Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

Retail

PS4 pre-orders "much, much, much higher" than past consoles

PS4 pre-orders "much, much, much higher" than past consoles

Thu 31 Oct 2013 11:05pm GMT / 7:05pm EDT / 4:05pm PDT
RetailHardware

Sony is very encouraged by the early response from consumers to its soon-to-be released PS4

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony's games business may have lost $8 million in its recent quarter, but the good news is that early indicators for the PlayStation 4 are very positive. In the company's earnings call (as transcribed by Seeking Alpha), CFO Masaru Kato enthused, "Compared to past platforms, the pre-orders that we have received for this new platform is much, much, much higher."

Sony is expecting to sell 5 million units by the end of its fiscal year on March 31, 2014, and the company is bullish on its projections given the pre-orders it's seen so far. An exact number hasn't been provided, but in August Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House did note that over 1 million units had already been pre-ordered. After the launch of the PS3, the console went on to sell about 3.5 million units by the following March, so if Sony can hit 5 million in that same period with PS4 it would be a significant improvement.

Furthermore, it could be a boon to the games business' bottom line. "We expect the PS4 to contribute to profitability at an early stage due to lower hardware costs and diversification of its revenue streams through network services," the company stressed during its earnings call.

The PS3's Cell chip and Blu-ray drive were notoriously expensive at the time of the console's launch, so the fact that Sony can keep costs in check for the PS4 is hugely important.

Later in the call, Kato stressed that PS4 pre-orders have been more than just people adding names to a wait list, "but in some -- in most cases, put down certain amount of money for these pre-orders." He added that Sony is very happy with the strong third-party support for PS4 as well. "And sometimes, when we launch a new platform, the software catalog is not sufficient, or after the launch, sometimes, you don't have good titles following the launch. But this year, on a comparative basis, I think we have a much more stronger lineup of software coming," he said.

20 Comments

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
I'm seriously beginning to wonder how much the pre-order numbers are inflated. With that PS4 feature FAQ the other day and all the features that are going to be missing either at launch or 'forever' (like DLNA), games cancellations and the "good enough" feeling mentioned in the other article here on GI.biz recently, I'm seeing more and more people who pre-ordered at retailers like Amazon just cancelling their preorders for either one or both consoles*.


*Actually, a lot of my American friends pre-ordered both in order to play the 'day 1' game and only ever intended to actually get one of the consoles anyway.

Posted:10 months ago

#1

Justin Biddle
Software Developer

156 477 3.1
I can't imagine DLNA will result in many cancellation. Very few people I know who console game know what DLNA let alone make use of it. I'm not saying it's bad they don't have it to begin with and it will lose some customers but I highly doubt it will be many.

Posted:10 months ago

#2

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,530 1,330 0.9


Honestly, it reminds me of the decision to use proprietary memory cards for the Vita. A business decision to leverage other parts of the Sony business in order to generate revenue. And just like that Vita decision, it's going to work against them, not for them.

I dread to imagine how many Christmas presents are going to be returned because little Johnny (or mum and dad) didn't know about the lack of functionality. It won't be as many as we fear, but it's still going to be a lot, I think.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 1st November 2013 10:30am

Posted:10 months ago

#3

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
@ Morville:

On the other hand, at least people know what they're buying when they get a PS4 in a few weeks time. Does anyone have a similar XBO features FAQ? I know that they're not giving it media centre extendibility... but that's about it.

Posted:10 months ago

#4

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
The marketing teams of both launching platform holders are talking up the demand for their devices as much as they can.
They want to build impetus to get the installed base up to critical mass. And they are up against all sorts of very strong competition.
The success of the WiiU must be giving them sleepless nights.

Posted:10 months ago

#5

Sandy Lobban
Founder and Creative Director

314 206 0.7
@Bruce. I think in fairness, Sony have learned their lessons from the past and accepted that the industry has changed this time around. Hence the architecture and development costs for PS4 and the relationship with Unity, to name a couple.

They have also tried to simplify their message to consumers and developers alike and so far it seems to have worked. I'm not sure it was completely planned but it has worked out the best it could for them really. They were also pretty lucky that the microsoft message seemed to be so mixed up as well to be fair. This definitely played in their favour.

They have a lot of work to do on the community and marketplace side of things for it to become something akin to Steam but I can see why they look like the console of choice for console gamers.

Also, sleepless nights arent a problem when its the shareholders money.

Posted:10 months ago

#6

Nick Wofford
Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
@James
I'd argue that MS has been more upfront than Sony. We're a few weeks from launch, and they finally start answering some questions. Whereas MS did the AMA on IGN for (IIRC) 10 straight weeks, and have been on Reddit and NeoGAF for months answering questions, even giving unpleasant answers.

In general, I think Sony's doing what they did to the Vita: great momentum until they hit you with the hidden problems. For the Vita, it was a Ferrari that was going to smash the 3DS's VW Bug, but then the Ferrari smashed head-on into the memory card guardrail, and that ended that hype train. That FAQ they released has done that for the PS4. I don't have any friends who have kept their PS4 pre-orders now.

And that's why MS/Sony are hiding the numbers. They know that people will cancel, maybe at the last minute by just not showing up to claim the console (if they haven't paid anything yet). It'll be embarrassing if we were able to see the percentage of actual purchasers compared to pre-orders.

Posted:10 months ago

#7

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
@ Nick - and which of those points still stands? They were upfront about the big stuff - that was all very vague and hand-wavey in implementation - then backtracked on that. Now they have a system that I have no idea what features besides "being like the current gen when it comes to disc-based games" and a day-one patch to make it usable... They have the app/game layer software and a TV channel passthrough that will only work for select partners in a minority of countries - but that's not saying how things will work or what will work.

Like I said - is there anywhere where we can get all the facts about the XBO's abilities and features? The official site is still "Features subject to change".

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 1st November 2013 3:41pm

Posted:10 months ago

#8

Nick Wofford
Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
All sites say "Features subject to change" as a legal save. Just look at the infographics they've been releasing for months. There's one about the controller, XBL, TV features, games, etc.... Its launch features are pretty much set in stone at this point.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Wofford on 1st November 2013 5:12pm

Posted:10 months ago

#9

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,019 1,466 1.4
@ Nick Uh, you have some pretty fickle friends then. The bad news in the reveal was limited to all software needing to be "cached" (true on Xbox One as well) and no DLNA or MP3 support (both ALSO true on Xbox One).

And James is right. There is no universal, blunt FAQ for the Xbox One. Microsoft is still hiding far more details than Sony is.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 2nd November 2013 1:02am

Posted:10 months ago

#10

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,163 947 0.8
I expect these consoles to break sales records like most consoles do. The pre-orders really are unprecedented, however I also expect, like some of those above that many people won't turn up to get the systems.

The actual sales wont necessarily correlate to pre-orders and many people will likely re-consider the launch hype with delayed games, controversial policies and still a high price to pay coming into the end of the year.

Its good to wait.

Posted:10 months ago

#11

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

917 1,367 1.5
I agree with James that these numbers are starting to sound inflated since all we really hear is "higher than last generation" and "numbers much higher than our expectations". I also agree with Adam that some of the people who preordered will either A). won't show up to get the system or B.) much like the Wii U will quickly return the system once they realise that they can't turn a profit on it. Granted, these preorder sound bites are nothing more than PR spin. I hope both systems do well considering the economic climate in the world today, especially here in the US. But we'll going to have to wait until atleast January-March before we have a decent idea of how each company did.

Posted:10 months ago

#12

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

917 1,367 1.5
@Nicholas
Uh, you have some pretty fickle friends then. The bad news in the reveal was limited to all software needing to be "cached" (true on Xbox One as well) and no DLNA or MP3 support (both ALSO true on Xbox One).
Actually the Xbox One is DLNA compatible and can play audio cd's, two things the PS4 is lacking:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/01/xbox-one-dlna-streaming-mp3-playback/

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/11/01/xbox-one-is-dlna-compatible-can-be-used-as-media-server.aspx

Does that make it a dealbreaker for potential PS4 owners? I doubt it but it does give the XB1 two more bullet points for the back of their box, for whatever thats worth.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 3rd November 2013 5:42am

Posted:10 months ago

#13
There isn't much need for people to pre-order. Sony are doing everything they can to make people think there is plenty of stock. And everywhere I look, there is still plenty of XBone stock.

If people have any doubts, cancelling the pre-order is the smart thing to do. They can still buy it day#1 anyway.

I'm expecting both consoles to do well initially - but then struggle when they hit the 6 month mark. If anything, Sony should win a larger share of this generation.

Posted:10 months ago

#14
There isn't much need for people to pre-order. Sony are doing everything they can to make people think there is plenty of stock. And everywhere I look, there is still plenty of XBone stock.

If people have any doubts, cancelling the pre-order is the smart thing to do. They can still buy it day#1 anyway.

I'm expecting both consoles to do well initially - but then struggle when they hit the 6 month mark. If anything, Sony should win a larger share of this generation.

Posted:10 months ago

#15

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

802 630 0.8
@Bruce

What other think do you expect when it comes to marketing? You do the same with everything related to mobile devices. Difference is (again) that console makers accepted that the market has changed and that they need to take care of they target audience, which are those people that enjoy those things that a mobile device can't give (Like a Dark Souls, a GTA or a competitive fighting game like Blaz blue)

Comparing it with Nintendo, who sold his reputation and his all time followers yo maximize sells, and then tried to sell a console like the Wii U, which is almost at the same technical level as a PS3 or 360 it's unfair and you should know it.

Or maybe it's because the world of consoles responsible of "killing creativity" is a old model that will be fixed by the dawn of the creative world of mobile game and his 25 clones per project, who knows...

I can tell you this: "Old school" model will still exists in decades to come, and that will not change while there are buyers who want a good story and while most of the mobile supporters (your case) only talk "money", "numbers", "service" and never "experice". Experience builds reputations and loyal costumers, that is why you see such a small number of F2P companies with a good reputation (Right now, I would dare to say Blue Byte and maybe 2-3 more) with "numbers" you create Zynga...

Do you love games, bruce? just asking. And no worry, I promise this is the last time I open this topic.

Posted:10 months ago

#16
I think it might be time for Sony to do their own U-turn regarding DLNA compatibility. :-)

Personally I think it's enough to change my mind again and go with the Xbox.

Posted:10 months ago

#17

Sandy Lobban
Founder and Creative Director

314 206 0.7
"much, much, much higher "

Thats a lot of "much's"

A number would have been fine.

Posted:10 months ago

#18
They have already said they'll patch it in, and that they were surprised by the demand. They just didn't think anyone cared about it (an assumption probably supported through usage statistics).

Posted:9 months ago

#19

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,263 2,375 1.0
"Much, much higher" turned out to really be "much, much higher".

Double to triple the PS2 and PS3 pre-order figures. Granted, pre-ordering is far more pervasive than it was during those previous launches.

Posted:9 months ago

#20

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now