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How in the hell has PS2 managed to sell over 100 million systems?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - How in the hell has PS2 managed to sell over 100 million systems?

Darc Requiem said: Four things have contributed to the PS2's incredible sales. 1. Built in DVD player. (This really helped in Japan) 2. 1 Year Headstart. The GC and X-box released a full year after the PS2. This allowed Sony to recover from the system's pathetic launch. A build a library of games people wanted to play. 3. Broad 3rd party support. The year head start allowed Sony to build a substantial userbase which garnered them continued third party support and a bevy of exclusives. 4. Shoddy product quality. I have never seen a system as fragile as the PS2. It amazes me that my Sega Saturn is still functional. Yet my PS2 bit the big one after a year and a half. I figured I had a lemon, until I went to Sony's offical site and saw endless threads about DRE. That combined with the class action lawsuit they settled over DRE leads me to believe that a significant portion of the PS2 userbase is made up of consoles that no longer function.
Of those, it was the "broad 3rd party support" which ensured about 99% of the PS2's success. I mean, the Dreamcast had a year head start over PS2, the XBox could play DVDs, and the 360 has been plauged by the "red lights," but none of those consoles have performed so well. The PS2, despite the launch issues, basically hit the ground running. The PSone had interrupted Nintendo's dominance, and rewritten the rules of console gaming. The other consoles, right down to their names "XBox" and "Gamecube" were just PlayStation wannabes. They were in the same price range as PS2 and had fairly similar specs, and were going after the same type of games... which meant they had no chance from the get go. They couldn't offer developers or gamers any reason not to invest in the successor to last gen's dominant system. The fact that Sony didn't have to build up consumer confidence, while Nintendo and MS did, helped it outperform even the PSone.



"[Our former customers] are unable to find software which they WANT to play."
"The way to solve this problem lies in how to communicate what kind of games [they CAN play]."

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President. Only slightly paraphrased.

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I have had 3 PS2 1ST ONE LASTED 9 MONTHS HAD TO SEND IT TO SONY TO GET IT CLEANED FOR $90.00 THEN I TRADED IT IN AT GAMESTOP WENT TO BEST BUY GOT MY 2 ONE WITH A WARRANTY THIS TIME ENDED UP TRADING IT IN FOR $60.00 AT THE 360'S LAUNCH SO I COLD GET MY SON a 360 too. then I bought the small one 6 months latter with kingdom hearts 2. and now i got a PS3 too. I have had 2 gamecubes 3 xbox's and both of are 360's are launch 360 and still work fine. The PS2 is succesful because of 3 rd party and exclusive launch titles. is microsoft stealing away some of this 3 rd party support yes. will both console do good yes . whats funny is even if a console like the 360 sells 25 million and the Ps3 sells 50 million. Both will have something to offer gamers. and both will be considered successful I mean game developers said in order to break even on these next gen titles they need to sell 1/2 million copies of a game. by nexgen I mean PS3 And 360. wii games are cheaper to make so less sales probably 100000 copies would be the break even point. so if a developer puts out a multiplatform game they stand a better chance of hitting thier sales goals. exclusivity on a console is paid for by the console maker not because some developer wants to only be on that particular ystem.



Daddo Splat said:exclusivity on a console is paid for by the console maker not because some developer wants to only be on that particular ystem.
Pfft. That's not true. The cross-platform trend we're seeing right now is the result of huge development costs. Developers would much rather only invest in one console, just like movie studios don't want to invest in multiple HD video formats right now. On the PS3 and 360, its practically impossible for them to make a profit without going multi-platform, especially with their low install bases. But historically, the best way to get exclusives is not to just pay for them, but to provide an environment which will attract developers by a.) putting consoles in homes and b.) keeping development costs low. If the console maker can keep the cost to developers low enough, and put enough consoles in homes, a point can be reached where its more profitable for a developer to develop new software for the dominant platform then it is for them to bring existing software to other platforms. This happened most clearly with the PS1. Once it happens, no company, not even Microsoft, could begin to shell out the cash to get a meaningful amount of exclusives.



"[Our former customers] are unable to find software which they WANT to play."
"The way to solve this problem lies in how to communicate what kind of games [they CAN play]."

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President. Only slightly paraphrased.

Erik Aston said: Daddo Splat said:exclusivity on a console is paid for by the console maker not because some developer wants to only be on that particular ystem. Pfft. That's not true. The cross-platform trend we're seeing right now is the result of huge development costs. Developers would much rather only invest in one console, just like movie studios don't want to invest in multiple HD video formats right now. On the PS3 and 360, its practically impossible for them to make a profit without going multi-platform, especially with their low install bases. But historically, the best way to get exclusives is not to just pay for them, but to provide an environment which will attract developers by a.) putting consoles in homes and b.) keeping development costs low. If the console maker can keep the cost to developers low enough, and put enough consoles in homes, a point can be reached where its more profitable for a developer to develop new software for the dominant platform then it is for them to bring existing software to other platforms. This happened most clearly with the PS1. Once it happens, no company, not even Microsoft, could begin to shell out the cash to get a meaningful amount of exclusives.
Well, it depends on the game, but some game developers are paid to make their popular games (such as Grand Theft Auto) exclusive on a particular console. Others focus on a single platform for the reasons that you state.



Erik Aston said: Darc Requiem said: Four things have contributed to the PS2's incredible sales. 1. Built in DVD player. (This really helped in Japan) 2. 1 Year Headstart. The GC and X-box released a full year after the PS2. This allowed Sony to recover from the system's pathetic launch. A build a library of games people wanted to play. 3. Broad 3rd party support. The year head start allowed Sony to build a substantial userbase which garnered them continued third party support and a bevy of exclusives. 4. Shoddy product quality. I have never seen a system as fragile as the PS2. It amazes me that my Sega Saturn is still functional. Yet my PS2 bit the big one after a year and a half. I figured I had a lemon, until I went to Sony's offical site and saw endless threads about DRE. That combined with the class action lawsuit they settled over DRE leads me to believe that a significant portion of the PS2 userbase is made up of consoles that no longer function. Of those, it was the "broad 3rd party support" which ensured about 99% of the PS2's success. I mean, the Dreamcast had a year head start over PS2, the XBox could play DVDs, and the 360 has been plauged by the "red lights," but none of those consoles have performed so well. The PS2, despite the launch issues, basically hit the ground running. The PSone had interrupted Nintendo's dominance, and rewritten the rules of console gaming. The other consoles, right down to their names "XBox" and "Gamecube" were just PlayStation wannabes. They were in the same price range as PS2 and had fairly similar specs, and were going after the same type of games... which meant they had no chance from the get go. They couldn't offer developers or gamers any reason not to invest in the successor to last gen's dominant system. The fact that Sony didn't have to build up consumer confidence, while Nintendo and MS did, helped it outperform even the PSone.
SEGA also had 2 billion in debt. Three consecutive failures in the Sega CD, 32X, and Saturn. Most importantly their biggest third party supporter up until that point was EA and they choose not to support the Dreamcast.



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I think that figure is an exaggeration, but not by much, as I also think thats about right for a console thats been around as long as the PS2. Given that, without a doubt it ran off the success of the PS1. As to how it could be possible? Not much to it really and MS are doing it right now. Tie-ins... in the two years after the PS2 had enjoyed a year of the market all to themselves. It was almost impossible to make a major purchase, without getting "a free Playstation 2!!!" at least this is so in Australia where I come from. At this time, it is pretty much the same with the X360 over the last year. Many Mobile Phone re-sellers are bundling the console in with the higher priced phones in order to get more attention. Not for phone sales, mind; but so that you won't by that phone through any 'other' re-seller. Phones are selling themselves, believe me hehe. So when you consider that Sony had a year of the market pretty much to itself and riding the market on the back of the PS1. Then two years of ramp marketting. I guess then its not hard to imagine how many consoles they actually shipped over the last few years. If nothing else, Sony were the kings of spin and had some rather interesting marketting strategems during the last gen of consoles.



Darc Requiem said: SEGA also had 2 billion in debt. Three consecutive failures in the Sega CD, 32X, and Saturn. Most importantly their biggest third party supporter up until that point was EA and they choose not to support the Dreamcast.
So it sounds like you agree with me that an extra year, in and of itself, was worthless, but what was important was garnering big third party support. SEGA had killed any chance at large 3rd party support when they hung devs out to dry by pulling the plug on Saturn. PS2 came off a massive success, the other consoles didn't differentiate themselves, so all the 3rd party support from PSone came over smoothly, and as a result PS2 hit the ground running. I contend this would have happened regardless of which console came out first.



"[Our former customers] are unable to find software which they WANT to play."
"The way to solve this problem lies in how to communicate what kind of games [they CAN play]."

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President. Only slightly paraphrased.

The built in DVD player really helped the PS2 sell that first year, when DVD's were still far from common. This was especially true in Japan where the PS2 had a big feature the Dreamcast was lacking. By the fall of '01, the PS2 had a varied game library plus DVD, something neither of it's competitors offered(xbox only had halo and PGR).



Leo-j said: If a dvd for a pc game holds what? Crysis at 3000p or something, why in the world cant a blu-ray disc do the same?

ssj12 said: Player specific decoders are nothing more than specialized GPUs. Gran Turismo is the trust driving simulator of them all. 

"Why do they call it the xbox 360? Because when you see it, you'll turn 360 degrees and walk away" 

sieanr said: The built in DVD player really helped the PS2 sell that first year, when DVD's were still far from common. This was especially true in Japan where the PS2 had a big feature the Dreamcast was lacking. By the fall of '01, the PS2 had a varied game library plus DVD, something neither of it's competitors offered(xbox only had halo and PGR).
So once again, the library was the deciding factor. XBox only slightly outperformed GC WW despite the DVD player, and was vastly outperformed in Japan...



"[Our former customers] are unable to find software which they WANT to play."
"The way to solve this problem lies in how to communicate what kind of games [they CAN play]."

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo President. Only slightly paraphrased.

Why? Games pure and simple. It playing dvd's could move very few and so does hyperbole but nothing got the sales reved up like some really good games. I have purchased 4 PS2's over the last 6 years and all of them have worked flawlessly to this day. 2 PSP that work awesome and never had an issue with my PS1. I am looking forward to a good bout this time with my PS3.



Games make me happy! PSN ID: Staticneuron Gamertag: Staticneuron Wii Code: Static Wii - 3055 0871 5802 1723