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Forums - Sales Discussion - Why Sonys Play Station is the standard for home consoles since 1994 ?

RolStoppable said:
DonFerrari said:
You can't ever make a thread like that and not get the Sony got lucky 3 of 4 gens and the like.

Well, you can look forward to an upcoming generation where Sony can prove if they can win without luck.

Same can be said about Nintendo but i would not use that as a solid factor cause it is one based on personal bias.



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I think it mostly comes down to how they handled the 5th gen, and to a small extend the 6th. With those two they put themselves so far ahead that they would need to do something extremely stupid to lose that position in the market. Not even the fiasco of the PS3's first years could destroy that position. They will need to do something similar to the 2013 Xbox One reveal and be stupid enough to go through with those kind of ideas, to lose their position.

When it comes to the original Playstation, Sony did everything right at the time in gaming history where it mattered most:
-They saw that CD's was the future (Nintendo did not)
-Their console was easy to develop for (N64 was too, but was held back by cartridges, Saturn was harder, though that didn't really stop third parties)
-Their console was cheap
-The console came at the perfect time, where affordable hardware had just gotten good enough to generate decent 3D graphics (N64 was too late)
-Clever controller design and revisions
-Strong new 1st party IPs (Grand Turismo, Crash Bandicoot)
-Great third party deals. They must have written Namco and Square some pretty decent checks for keeping their killer apps off the Saturn. Those two are probably as responsible for the PS success as Sony was.
-Sony had the money to do the marketing and sell the system at a loss.

When the PS2 came along, the race was pretty much over. Sure, the inclusion of the DVD drive helped Sony to snatch an even bigger market share. But I would bet that even if the Dreamcast and Gamecube had that and the PS2 didn't, the PS2 would still be wiping the floor with the competion.
I mean, from a hardware perspective, the PS2 is easily the worst designed of the generation and the DVD player was pretty bad too. None of that held Sony back. They already had the third parties in the palm of their hands and could treat them as they wanted to.

Thankfully the strong grip on the industry isn't as strong as 15 years ago. Microsoft has had periods of really good competetiveness and the Nintendo brand is doing better than it has in decades, thanks to some really smart business decisions. But none of them are really challenging Sony's position.

Last edited by Vinther1991 - on 08 June 2020

Immersiveunreality said:
RolStoppable said:

Well, you can look forward to an upcoming generation where Sony can prove if they can win without luck.

Same can be said about Nintendo but i would not use that as a solid factor cause it is one based on personal bias.

I was only using the word 'luck' because that's how DonFerrari always interprets it when someone points out that Sony had favorable circumstances (read: their competitors committing severe mistakes).

The Genesis/Mega Drive and PSP proved to be competitors that didn't commit blunders and Nintendo beat them anyway. But these instances being so rare shows that it's the norm for generations to be decided early.

Neither the PS1, PS2 or PS4 faced any strong competitor. The PSP, PS3 and PSV did and they all lost. The PS5 has to go up against Switch, so if Sony can win that sales race, it will be the first time that they beat strong competition.

Another reason why I am not convinced that Sony is as good as people want to believe is that Sony has shown no signs of reacting well when the going gets tough. In the Japanese market Sony could always count on the support of their third party partners, but their hardware sales have dropped sharply; it's already a foregone conclusion that Switch is taking Japan's home market. In the USA Sony had dropped to a distant third place with the PS3, so they were far from being the standard for home consoles; the PS4 couldn't score a big win in the USA despite all its advantages over the Xbox One. So the premise of this thread that PS has been the standard for home consoles since 1994 is quite wrong in the two biggest video game markets; and what has been happening is that Sony's sales have shifted to territories where they benefit from the lesser presence of their competitors.

During the PS2 era, Sony was thought to be unbeatable because they were 2 out of 2. After their exit from the handheld market, they are very much recognized as beatable except for one thing: They are still 3 out of 4 in the home console market, so that 1 loss is commonly assumed to be a one-off that won't repeat, ever.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

Ljink96 said:
3rd party support and brand familiarity. Xbox does have 3rd party support but due to Sony's past most Western gamers gravitate towards it. And Nintendo, eh they don't think of 3rd parties first but it's working out for them so I guess no harm done at this time.

By the way, those PS1 and PS2 numbers are well off by about 4 million or so for PS2 and 7 Million for PS1. Unless they sold another 4 Million/7Million in the past year I don't know about.

S.Peelman said:

108? When did the PS1 sell an additional 6 million units?

Anyway, it’s simple enough. They did the right thing at the right time, making a good console right at the point when gaming became mainstream and actually popular at all in Europe. They were smart to catch the right wave when it came along, while leaving Nintendo with an image of being something from ‘yesterday’. They aren’t impervious though as the 7th gen showed. I don’t think their brand is as synonymous with ‘gaming’ anymore as it was before in North America, and it’s already very far from it in home-region Japan. I’d still bet on PS5 winning overal, but it wouldn’t surprise me either if PS5 has more of a problem with XSX than PS4 had with XBO.

Yeah, the actual PS1 lifetime number is around 102.4m.  VG Chartz for a long time listed it over 104m.  But, I think a correction was finally made some time after Sony confirmed 500m total consoles sold and none of the #'s added up to PS1 being that high.  So, 108m is way off.  



DonFerrari said:
Next thread should be about why a gen only starts when Sony says so.

The 7th Generation started just fine without Sony's say so.



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Just one correction I would make is that Playstation was not the standard console for last generation. I believe that would be actually a tie between Xbox360 and PS3, or maybe a small advantage for PS3 because it ended the generation much better than XBox. I also wouldnt count the Wii here because I believe real gamers never had just a Wii. I believe most had a Wii AND a 360 or PS3.

But answering the question, I believe it is a mix of 1) consistency, 2) best tech (media being a big part of it) and 3) games. So 3 factors.

1) Consistency: PS1 was the first videogame where we had the impression was targeted for late teens and adults. It wasnt only for kids anymore. That was something that you would see mostly on pc games, not on console videogames. Although you had experiences that were mature on genesis and snes, when PS1 arrived it was just another level specially after 1996. You had resident evil, ww2 first person shooters, syphon filter, gran turismo (which was an "adult" racing game) and even the RPG's were more mature. Final Fantasy VII, Xenogears, Tactics, they were all in this vibe of something that was crafted not thinking about 12 year old kids but something that would appeal for older kids. It resonated a lot with people like me that were 16 in 1996. Games for the first time were not only for kids. On PS2 it was the same, a lot of focus on mature games, kinda of knowing that the kids that bought PS1 5 years ago were older and we still needed to keep building games for them. This kept happening on PS3 and PS4. Playstation is not a brand with games for kids, party games etc. It is for a more mature audience and if you want something colorful and full of charm for you kid you should go to nintendo. While Nintendo didnt know exactly where they were during the N64 and Game Cube eras, Sony was full on with it's message and who they wanted to achieve with their games. Even the look of the videogames showed that, it was not a just a toy for kids.

2) The best tech (at least from the average consumer point of view): Playstation always had the best tech from the point of view of the average consumer. When the PS1 was released, looking at cartridges was almost a joke. The loading times were bigger, but most people didnt care. The level of detail that could be achieved with the CD was so much better than using cartridges, full motion videos on games, better sound and textures. We knew that was the future and nintendo was stuck in time and there was no turning back, and it helped give the PS1 a more mature feeling. During the PS2 era well what there is to be said? A lot of people bought it only to have a DVD player, you could watch movies on your videogame. GameCube could have better stats but nintendo decision to have it's own media was just a bad move. The controller was such a step forward, while nintendo was using that weird format for the game cube. During the PS3 era, again a great move of going for Blu Ray something that the others didnt have, although the price was higher tha the Xbox360. And despite Xbox run multiplats with better performance, the PS3 games were not that behind, it was pretty close. But when you looked into the first party games then you would see the full power of the machine and it could not be matched by Xbox. What it lagged behind in this era was on connectivity and online services but they would mostly catch up by the end of the generation. On Nintendo side it was just incomparable, terrible online service and the games were not even HD. On PS4 era, again, better tech while Xbox became known as the least powerful machine.

3) The games. Sony made TWO very very important decisions here: first embrace the third party developers that were let down by Nintendo. This was very very important during the PS1 era because at that time there were no big first party games, maybe gran turismo. But Capcon, Konami, Square, they all embraced sony and it's media and Sony embraced them. Although not first party the fact is that you could not play those games on Saturn (lack of power, difficult to develop and low capillarity) and N64 (bad tech). There was only sony and they were smart to make great deals with those companies and those third party games were the biggest reason why sony won that generation. Gran turismo would be the big exception here cause it was first party and absolutely huge. During the PS2 era sony realised that if they wanted to keep beating nintendo they would need games so they increased the number of great first party games and the biggest addition here would be god of war. The same for PS3 with the addition of naughty dog games. PS4 with Spider Man, HZD and others. Microsoft had the chance of doing the same but they just didnt during the 360 era as they ended the generation lagging a lot behind sony in terms of first party content. There is Halo, Gear and Forza, but Halo and Gears do not even use the same studio anymore, so their list of killers first party games got small and lost relevancy during time.

Overall, this generation most likely will be won by Sony again. It will keep being consistent with its message, it will have the best tech and if not, will be very close to competition and will have the best library of first party games which have been built since PS1 and most likely will be increased during the generation. Unless they do something very stupid.



The PS wasn't the standard for home consoles in 1994, 95, or 96. The SNES was.

And besides, why are you counting PS3?



Never managed to make games as good as the best Nintendo-games though



melbye said:
Never managed to make games as good as the best Nintendo-games though

I would dare to say they do that but Nintendo delivers better accessibility by making their games suitable for young and older gamers.



OTBWY said:
The PS wasn't the standard for home consoles in 1994, 95, or 96. The SNES was.

And besides, why are you counting PS3?

Which disc format did consoles released after PS3? PS4, X1 and WiiU all used BD. So they defined the standard with PS3 as well =p



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