By now, you have probably heard of the temporary sepuku occurring in 30 GB Zunes. If not, then you either don’t have one or undoubtedly haven’t plugged yours in the last few days. Many have suggested that the “Z2K” problem was caused by 2008 being a leap year. Microsoft offers tips if your Zune has ceased to exist. They suggest disconnection, allowing the battery to drain, then reconnect the Zune to its USB port on your computer or AC adapter. Check with Microsoft if you have questions or your own theory.
Read More | Zune FAQ
After Sony broke records with their 165,000 unit launch in the UK, things were looking up a bit for the Playstation 3. The Playstation has traditionally sold very well in the UK, but this week’s news is not looking so good. From GamesIndustry.biz:
Sales of the PlayStation 3 have dropped dramatically on the second week of release in the UK, with official Chart Track figures revealing a fall of 82 per cent.
Chart Track data is gathered from 7000 UK retail outlets representing 90 per cent of the software market, including GAME, Gamestation, Play.com, Asda and HMV.
This week’s software charts revealed that sales of the top two PlayStation 3 titles, Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm, had dropped by over 60 per cent.
Does this mean that just about everyone in the UK who wanted a PS3 picked one up on launch day? Or is this due to a lack of supply available after the frenzied launch? Either way, hopefully Sony can somehow reverse this precipitous drop in sales… they could certainly use a bright spot to point to these days.
Read More | GamesIndustry.biz
Dean Takahashi at Mercury News has put together a preview of the story to be published about what the PS3 delay and hardware shortage may mean for Sony and the rest of the industry. The most significant impact seen, of course, will be in the European territory. Missing the holiday launch there means that Microsoft and Nintendo will have a great opportunity to grow marketshare over the next six months. Takahashi was also able to talk with Sony’s new director of communications, David Karraker, particularly about why Sony sat so long on the news. Karraker laid the blame on Kutaragi’s management style, saying that Kutaragi, “pushes his internal teams to hit the numbers. When it became clear we couldn’t hit the numbers, Ken revised it.” Karraker also reiterated that the shortage is solely tied to blue-diode lasers and not any other component, and stated that production of the console will start at the end of September.
Overall, this holiday is not going to be a rosy one for Sony. While every single console manufactured will definitely be sold, they can expect a huge consumer backlash because of availability issues in all three territories. The US Playstation 2 launch suffered huge shortages, and back then, Sony launched with roughly 500,000 units. Now, Sony is releasing even fewer into the US market, and it is unclear whether the company will really be able to sustain production levels if they can’t resolve their diode issues.
The other immediate impact would seem to be next week’s Tokyo Game Show. While Sony has been boasting about the number of playable titles at the show, game selection largely becomes meaningless if nobody can get a console to play on. What could have been Sony’s final public demonstration of the potential of the Playstation 3 before launch will now be tainted with Sony’s inability to provide hardware to the gaming public.
Read More | Mercury News
The Sony PlayStation 2 had a lot of things going for it when it launched in October of 2000. It would launch more than a year before Nintendo’s GameCube console, a head start that proved to extend the lifespan of the console far longer than the usual five years. Normally, launching a game console outside of that five-year cycle spelled disaster (just ask Sega), Sony managed to make it work, but it wasn’t by virtue of their games. The launch lineup for the PS2 was laughable, and would not improve for the majority of that first year. No, the PS2 sold for one reason and one reason only: including DVD movie playback cheaper than a dedicated DVD player.
At the time of the PS2 launch, a home DVD player retailed for about $399. Sony was selling the PS2 for $299, taking a significant loss on the hardware and expecting to make it up on software sales (often described as the standard game industry model, despite Nintendo not following that model themselves). For the first year, Sony was taking an absolute bath on the PS2 hardware, since the initial software selection was pitiful, yet the installed user base for the machine would pay dividends in the years to come, allowing Sony to secure many exclusives.