Three’s a crowd in the video game industry.
And it looks like the third wheel this time around is Sony.
Going back several console generations, there have always been one or two successful systems, and then one or more also-rans.
When the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo were battling for supremacy in the early 1990s, the TurboGrafx-16 settled for table scraps.
In the next generation, Sony’s original PlayStation and the Nintendo 64 took first and second place, while Sega’s Saturn barely even made it out of the starting gate.
Sega again took it on the chin when its initially promising Dreamcast was trounced by the PS2, and Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s GameCube dueled for second.
Now the Nintendo Wii is lapping the field, while the Xbox 360 has carved out a solid following that’s growing again with the recent price cuts.
But the PS3 is turning into a punching bag. In November, sales of Sony’s console actually fell from a year ago, while the Wii and Xbox 360 numbers grew.
What’s the problem?
While the PS3 has a handful of good exclusive games, there’s enough overlap between the games on the PS3 and the Xbox 360 that the average gamer is going to decide which system to get based largely on the price.
And the PS3 sells for $399, while the cheapest Xbox 360 model goes for $199.
That decision basically makes itself for most gamers.