The PlayStation 3 has been on the market for three years—and for most of that time, the console has been pulling up the rear amongst so-called next-generation game console sales, regularly trounced by the Xbox 360 and (of course) the Nintendo Wii—and for a while even struggling to stay ahead of the decade-old PlayStation 2. But the introduction of the PS3 Slim coupled with substantial price cuts seem to have translated into sales momentum for the PS3—in fact, Sony claims PS3 sales this October were 70 percent higher than sales in October 2008.
“This was fueled by a marketing campaign, [..] but also by a new slimmer and lighter form factor with a larger hard-drive for $100 less,” wrote PlayStation 3 marketing manager Kim Nguyen on the PlayStation blog. “We are really hitting our stride here and with how far you’ve seen us come in three short years, imagine how far we’ll go with the next three.”
Although Microsoft’s Xbox Live service is the big fish in the online gaming and content world, Sony is also touting its own PlayStation Network, which Sony claims has more than 31 million members, almost 5.5 million of whom connect every day. While Microsoft’s XBox Live service boasts 20 million members—many of whom pay for Gold membership—Sony’s number includes both PS3 and PSP users, and the service is free of charge to customers.
Although Sony can be proud that its high-tech gaming console seems to finally be gaining significant traction with the gaming public, the 70 percent year-on-year sales increase also serves to highlight how poor PS3 sales were until recent price cuts and the introduction of the PS3 Slim. Although the PS3 is indisputably the most capable of the current generation of game consoles, the high price tags and lack of exclusive, compelling content drove many consumers towards the Xbox 360 and the Wii. The question now is how many of those consumers are still looking for a PlayStation 3?