACENCY. Especially Nintendo in the 1990's and Sony with the PS3 and Atari when they released the Atari 5200 (I still have that system with its bigger brother the 7800) That's their curse.

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Ben_Grimm2317d ago

This is a rumor and a blog, two things I thought weren't allowed to be posted on N4G?

Blankman852317d ago (Edited 2317d ago )

2009? No. 2010 http://www.playstationlifes...
Edit last quarter of 2009? Can we haz a link?

Christopher2317d ago

Their Fiscal Reports saw the last quarter of 2009 as earning profit for their hardware.

Blankman852317d ago

"As recently as February (2010) it
was rumored that Sony was still losing around $18 per console, so this is
definitely welcome news." - sir, please don't lie to me.
We are talking selling hardware at a profit here and not about making a profit as a whole.

Ben_Grimm2317d ago

"the cost to manufacture the console may finally be lower than the unit’s retail price. "

That link reads like it still hasn't been confirmed that Sony is making a profit on the PS3.

Anon19742317d ago (Edited 2317d ago )

It just makes me shake my head. The PS3 sells 64 million consoles in it's first 5 1/2 years on the market (and it wasn't even available worldwide for 3 quarters) and it's cursed, sales are slow, it's a failure, it's too expensive, blu-ray is a failure, etc..etc... The 360 sells 53 million in it's first 22 quarters and everyone was throwing flowers at it's feet and talking about how dominant it's position was despite being thoroughly outsold by both the PS3 and Wii head 2 head from the moment it had competition. Even it's nearly 9 million lead it once enjoyed over the PS3 from being early to market has been whittled down closer to 2 million. Check our their financials. At the end of Christmas 2006 the 360 had about 10 1/2 million sold compared to the PS3's roughly million and a half.

As of late Sept 2009, 4 years into the 360's life, it was being reported that MS was losing money on every 360 unit sold (see link below). I don't know if it was true as MS never confirmed or denied it, yet there was never any discussion of the Xbox curse, or hand wringing about slow sales or profitability. And here we are, more than a year after Sony confirmed the PS3 hardware was profitable (not even 4 years into it's life) and yet we're still subjected to articles about the poor PS3 and Sony's sorry state.

No one is saying Sony isn't facing an uphill battle, but enough with the revisionist history already. Everyone has access to the internet, it's easy to fact check and see the problems with these articles, and yet they keep coming and no one ever holds these game "journalists" to account for their misinformed rants. It's called google. Check your facts before you spout off. Is that too much to ask?

The only curse I see here is the curse of game journalists who can't be bothered to do any research. Can someone talk to a gypsy or something to see what we have to do to stop this nonsense?


darthv722317d ago

when viewed against itself, many were probably expecting the PS3 to be the run away seller like the PS2 was. Even though we know it took a little time for the PS2 to hit its stride. But then it was priced at $299 and had lots of pro's to its name.

Im sure even sony was expecting it to print money because of past success. So when it didnt then it makes all the more sense that the public view was somewhat tarnished.

As for MS, look at the sales of the original and compare them with 360. We have the opposite situation there. NOBODY was expecting it to go that route. So much public animosity towards the evil company MS that when it surpassed all expectations, what else is there to do but throw flowers at its feet.

I know I'm old but I remember the Nintendo vs Sega days and how there was the public adoration for the NES until something came along to shake up Nintendo's dominance. I guess it was convenient that the name Genesis means new beginning. Sega had their new beginning and had something that caught the eye of consumers.

MS had something too and shook up the dominance that is Sony. Its hard to not look at the two situations and not see how similar things turned out. Im not saying it is history repeating itself as we all know the real run away hit this gen was the wii. But in the battle for 2nd place is very much like the battle for 1st back in the 90's.

We all know how that turned out. Nintendo won in case anyone didnt know, but it took some serious strategy and marketing to turn things around. Same thing can happen for sony.

Even the most diehard sony fan should give a nod of respect to MS for taking things more serious this gen.

Oner2317d ago

Research, Shmesearch know these "journalists" don't care about FACTUAL information! It proves them wrong so they don't want to admit it, and just write whatever they want.

Ben_Grimm2317d ago

Oh hey look I can dig up articles that make my point of view look factual and true to history! Watch this:

MS made more money than Nintendo and Sony!

It's true because I have a link that says so! ;)

I dont ever remember MS saying that the 360 was loosing money in fact I think they were making a profit in 2009, just like Sony was doing according to everyone here. Here's some more links to make this post look important.

I love how you downplay MS and over dramatize this "World vs Sony".

The 360 had its fair share of hate articles and bashing. Especially when the RRoD issue was hot, folks was handing out cocktails and loving every minute of it. ANd when Natal was announced and the rumor that investors were pulling out of Xbox....whoooo boy. Parade in the streets here!

You see darkride everything I said in that last paragraph is me over exaggerating just like some folks (you) do here with the "media" vs. Sony.

jadenkorri2317d ago

@ Ben_Grimm
lol, the hate articles towards ps3 are like 100 to 1. Its never ending, and why "gaming journalism" is a damn joke cause every joe blow posts his opinions and they end up being viewed on popular websites that really should have better standards.

tokugawa2316d ago

darkride, i am surprised you didnt use one of your own blogs to try and prove your point.

so what if the ps3 has been selling more than the xbox. last gen the ps2 sold 6x more ps2s than microsoft sold xboxs.

sony just like everyone else thought they were going to wipe nintendo and microsoft out this gen, even with a high priced ps3... and it bite them in the arse.

the thing is, sony lost huge market share, whilst nintendo and microsoft made massive gains. sony are for sure this gens biggest losers financially. hurts i suppose to hear and read that.

hardcorehippiez2316d ago

Darkride , you guys have it all twisted . the 3rd console curse has happened to all console manufacturers . first atari 2600 to 7800 ther next console flopped i cant remember the name of it but then they tried to make a come back with jaguar and failed . sega with the master system to the megadrive /genesis and then there add on the 32x and the saturn flopped. nintendo nes to snes and then ultra 64 flopped. sony has broken this curse while they may not have sold as much as ps2 or ps1 yet no-one in the right mind would say near 70 million sold is a flop so they have broken the curse . get it ? this is a positive story and i believe sony is the first to do this . congrats sony

darthv722316d ago (Edited 2316d ago )

I think it goes something more like this (this isnt perfect but here goes)

Atari's 1st was Pong and their 2nd was the 2600. The 3rd was the 5200 and it paled in comparison to the 2600. The 7800 was a significant improvement and then many years after it was the Jaguar.

Sega started off with the master system but the Genesis was their 2nd and all the add-ons still count as part of that particular generation (cd, 32x). The saturn was their 3rd "official" console and it didnt fare too well but of course Sega tried their best with the DC. A great follow-up but one that only after it was canned did people look at and say, yeah this is a great system.

Nintendo and the NES and SNES are much like Sony and the PS1 and PS2. Both were beloved platforms with impressive sales to their credit. The N64 (their 3rd) was decent but it also wasnt as huge as we would like to believe. The of course they did the Cube (4th) and the Wii (5th) and now the wii-u (6th). Honestly, the wii was a surprise being that it was their 5th and sort of brought them back into that position of adoration so now the wii-u being the follow-up is technically superior but it will have a tough time selling to the same crowd that bought into the wii.

Sony hit the big leagues with both the PS1 and PS2 mainly because they were new. They were different. PS1 was their 1st at a time when both Sega and nintendo were releasing their 3rd. So it is because of that new kid on the block (sorry for the reference) that helped them establish the brand but it was their 2nd (PS2) that pushed them into the mainstream (and gaming as well) making it acceptable in society to enjoy games. Their ps3 is a fantastic system but the eyes were turned on both nintendo wii (5th) and the 360 (MS's 2nd).

The original xbox flopped but their 360 follow-up is following the same pattern for sequel systems. Is it likely that MS will get caught up in the same loop? Sure it is. Its not an exact science but it is as if by that 3rd time around consumers are looking for something different.

It could be like buying a car (strange analogy, I know) but if someone has bought a ford twice in their life and they are on the time to get another car the thought of trying something different certainly crosses their mind. It just comes down to what does this other brand offer that is different or more appealing than what you are familiar with.

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thebudgetgamer2317d ago

I wonder how many hardware companies wish their best year was on par with the PS3's worst year.

SilentNegotiator2317d ago

Absolutely nobody, considering the $300 loss per unit during their worst year.

thebudgetgamer2317d ago

Good pint, what I'm trying to say is even with all that was against it they still sold really well.

Kurt Russell2316d ago

Nothing like a good pint!

hardcorehippiez2316d ago

at darth above . yea well its still the third console curse where people usually drop off and then they fade into obscurity or whatever , with sony it hasnt sold terrible (well maybe compared to previous playstations it has atm ) but they havent faded away which was my point. so the curse was broken . as far as the atari , i live in ireland and i dont think the 5200 was ever released here , i could be wrong but i dont recall it but if memory serves me correct i went with colecovision at that stage so that why i may have over looked it . anyhow i think everyone here can agree the near 70 million sold (and counting ) is not a failure so it has broke the 3rd console curse the everyother company has suffered from. good banter bubble up to both you 2

darthv722316d ago

i dont feel the ps3 is a failure in any way that is important to ME. That being quality of the system and games and overall appeal.

I wouldnt even go as far as to say their sales are a "failure" either but i will say they havent broken the curse. I guess it is just how we see it.

To be a member of that exclusive club your only initiation is to have your 3rd system sell below the 2nd or even the 1st. it isnt about quality of software. It isnt even about falling into obscurity. Its about the 3rd time around and consumers looking for something else.

Believe it or not, we as gamers/consumers ARE share holders in these companies. We buy shares via the platforms and games. If we are not satisfied we take our $$$ somewhere else that appeals.

So when I see something I invest my $$ into not exceeding or even equaling their previous effort, yeah i get a bit miffed. Thankfully though, i am not one of those single company only investors. i like to spread it around.

Sony can be proud of selling close to 70mil systems but you know they are just saving face in public. behind doors the heads of the different divisions are scratching their heads thinking how do we come out of this.

If they were to lick their wound and bring out something new (not just a remodel) it would get the attention of the consumer. Be it good or bad it would still get their attention. unfortunately, Nintendo is the ones in the light with something new not just improved.

hardcorehippiez2316d ago

darth when the ps3 reaches the low price band sales of it will explode so i'm not worried in the slightest. to me 70 million isn't a failure and i only wished my album would sell that much ( if only id put it out for sale rather than giving it away lol )but when it gets cheap enough it will make its way to third world countries and numbers will go up but what does that matter anyway if they are not earning as much profit on it . im not looking elsewhere im still playing ps3 so to me for to be with sony for three generations id say the 3rd system curse has been lifted as theyre still going strong imo

ALLWRONG2316d ago

Why would Nintendo or MS wish to trade with Sony? Sony is the one falling behind.

thebudgetgamer2316d ago

How are they falling behind when their neck and neck with the 360 every year? I also meant the likes of Sega or Atari.

2317d ago
Pintheshadows2317d ago

Console pricing. It's all just numberwang to me.

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