Sony has World in Stranglehold

Sony has World in Stranglehold

SONY seem to be enjoying the distance they have placed between their Playstation 2 console and the competition, so much so, in fact, that they have started issuing press releases with a variety of trivial facts. As if to taunt the competition, SONY claim that enough PS2 discs have been sold in Europe to stretch halfway across the world.

This obscure reference was made in order to celebrate the fact that an astounding 150 million PS2 games have been bought by Europeans since the console's launch in November 2000. In another show of strength SONY also announced that their DADC manufacturing plant in Salzburg, Austria, pumped out 20 million discs in October and is expected to produce approximately 25 million by the end of this month, gearing up for the holiday season.

Some more interesting console facts however, were produced by the Zelos group which carried out research on the habits of console gamers. The results suggest that despite the big budget Media efforts of games' publishers and console manufacturers, console games succeed or fail largely thanks to word of mouth. It was found that 70 per cent of those questioned bought games based on the recommendations of friends. The survey also found that 30 per cent of those asked still enjoyed games on a PS One.

The most revealing fact produced by the research however, was that the online aspect of console gaming is hardly having the success that the industry believed and hoped it would. Of those asked 73 per cent claimed that they prefer playing games on their own rather than against friends or online opponents. Only 2 per cent of those asked said they only played with others.

For those who possess a better understanding of the industry it would seem that the research must have been fundamentally flawed though, since the replies seem inconsistent with well documented preferences expressed by most console gamers. Since the size of the sample and whether it represented an accurate cross-section of those purchasing console games is not known, we cannot criticize nor accept the results. The figures though should act as a warning sign to the industry since they suggest that it may be losing touch with its target audience, the gamers.