January 17th, 2007, 22:37 Posted By: wraggster
PS3 games like Resistance: Fall of Man and the upcoming Motorstorm already look fantastic. Sony CEO Howard Stringer (right) argues that these games are barely using 25% of the system's "bandwidth." He also thinks Sony can break even on PS3 costs at the end of this year.
In a new interview with CNET, Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer shared his feelings on how the PlayStation 3 has been faring thus far and what he sees for the future of the PlayStation business.
Although there was a lot of negativity surrounding Sony from E3 up until launch last year, and the PS3 was hurt by shortages of blue laser diodes, Stringer believes that everything turned out rather well. "... We're now very comfortable with our research program for PlayStation 3, which one researcher recently described as the Mercedes of games players, for obvious reasons. The million is more than we delivered of PlayStation 2 so, for all the anxiety, I think PlayStation 3 is well on the way to living up to that promise. That's a good sign," he remarked.
Interestingly, Stringer also noted that current software offerings for the PS3 would seem to be using only a quarter or less of the console's total power. "Lost in the shuffle is the fact that the current games that are out there are only using about 20 percent to 25 percent of the [PS3's] bandwidth. Once the publishers' excitement reaches a level of intensity that they start using more of the bandwidth, that will create additional excitement," he said.
It's no secret that the new Blu-ray hi-def format is a key part of Sony's PS3 strategy. Some have argued that just because someone owns a PS3 that doesn't mean that consumer is playing Blu-ray movies on it. Stringer, however, believes that the vast majority of PS3 owners have in fact been converted to Blu-ray users. "I'd say 90 percent of the people who (own) PS3s are playing that Blu-ray disc on it or playing other Blu-ray discs on it. Contrary to some of the reports, it is an effective Blu-ray player. The people who like Blu-ray are the people who play PlayStation 3, just as people who play PS2s were the early proponents of the DVD format. It drove the DVD format," he asserted.
The combination of Blu-ray and a Cell processor is an expensive proposition for the consumer and Sony itself. A recent analysis by iSuppli indicated that Sony is losing somewhere in the range of $300 per unit. That said, Stringer believes that the console can break even at the end of this year.
"I think Kutaragi-san (PlayStation chief Ken Kutaragi) said that it would be break-even by the end of the year, at the end of '07. PS2 was not profitable in the first year. You make it up on the content as the content gathers momentum, the licensees from that and so forth," he explained.
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