The future looks brighter and brighter for the PS3. Blu-Ray has all but won the format war with the slumping HD-DVD, making BD a much-wanted feature of the PS3, and Sony expects to see 200 new PS3 games in the next business year. Furthermore, with the manufacturing costs falling and a confirmation of a price drop this year, the PS3 has more positive news than ever before.
What does this translate to? A better market share, of course. Sony chairman Howard Stringer said today at an annual shareholder's meeting that the PlayStation business is "regaining its foothold in the market."
"All the production problems have been solved. We are making a comeback already,” Stringer said in an Associated Press report.
He reinforced his belief that the PS3 will play a "major role" in the final big picture of Sony's finances, and the console is definitely a "key driver" for growth. According to the press report, the meeting was very upbeat, with plenty of talk of recovery in the videogame department in addition to continued growth in the flat-panel TV and digital camera categories. Still, talk is cheap to shareholders, and they're not about to leap back aboard the PlayStation locomotive just yet.
"It's hard to think that Sony has solved all its problems," said shareholder Kazuhiko Machida. "The Sony brand has taken a beating. I think Sony may be at a crossroads, but it's too early to say 'Banzai!'”
That doesn't shake Stringer's confidence, though. And so far, we'd like to agree with the chairman, especially considering all of this seems very, very similar to the start of the PS2: rampant negativity in the months after the launch, steadily changing to acceptance, and finally, domination in the last years. Perhaps all those industry analysts who said the PS3 would emerge victorious this generation really knew what they were talking about…
"We believe that the PS3 going forward will be vital to our future, and succeed,” Stringer finished.
There's no doubt this generation will be much closer than the last, but even so, the news appears definitive for the time being: the PS3 is making its resurgence, which some – including Stringer – fully expected.