August 20th, 2012, 22:02 Posted By: wraggster
Hardware pricing remains the elephant in the room, says Rob Fahey
Sony came to Gamescom with a lot to prove. In spite of a general consensus that the company had narrowly bested its platform holder competitors with its showing at E3 a few months ago, 2012 has not been a positive year for the company. Sales of the PlayStation 3 have slackened, while Vita has had the weakest launch of any PlayStation hardware platform ever. Sony's games division, traditionally a bright spot on the company's financials, turned a loss. If 2012 is going to be rescued, it's going to have to happen in the Christmas quarter.
The expectation was that Sony would begin its efforts to salvage a tough year by announcing a new model of PlayStation 3 hardware - slimmer and cheaper than the existing console. A PlayStation Vita price cut might also be on the cards, although that kind of embarrassing climbdown announcement is more traditionally carried out at a dour press conference in Tokyo involving a lot of bowed heads, rather than on a festive event stage like Gamescom.
"Pricing and hardware never troubled the stage. Instead, the company put software front and centre, with a strong, confident presentation which was rich with new IP"
In the end, though, Sony took an altogether different - and arguably more aggressive - approach to Gamescom. Pricing and hardware never troubled the stage. Instead, the company put software front and centre, with a strong, confident presentation which was rich with new IP. E3's over-long and rather botched Wonderbook presentation was redeemed with a set of announcements and video demos that suggest that the company could really be on to something in the kids market. Vita, embarrassingly neglected at E3, was given centre stage and an intriguing new Media Molecule title.
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