Critics say it’s over-priced, ugly and over-rated, but the PlayStation 3 (PS3) flew off the shelves during its first weekend on sale and Sony is already crowing. As you'd expect, the UK managing director says the 165,000 units sold during the first two days on sale were a vote of confidence in the PS3, and it’s difficult to argue with the figures.
However, as we said in our PS3 review earlier this month, the technical merits of this next-generation console compared to the Wii and the Xbox 360 have never been in question. It’s the price (£425) that grates.
You can’t always judge the success of a console based on sales during the first weekend, when die-hard gamers are prepared to camp outside (and inside) retail outlets to get their hands on one of the first consoles. Often, whatever’s there is snapped up.
And my entirely unscientific research based on one friend (who has bought every single console released by Sega, Nintendo and Microsoft since the Megadrive) suggests many normal people will wait until the price drops before picking up their new Sony console. The PS3 is the first console he’s not bought at launch for ten years.
Furthermore, according to the figures we reported in our news story, Nintendo only shipped 105,000 Wii consoles during the first weekend of sales, but Nintendo was known to have short supply initially.