Analysts say PS3 to only reach 75% of global target that Sony set

by: John -
Sony's PlayStation 3 just can't cut a break. The NPD's numbers, if correct, would indicate that over 300k units are still on the store shelves. When you consider that there are around a million or so consoles in the wild you can surmise that the PlayStation 3 just isn't doing too well. Hopefully, more titles can come up to bump up sales but seeing that there are few exclusive titles in the near future and anything really first rate it doesn't bode well for the system for the time being.
TOKYO (MarketWatch) -- Sony Corp. (6758.TO) will reach only 75% of its global target for PlayStation 3 sales this fiscal year through March, according to a Nomura report released Monday.

Nomura cut its target for PS3 game units shipped during the period to 4.5 million from 6 million, citing poor sales over the holiday season in North America.

The Tokyo-based consumer electronics maker is fighting to keep its position at the top of the video game market against rivals Nintendo Co. (7974.TO) and Microsoft Corp. (MS). The company's rollout of its newest system has been beset by delays and supply shortages, but it has maintained it will sell 6 million units through March.

Sony said last week it had shipped 1 million consoles in the U.S. in 2006, but it sold only about 470,000 in Japan according to data released by computer game publisher Enterbrain Inc. This put it well below its global goal of 2 million for the year.

The unit is due to be released in Europe sometime in March.

In its report Monday, Nomura also cut its PS3 sales forecast for next fiscal year to 10 million from 16 million next fiscal year and to 11 million from 18 million for the following year.

IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon has told GamesIndustry.biz that Sony must produce more first-party software for PlayStation 3 or risk seeing more and more units left on shop shelves.

Pidgeon's comments follow the release of NPD's videogame sales data for 2006 which, according to SCEA boss Jack Tretton, show "the power of PlayStation".

The IDC analyst said he agreed with Tretton that the power of the brand "is confirmed with the PS2's performance in the market", adding that sales of hit titles such as Guitar Hero 2 meant that last year "PS2 was helpful to most third-party publishers' bottom lines".

However, he continued, "The PlayStation brand doesn't appear to be helping the PS3. If NPD's numbers are correct, there are over 300K PS3s on retail shelves. That is not good for a console launch of only a million and it's not good for publishers with PS3 software."

Pidgeon warned that Sony must focus on the games available for PlayStation 3 and the number of first-party titles in development, stating, "Software libraries are the key driver of console sales, and no console is going to sell on the promises - they've got to deliver.

"Sony needs more must-have first party titles to sell consoles. Gamers know Halo 3 is coming on the Xbox 360, and they can expect Mario on the Wii, but there are no established first party franchises coming to the PS3 except Gran Turismo - and that is delayed."

Pidgeon did say that first-party PS3 games Heavenly Sword and Motorstorm "look great", but observed, "They are new and less anticipated."
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