Posted on October 17, 2007,

NCsoft: Home Won’t Sell PlayStation 3

ncsoft-logo.jpgNCSoft Europe’s director of product development, Thomas Bidaux, recently sat down with GamesIndustry.biz and discussed, among other things, his thoughts on PlayStation Home. While he believes it has great potential to become a 3D networking hub, he also believes that the PlayStation 3 is going to need a significant install base for Home to actually be worthwhile. While he doesn’t go too in-depth on the matter, he does raise a very good point.

Do you think PlayStation Home will be one of the first real providers of 3D social networking?

I think Home is very interesting, but I want to see how people use it. Again – content. If there is an incentive for people to go into Home, beyond just customising their avatar, then it will be very, very good. If there is no incentive, then it will remain quite limited.

One of the limitations is linked to the PlayStation 3 – so the success of Home is 100 per cent tied to the PS3′s penetration into the market.

I don’t think you can say you will sell more PS3s because of Home, but if the PS3 had the right penetration in the market, then yes – Home will be very interesting.

Read the full interview here.

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8 Comments on NCsoft: Home Won’t Sell PlayStation 3

Norbit

On October 17, 2007 at 1:56 pm

“If there is an incentive for people to go into Home, beyond just customising their avatar, then it will be very, very good. If there is no incentive, then it will remain quite limited.”

We already know there will be a lot more than “just customising their avatar”. For a start Sonys game achievements system will be run through Home.

I dont think for one second that anyone will buy a PS3 just for Home but I dont think anyone has ever claimed people would. It will surely make the console more attractive to a lot of buyers however.

Heru-Ur

On October 17, 2007 at 2:09 pm

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. People should buy a game system to play GAMES on, which i think is exactly what *most* people do. Honestly you could sell a condole with a 200 terabyte datacube reader, 800 USB ports, and upscale to 200,000p and it wouldn’t make a tin bit of difference if it don’t have the games that people want to play.

As a bit of a disclaimer, I’m a PC gamer and hate all consoles equally.

Norbit

On October 17, 2007 at 3:10 pm

“and it wouldn’t make a tin bit of difference if it don’t have the games that people want to play.”

You are right, so its a good job that the PS3s exclusive games due out next year are so much more popular than its main rival.

Home at the end of the day isn’t a reason to buy a console but its a nice extra. A bit like DVD up-scaling, backwards compatibility or DNLA media streaming. None of its really important but whatever you say it does make a console more attractive in the same way that stereos, electric windows and cup holders persuade a person to buy one car over another even though none of those features will actually get the car from A to B any better which is the reason for buying the car.

SpiralGray

On October 17, 2007 at 4:00 pm

“You are right, so [it's] a good job that the [PS3's] exclusive games due out next year are so much more popular than its main rival.”

Numbers, please?

Norbit

On October 17, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Numbers?

Final Fantasy franchise 75m units sold
Metal Gear franchise 20m units sold
Gran Turismo franchise 50m units sold

Gran Turismo sells an average of over 11m units per game which is about 4m more than Halo does. How many exclusive titles being released next year on the 360 look like they will sell over 2m when Crackdown, Perfect Dark Zero, Saints Row, Lost Planet, Dead Rising and Madden NFL 07 didn’t?

FF13, MG4 and GT5 on the PS3 will probably shift between 15m and 20m units between them.

SpiralGray

On October 17, 2007 at 6:11 pm

I’m sure you know this, but you can’t look at absolute numbers. Any analysis on the popularity of a game needs to take into account the number of potential purchasers of that game. That would be, oh, I dunno, people who actually own the console on which the game can be played.

Latest figures I could locate showed 11.6m 360s and 120m PS2s.

IIRC, Microsoft was touting that Halo 3 made $170m in the first day. If you look at the three SKUs for Halo 3 the average selling price is $90. So on the first day they moved 1.8m units, meaning 15% of 360 owners bought a copy. That further assumes an even distribution amongst all three SKUs, which isn’t realistic, so the actual percentage is probably higher.

According to you, GT4 sold ‘over’ 11m units. So let’s say it sold 15m (I’m feeling generous). That would mean 12.5% of PS2 owners bought it. And that’s over the life of the console, not the figures from a single day.

I don’t hate Sony. I don’t hate the PS3. I hate people making ridiculous, unsubstantiated statements like “the [PS3's] exclusive games due out next year are so much more popular than its main rival.” You like your PS3. You hate the 360. We get it.

Norbit

On October 17, 2007 at 6:54 pm

“That would be, oh, I dunno, people who actually own the console on which the game can be played.”

You have obviously ignored the fact that those 3 franchises I mentioned are proven system sellers. People buy consoles to play those games.

Playstation consoles always start slowly but when the big titles get released they shift huge amounts.

Take a look at this graph for example. The coloured blocks show the US sales for the first 4 months of consoles life while the pink block behind shows its software sales.

http://cache.kotaku.com/assets/resources/2007/04/firstfour2.JPG

You will notice that the PS1 and PS2 sold worse in their first 4 months than the Xbox, Gamecube, Dreamcast and N64.

I dont hate the 360 I just dont see a reason to buy one. The only game released on it this year that I really wanted was Bioshock and I bought that for the PC this week. I do hate the multitudes of 360 owners who have spent the last year attacking the PS3 for same inane reason that I cant quite fathom. Also the people in the media to seem to want to spin every story about the PS3 into something negative.

Just look at this article for an example. Thomas Bidaux said home could be ‘very, very good’ and is generally very positive about it but instead Chris decided to headline the article ‘Home Won’t Sell PlayStation 3′ which is something nobody has ever claimed it would do.

SpiralGray

On October 17, 2007 at 8:28 pm

I ignored nothing. My point, which I stated quite clearly, is that you can’t count the population of the world.

Nice of you to ignore the science of the numbers though. You really should be in politics. Drop the attempts to grab peoples’ emotions and cite some numbers to dispute my objective analysis.

BTW, on the way home I was listening to a podcast that indicated that $300m was the number for Halo 3 after a week. That would bump the adoption rate from 15% to 28% of the 360 population.

“I do hate the multitudes of 360 owners who have spent the last year attacking the PS3 for same inane reason that I cant quite fathom.”

Yeah, the PS3 community is completely without blame in this area, they’ve said nothing but nice things about the competition. Grow up already. Both sides are involved in an on-going pissing contest. You yourself have posted both blatant and passive aggressive (i.e. “the [PS3's] exclusive games due out next year are so much more popular than its main rival.”) attacks, so please don’t give me the “woe is me, they don’t like my console” crap.