Sony's beleaguered PlayStation 3 received its strongest attack yet on Friday when the boss of one of the biggest developers in the world threatened to pull support for the games console unless its price was cut. In an interview with the Times, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has some strong advice for Sony.
"They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates [the number of games each console owner buys] are likely to slow," said Kotick, whose company makes the enormously successful Guitar Hero franchise. "If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony." As for the timing on that, he adds: "When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console -- and the PSP too."
"I'm getting concerned about Sony," Kotick continued, "the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform. It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation," he says.
For its part, Sony, which is mired in third place behind Nintendo and Microsoft in the console wars, keeps saying it won't be pressured into trimming the price of the £300 PS3. But with industry heavyweights like Activision making these types of remarks, it's becoming more and more clear that the pressure is on.
Responding to Kotick's threat in a statement, Sony said, "PlayStation has tremendous momentum coming out of E3, and we are seeing positive growth with more than 350 titles slated to hit across all our platforms, including many anticipated games from our publishing partners. We enjoy healthy business relationships with and greatly value our publishing partners and are working closely with them to deliver the best entertainment experience."
Should Sony hurry up and wilt under the heat? Or should it stick to its game plan, whatever it is?