In a rather remarkable statement Sony Computer Entertainment's CEO, Kaz Hirai, has said that regardless of installed base and sales figures, "I'd like to think that we continue official leadership in this industry."
SPOnG can only think that Kaz has a rather strange definition of 'official'. Last time we checked, there wasn't an official body to hand out titles relating to who is the officially official leader of the industry. Maybe he means that Sony is the most recognised gaming brand?
Despite the way Kaz might want to judge who's leading the way, installed base seems to be the most sensible way to judge who is at the front. Bear in mind that he is able to use the PlayStation brand rather than a single console. When grouping all PlayStation branded gaming hardware - and with an estimated 140 million PS2s supporting the figures - of course he's technically correct on install base for the brand over Wii, DS and Xbox (360).
However, using a last-gen console to compete in this climate is treading some thin ice. At the last count (in September last year) 34.55 million Wiis had been sold worldwide; 16.84 million PS3s had been shifted. But Hirai has an answer to this, "It's difficult to talk about Nintendo because we don't look at their console as being competitors. They're a different world and we operate in our world - that's kind of the way I look at things", he says.
Kaz should also probably send out a memo to Sony Computer Entertainment America, because for a limb of a company that supposedly doesn't see Nintendo as a competitor, it sure spent a lot of words on trying to do the Wii down a couple of weeks ago
In terms of handhelds, 84.33 million DSes had been sold as of the end of September. 41 million PSPs had been sold as of mid-August.
And what of the Xbox 360 and its installed base of 28 million
(as of January)? "And with the Xbox - again, I can't come up with one word to fit. You need a word that describes something that lacks longevity", uttered Hirai.
"Last time I checked, they've never had a console that's been on the market for more than four or five years and we've committed to a ten year life cycle, so you do the math.
"And unless things go really bad", Hirai went on, "there's no way that at the end of a life cycle our competition is going to have a higher install base."
Not that Microsoft agrees that that will even happen. According to Shane Kim
(Microsoft's corporate VP of Strategy and Business Development in its entertainment business), the 360's lifespan will be, "One day longer than the lifespan of the PlayStation 3."
SPOnG is left, once again, to wonder how long Sony can hold off a PS3 price cut
...Source: Official PlayStation Magazine