Sony dismisses Activision threats, PS3 price cut rumors

Sony Corp. CEO Sir Howard Stringer brands third-party publisher's comments as "noise," SCEA CEO Jack Tretton says other consoles don't deliver the same value.

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Ever since the PlayStation 3 launched in November 2006, third-party publishers have been grumbling that it is too expensive. That dissatisfaction came to a head last month, when the world's largest third-party publisher publicly threatened to discontinue support of the costly-to-develop-for platform, which lags behind the rival Wii and Xbox 360 in terms of market share.

Sir Howard Stringer brings the noise.

"They have to cut the price because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony….When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console--and the PSP."

Today, Sony Corp. CEO Sir Howard Stringer responded directly--and dismissively--to Kotick's comments. "He likes to make a lot of noise," the Welsh-born executive told Reuters at a tech conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, which Kotick is also attending. "He's putting pressure on me, and I'm putting pressure on him. That's the nature of business. … [But] I lose money on every PlayStation I make--how's that for logic?"

Speaking of the PS3, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton deflected questions that a widely rumored reduction in the console's cost could come as early as next month. "We feel that we're sacrificing the short term to pay dividends in the long term," he told Silicon Valley magazine Fast Company. "People are having short-term thinking--the platform is not even three years old…. It costs a lot to invest in rolling out new technology, and if the consumer walks away before the life cycle is over--you can talk about the install base of hardware, but how many of those machines are still active, how many people are still playing them?"

Tretton also said he hoped 2008 was the nadir of the worldwide economic recession, which has slowed the game industry in general and sales of the $399/$499 PS3 in particular. Still, he pointed to an increase in the console's market share last year as a sign of progress.

"In 2008, we had a 38 percent increase in sales and we hit our 10-million-units-worldwide goal for PS3 sales," he explained. "We had $6.4 billion in revenue in US alone on the PlayStation brand, and a 116 percent increase in software sales. At the worst possible time, if you're hitting numbers and delivering success... my hope is that as our production efficiencies improve and more great games come to market, the horizon has got to be better for 2009 and 2010."

Discussion

1088 comments
KamikazeCanuck
KamikazeCanuck

Shouldn't trifle with Activision and Blizzard. Those are some of the heavyweights.

fahadsul3man
fahadsul3man

ha ha ha ha ps3 is for losers i mean hey every programmer wants to get rid of ps3 cuz it's not profitable for them to develop games for the ps3 meh !! sony needs to do which sega did long time ago ........... ta da da daaaa !!! ;)

zorramala
zorramala

I wouldn't mind the price tag if ps3 still had ps2 compatibility.. I couldn't care less about the blu-ray or online play

ccputgat2m
ccputgat2m

Sony is right, the ps3 is a better value. The problem is programmers dont take advantage of the blu ray, and if you dont want to pay $30 for a movie.... well you get the point. $400 at once, plus games is less attractive than the competition, for the same exact games.

mos2000
mos2000

[PART 2 --see Part 1 below] "If Sony make PS3 price cheaper BUT charge for online subscription, remove Lithium Ion batteries off their Controller, force you to buy their own proprietary HDD, etc... will that make you shut up!?" -- Basically yes. If Sony had been a little wiser and created lower end systems, but yet kept the higher end systems for you all that think they are necessities, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Sony would be defeating the 360 handedly, because more people would have PS3 systems in their possession. That means third party developers would be looking over or grumbling about the 360 instead of the PS3. Seriously, had there been lower end systems available at the time the RROD fiasco began its effect; we'd be talking about the 360's possible demise instead. All that we are saying is that Sony made some very poor and costly decisions coming out of the gate. They lost their unbelievable market share edge and a lot of exclusives because of it. No one is saying you shouldn't like the PS3. We're just saying: is the PS3 the best choice for the majority of gamers who just want to play the games, and don't want to pay a whole lot to do so? -- By all accounts of the current market share: console and game sales, and installed base globally; The answer is no.

mos2000
mos2000

[PART 1] Because insults have trumped factual debating in the back and forth lately, I will try rebutting comments made with some ...facts: "Am I supposed to believe that XBOX is cheaper than PS3!!" -- Yes you are. The cheapest console for the 360 *new* is $199.00. The cheapest PS3 is 399.00 The assumption can't be made that everyone wants all these extra peripherals in order to play the games. Even if you were an online buff and decided to piece-mail a hard drive (20 gb $59.99 used) and headset ($14.99 new) later, it would take you 3 years of xbox live gold to surpass what you would have to pay all at once for the ps3. It would take you little over 2 years if you just went with the pro ($299.00 new w/ head set, wireless controller and 60 gb drive) "I'm graduating on my Computer Science and Information Technology course... anyone who has the slightest idea of hardware values... knows that the ps3 is CHEAP at its current price" -- That statement is true. For all the expensive hardware put into the system, Sony is taking an enormous loss per its current price. That's not the point. The point is, does the avg gamer think that all that pricey hardware is necessary to pay for in order to play the same games you can on the cheaper system, with the same identical quality? There is no significant difference playing a game on the 360 that is also released on the ps3. Trust me I know, I have both. If there was, sony wouldn't have this problem... (continuing)

6_raizen_9
6_raizen_9

People with brains know that PS3 is not overpriced. With all its features, it's well worth the money. Kids or kid-minded adults or should I say "nerds-who-never-get-laid-due-to-playing-xbox-live-every-hour-everyday" will never agree with the statement that "Playstation 3 is not overpriced."

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

I'm starting to get sick of the Xbots. They're like the most unintelligent group of people ever. I've seen mice with more brains. *holds up a RROD X360 to shield against the Xbots' thumb down*

Aaron_Knuts1
Aaron_Knuts1

owning the ps3? more like pwning the ps3!!

Mike4842003
Mike4842003

haha, no wonder the 360 and wii are owning the ps3

smolle
smolle

Sony slapped us Europeans in the face from the beginning with no backwards compatibility and then charged us full price. What would you do ?

nikbotv4
nikbotv4

In Response to funky_facon: Yes these men have gone to school and worked hard to obtain business related knowledge that not quite so many possess, but that absolutely does not make them any more intelligent than the rest of us. That's all i wanted to comment on.

funky_facon
funky_facon

i can see a lot of idiots in this thread.... unless u ppl graduated with an MBA from Harvard or some fancy school like that, these guys, kotick and stringer, are more intelligent than u.... these guys arent idiots... they are just pressuring each other so their own businesses could thrive faster. Console makers lose money when they sell hardware, they make up for it by selling software.... activision pushes Sony because Sony makes money from their softwares. kotick is only threatening them so more ppl would buy the ps3 and so that more ppl would also puchase their software.... JUST BUSINESS

chimpanchu
chimpanchu

If Sony make PS3 price cheaper BUT charge for online subscription, remove Lithium Ion batteries off their Controller, force you to buy their own proprietary HDD, etc... will that make you shut up!? NO, because then people will start complaining why Sony removes all of these features off their PS3, blah blah blah... Idiots will always find something to complain about. They expect to buy a BMW with the price of a Toyota. Think people, THINK!

chimpanchu
chimpanchu

120GB Xbox HDD cost $150. Today, you can by 500GB 2.5" HDD for $160. Am I suppose to believe that XBOX is cheaper than PS3!!????

mos2000
mos2000

@willpak I think @onewordrum is correct. What is the cheapest 360 pack? What is the cheapest PS3. I think the assumption that everyone wants all the available accessories to a console (wireless remote, larger harddrive etc.) is not realistic. Most of the gamerz out there just want the games a console, and enough space to store their saves. I hate to say it but things like movie players, wireless peripherals, even headsets and YES online multiplayer are not a must to most -- hardcore gamers. I sound like a broken record but the fact still remains, the avg video gamer is 33. That doesn't mean that 30 year olds make up 90% of gamerz, it just means there's more of them They started in the ole nintendo and atari days, where these things didn't exist. Therefore to them, they are perks, but not necessities. This is where Sony made it's mistake. It slapped all these things together and forced gamerz to buy them, and pay a price that they are not willing to pay for them. MS (in this area) was smarter. They gave the consumer more options, and allowed the gamer to decide if they wanted all this stuff. Lastly, I know the avg gamer age thing is going to garner a lot of WTF posts, like this demographic of gamerz don't matter. Before you say that -- guess the avg age of all the developers making your favorite games... They are not a bunch of fresh college grads with All-American Rejects and Lil Wayne filled on their Ipod's... More like Poison and maybe some old Nickleback :)

mos2000
mos2000

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

willpak
willpak

@oneworddrum... As I said repeatedly before, The 360 is NOT cheaper. It cost, what 300 or 400 dollars for the console? Add in 100 dollars for that internet adapter thing. NOW add in $50 per yr for Live. Too date, you have payed $150 for Live. PS3 owners will not pay that much for PSN in 10 years. Do the math, don't be so short-sighted. Back on topic: Take that Activision! Those back-stabbers were on the verge of bankruptcy before next gen conles bailed them out. Am I the only one who remembers that??

dogpigfish
dogpigfish

Sony, get rid of this guy and hire an actual CEO. We all know this guy has done bankruptcy for years. Your future depends on it.

oneworddrum
oneworddrum

Jack Tretton: "People are having short-term thinking--the platform is not even three years old…. It costs a lot to invest in rolling out new technology, and if the consumer walks away before the life cycle is over..." Sorry Mr. Tretton, but I don't think people care about that at all. The Playstation 3 is awesome, but the Xbox 360 delivers next gen awesome for a lot cheaper. Bottom line.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

"I lose money on every PlayStation I make" i believe he said i WOULD lose money on every playstation i make

TheRealMantera
TheRealMantera

IBPtoady, well actually, what they are saying is that because of the large extra price to pay someone to develope for the platform, they are not proffitable ( p.s.that means they don't make money.) so no, they clearly are not just whiners, but made a valid bussiness related observation.

Ginsy26
Ginsy26

Its disappointing because i know there are many gamers out there who would definitley buy a PS3 if the price was lower. in england its £300 and thats $490. Im bein g drawn to the Xbox which is a hundred pounds cheaper. i have been a Playstation man since the beginning but now its hard to resist the price of Microsft.

Irve
Irve

@MTMind2 a good way to end it .. we'll never agree on this point .. but i think both of us are genuinely into the games above the consoles

MTMind2
MTMind2

@irve i do feel the ps3 is worth the extra cost, as its the more expensive product to manufacture, having more out of the box than the 360 and more specifically, the blu-ray drive, which even with the recent price drops, is not as cheap as dvd. my point is that the cheaper US price is a result of sony being more aggressive with the price because it's the one major region where the ps3 is way behind the 360. hence they are making a bigger lost on ps3 hardware in the Us than anywhere else. this is not the case in japan and europe, and i doubt they could afford to match the 360 price in those regions even if they wanted to. lets say for example europe was like the US with the 360 having double the userbase, then yes the ps3 would probably be cheaper in europe, but the Us would probably be more expensive than it is now to offset the cheaper european price. therefore i dont agree that the us price *proves* the ps3 is worth the same as the 360, especially when we know the ps3 is more expensive to make. i believe the european prices reflect the real difference between the consoles, its just that those in the US are fortunate to live in a region where the 360 is dominating sales (ignoring the Wii), and therefore sony needs to make the ps3 more attractive to gamers, and hence the lower cost. but yes, lets agree to disagree on this point, but from reading your posts, i suspect in other issues, we probably agree more than we disagree. we'll see. :-)

Irve
Irve

@MTMind2 Ahhh , well this is where you and i differ Price and cost are objective figures and comparisons can easily be made. In this case comparisons between price differintials in the US and UK give a fact based analysis of the PS3 being overpriced. but what your looking at is value .. and your saying that even at this inflated price in the UK the PS3 , for you and others, provides better value that is worth the premium. your way is opinion .. and honestly i would almost agree. I'm more of a mind that the 360 and PS3 are of equal value .. neither is a bad buy but i'm sorry .. i can't agree with you that the machine isn't overpriced when it clearly is.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

And Still no must have games for me. I used to be the biggest Sony fan and now I don't even want a PS3. Like I said they just don't have any must have games for me. I am into the RPG games and not interested in action games at all. Maybe if they came out with a Final Fantasy VII, VIII remake or a sequel to Final Fantasy VII then I would be interested. Until then I will stick with my 360, PS2, PS1, PSP and PC.

MSTHEAT1
MSTHEAT1

He looks a lot like Howard the Duck to me!

izmickey
izmickey

If you feel PS3 is too expensive than just get another system that is cheaper. Seems like a few people want it cheaper so that they can have the PS3 NOW, instead of saving $50 and getting it later. Making it cheaper or the same price as the xbox is very generous considering what the ps3 offers. To each his/her own. just a little info for the people, dont outsmart or get witty with mos2000, he will report you. He seems to be able to dish out insults but cant take him.

vipa95666
vipa95666

ps3 NEEEEEEEDS TO BE CHEAPER!!!!, its as simple as that!

lbptoady
lbptoady

I really don't care. Wow no more guitar hero on the PS3, wow. Thats the only game from activision that I actually like and continue to play. But I do say that activision is being grumpy just because the PS3 is behind in sales. They are still making money so why does it matter?

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

Who Cares. Until $ony makes a must have game for me I will not be shelling out all that money for a PS3. I have better things to blow my money on.

mos2000
mos2000

I agree with @Runawaysheep At some point we all need to agree to disagree. I am however grateful that this forum has went from a Fanboy affair, to a more factual based debate. I personally continued my efforts here because too many people were making innacurate claims, or not focusing on the subject matter. As I've said in the original article that started these discussions; The Big 3 do have people that comb through these. I know personally. A few years ago I posted something on another forum regarding a video game. The video game's publishing team had someone send me a personal email. Prior to their 1st email to me, I never personally contacted them nor had I posted anything on a forum they sponsered. Even though I didn't like the crappy responses I got in our exchanges, I'm sure what I had to say stuck with them. The more we use opportunities like this to have shrewd uncut, but thoughtful exchanges about the issues in the community, the better the chance that a light will pop up in someone's head to make them say...hmm we need to address this. Thanks to @WolfGrey and the others that contributed in the turn around here. We may not agree on many fronts, but by us exchanging facts and others chiming in with what they truly believe, the Big 3 will get a better snapshot of what gamerz are truly thinking... and what they need to do to enhance their products.

RunawaySheep
RunawaySheep

I think we just gotta agree to disagree on this issue. I'm just sick of seeing Sony resting on it's laurels. A link would be great, though.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@MTMind2 Now thats the kinda proof i like seeing. No its not ready for the market but in the end i think sony will have a better handle on it.I just cant see microsoft doing it correctly.Though i have seen the videos and its pretty impressive. As for motion experience.Nice on the reference :D Split of userbase is a sad thing.But despite speed the capacity is often more important.But i can see how this would cause a problem for xbox.Well a shame.Oh well. Multiple discs is where blu ray has a advantage over hd.Installing pretty much kills loading times.And in some multiconsole games like Street Fighter 4, Ps3 is actually faster than the xbox by a little bit.Yes after installing but im patient enough to wait for that to be done.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@RunawaySheep I bought a 60 gb for 300.Second of all dont go to a gamestop store or website for a price on one, there is many better places to find them. The massive amount of data means(and they dont have to) that hey can make MUCH larger scale games on this ps3 system.That and having a larger access of data will also help ps3 games run smoother.More fine tuning can be done on ps3 games than on xbox. Also if you read the other guys post you would see half of it was for him and half for you.I should of labled better but i didnt so i apologize for that. Opinions are fine yes.But unsupported facts means the posting of false information intentional and unintentional.Which is why i was correcting some of them.I can even link you to places with cheaper ps3s if you are looking for one.

MTMind2
MTMind2

@WolfGrey just a few points -"Online wise they are doing great, they arent failing in that at all." Agreed. However, I think the no. of users compared to other systems is a slight distortion since its not a like with like comparison. -"For instance you know that Natel project? With Full body motion sensing for xbox 360? Sony has that going too and is also working on that." not ready for the market they dont. eyetoy and xbox live vision detects movement in 2d only, but natal detects movement in 3d. "And no offense when it comes to the motion world sony has quite abit more experience." actually, microsofts first motion controller was released for the pc back in 1998/1999, so they are not exactly novices when it comes to motion control. :-) -"Thats why im saying xbox should swich over" hd-dvd and blu-ray have more capacity, but they are slower than dvd, therefore it's not practical to switch over as you suggest, not least because besides the technical differences, such a change will split their userbase, which is a bad idea. "But however anyone who knows about technology knows why the ps3 games themselves are far better off." there a plus and minuses to both. the plus for blu-ray is the capacity, the minus is the slower speed compared to dvd, which is why so many ps3 games install to the hdd to improve load times. the plus for dvd is the speed, the minus is the low capacity compare to blu-ray, which is why games will need to use multiple discs if space becomes an issue.

RunawaySheep
RunawaySheep

My personal experiences aren't invalid, nor are they rumors or unsupported facts. And the very reason we post is to express our opinions. I don't have any particular thoughts on Sony's online arrangement or backwards compatibility. I never said Microsoft was right for rejecting to support blu-ray. The massive amount of data storage on a blu-ray doesn't seem to be all that important, considering games of such scale as Mass Effect and Oblivion have managed to appear on Xbox360 on a single disc. I have no idea what you're talking about with those PS3 prices. The cheapest one on the GameStop website is a 40gb refurbished PS3 for 329. We're just discussing things here, buddy. Sorry to break it to you, but you don't have all the answers.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

My comment was aimed at McGregor and RunawaySheep. fyi

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Um most ps3s are backward compatible.Expecially the 80gb and 60gb which in my opinion are the best ones to get.The higher gbs past that were released for more of the techies, hence why 80gbs are still being sold.Its a personal choice. Online wise they are doing great, they arent failing in that at all.Anyone who says they are arent, doesnt pay much attention whatsoever to amount of users and what they do online compared to the other systems. As for blu ray capabilities this is only said because how HD DVD failed.Thats why im saying xbox should swich over.I dont even buy blu ray movies.But however anyone who knows about technology knows why the ps3 games themselves are far better off. And last thing.You can get a ps3 60gb for 250 at a game store -_-.Ps3 80bg for 300 and so on.There is a easily attainable price range with all 3 sizes as well as prevouis sizes before that.Its not hard to get a cheap ps3. Ok now that i have pretty much made the last 2 comments invalid im happy.If you have any actual proof rather than statements that can be proven invalid otherwise within 15 seconds i would be happy to see them.But so far nothing contributed worthwhile by you two because what you are putting is either rumor,fact without support, or opinion.

diogocs94
diogocs94

Come on Activision I only have a ps3. I want to play Modern Warfare 2, do some headshots. Sony shouldn't get ps3 less expensive, now that sony is finally getting money from the console. Sony could buy Capcom, that would be a great, but very difficult and nearly impossible move.

somberfox
somberfox

"The platform is ONLY three years old. What makes that comment such BS is that most console generations only last five or six years." Sony has been saying even before the PS3's release that they planned a lifespan of at least 10 years for it... The 5-6 year old cycle is a relic of Nintendo's that doesn't apply to Sony (Nintendo cuts off all support for their consoles to pull in buyers for new hardware). The PS2 still has a little life in it even this far into the PS3's life, it's been getting several good games each year since the PS3 was released, this year included with stuff like a new Jak game and Mana Khemia 2.

McGregor
McGregor

@enragedrenegade I never said that sony made the right choice, I just said that I applaud them for trying to take gaming to a whole new level. With that said I completely agree with you. They took it too far, and yes, they did fail to recognize online early on. As of now they are trying to remedy that. I also think they should have left backward compatibility in their console, especially since they tout "10 year" life cycles. By removing that they have basically said, once you buy a ps3, you won't need a ps2 (apparently you'll already have one). When it comes down to it though, they were trying to innovate, and although they failed at it, they tried.

RunawaySheep
RunawaySheep

But Sony's actions, or unwillingness to act, are having effects. They think they're the still top dog, even when they're losing money and exclusives. Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, to name a few of the bigger ones, are or will be on Xbox 360. Sony is losing competitiveness all the time, as if the PS3 price tag wasn't enough of a turn off. And FYI, the biggest reason I still don't own a PS3 is the price tag. And don't tell me blu-ray is worth it, because I really don't feel like paying 30 bucks for a movie. And this is the case with several friends of mine.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

"Wtf kind of moron says that publicly about one of your most important business partners?" well it is true

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@ RunawaySheep If you look at most CEOs over the past few years most comments on all sides are egotistical.Its their actual actions we should be worried about.Typically their words dont mean much, just like politicians. @mos2000 Its just hard to sum it all up.The charging publishers was expected but i dont think it will change our free online service as this is a big marketing move for psn to remain on top.For better or for worse Home is being intergrated into the gaming procress with tourneys and events for all our games.This will make it alot easier for people to meet and for psn popularity to spread. As for E3 have you ever known sony to show off their online stuff as much?Most of the largest improvements to psn arent announced at electronic expos for some reason or another.Microsoft likes to place everything in public but however sony usually does a better job on quality.For instance you know that Natel project? With Full body motion sensing for xbox 360? Sony has that going too and is also working on that.And no offense when it comes to the motion world sony has quite abit more experience.

RunawaySheep
RunawaySheep

This Howard Stringer dude is kind of an ass. "He likes to make a lot of noise"? Wtf kind of moron says that publicly about one of your most important business partners? I don't think "the nature" of the business is to dismiss valid concerns from the CEO of a company as influential as Activision Blizzard. Sony seems to have developed an ego since the PS2. They should keep a tighter leash on chumps like Howard before that ego REALLY starts to ruin them.

mos2000
mos2000

@ WolfGrey It makes sense to a degree. I still don't think PSN statistics truly reflect a PS3 uprising. PS3 made big gains last year with MGS4. At last E3 they did offer a better online experience -- though it still has a long way to go. In their defense, what do you expect for free. But, I believe that the service won't be free for long due to their most recent activities.See the following: http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2009/03/20/sony-now-charging-publishers-for-ps3-downloadable-content/ With that said, the issues reported by the HDMI 360 systems are not as even as much as the hardware issues being reported for PS3 owners. Just look at the forums on PSN. I personally know PS3 owners who get the infamous "Out of Memory" message that requires them to send Sony the system. This is not reported because the RROD issue has overshadowed all the hardware malfunction news. Not saying they aren't any, all systems have it's issues. I just believe the problems with the newer 360's are being over-blown And lastly YOU ARE RIGHT -- Thank God someone finally helps drive home my point! The 360 avatar system is a rip off. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE NEED SONY TO STAY IN THE GAME!!!! MS offered a lot at E3 08 regarding the New XBOX experience. But after looking at the stats, they saw that the PS3 did not catch up as analysts expected. Therefore they heavily scaled back the service. THIS IS WHY SONY NEEDS TO DO BETTER! Keep MS on their toes. This way we all win