Sony Computer Entertainment of America spokesperson Dave Karraker says Wii should not be directly compared to PS3. Interviewed by The New York Times today he said, “Wii could be considered an impulse buy more than anything else.”
A very short article, but so much to talk about. First of all, and only anecdotally, the only person I know who owns a PS3 said he bought it as an impulse buy (his exact words) where as everyone I know who has a Wii has had to literally camp out for one, myself included. If there’s a place in the states that Sony is aware of that has some Wii’s lying around waiting for people to just pick one up, they should be keeping it a secret because they’ll sell out in a matter of minutes. The PS3? I’d be willing to bet there’s a couple sitting at your nearest Best Buy right now, waiting for you to think long and hard about spending $500–600 for (unlike my friend, apparently).
Also, this gem:
Sony believes Wii is currently selling to casual gamers rather than committed gamers, who are likely to buy more games in the years ahead.
What does Sony not get? Nintendo turned a profit on the Wii console so they aren’t entirely betting the farm on selling more games down the road (to recoup lost money on licensing fees, like Sony or Microsoft do). Also, of course Nintendo is marketing a system to the casual gamers. What Sony clearly doesn’t get is just how huge an untapped market that is. Hardcore gamers are, by definition almost, a niche market. The casual gamers vastly outnumber them. That’s why you can’t find a Wii console hardly anywhere while the PS3 is sitting on the store shelf. Lastly, the most recent sales data I’ve seen is that the Wii has a much higher attach rate for games and peripherals than the PS3, kind of negating Sony’s complaint anyway.