In a webcast from an investor conference held by Morgan Stanley, outgoing Electronic Arts CEO Larry Probst said he expects Sony’s dominance of the video game console market to slip in the current hardware year. “I think the issue is that (the PS3) is expensive,” said Probst. “We expect that there will be a more-level playing field this time around.”
However, Probst maintained that the PlayStation 3’s high retail price—$500 for a base unit, $600 for a top-of-the-line system—”should not have surprised anyone,” and that he believes Sony will still retain the top position in the video game console market when all the dust settles, just not by as wide a margin. “No one should count Sony out at this point in the game. This is going to be a long race.”
Probst noted the Nintendo Wii—which sells for $250—is off to a strong start and EA is increasing its investment in game development for the Wii as well as for the Nintendo DS handheld device. Probst also noted Microsoft’s Xbox 360 seems to be gaining market share. Presumably, the Wii’s and Xbox 360’s gains come partly at the expense of Sony’s existing PlayStation installed base.
EA is the largest publisher of video games; the company announced last week that Probst would step down as CEO in favor of former COO John Riccitiello; Probst will continue as executive chairman.
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