The data has been coming in for several weeks now, but we are now in a position to state with certainty that the PS3 is a bona fide dud for Sony. Here are the facts:

When the Playstation 3 first came out, supply could not keep up with demand. PS3s were selling for up to $2000 on eBay. No one was sure whether this had more to do with low supply or high demand.

For the first couple weeks, distinctions were not being made between the Wii’s low availability and the PS3’s low availability. But things slowly started to change. As Christmas approached, the price that people were willing to pay for Wii’s only climbed. However, with a week left before Christmas, Playstation 3s were auctioning on eBay for less than retail.

As soon as people realized that you couldn’t make a profit with PS3s on eBay, they started returning them to the retail stores. It wasn’t rare to walk into a Circuit City or Best Buy the week before Christmas and find 3 or 4 returned Playstation 3s.

In fact, when GamingMoments returned its PS3 to Circuit City after failing to sell it on eBay, the employees told us that more and more people were starting to do this, confirming a trend.

However, even with a surge of Wii supply on December 17th, Nintendo Wii continues to be totally unavailable. No returns at the stores. You can’t get one on eBay for less than $450, almost 2x retail.

The disparity between Nintendo Wii and PS3 is expounded by the fact that GamingMoments sent out several representatives on a post-Christmas hunt out to a variety of big box gaming and retail stores. What did we find?

Three different GameStops reported having PS3s but no Wiis. Two Targets reported having at least one PS3 and one reported having no PS3, while all three reported having no Wii. Three EB Games reported having PS3s and when we inquired as to why the PS3 was in stock they reported either that everyone wants a Wii or that lots of people are returning their PS3s. Only 1 of 3 Walmarts had PS3s, according to the clerks in electronics, but they probably weren’t aware of PS3s that had been returned after Christmas. In any case, none of the Walmarts had a Nintendo Wii.

The fact of the matter is that supply has caught up with demand for the PS3 and this is ashame for Sony since supply is still quite low. In fact, Sony will probably start to face overproduction issues with the PS3, since it isn’t likely that Sony was aware that it’s system would be such a dud and that so many systems would get returned.

On the other hand, even with a robust supply of Wii’s, Nintendo’s system remains in hot,hot,hot demand. Even post-Christmas, there isn’t a single unit available. This bodes quite well for Nintendo’s position in the video game wars.

41 thoughts on “It’s Official: PS3 is a dud for Sony

  1. Gary Chan what do you want references for? All of our claims are backed up with empirical data that you can confirm for yourself.

    Just stop by eBay or your local big box retailer. Talk with a few clerks at Circuit City or Best Buy.

    We’ve done this. And the facts we’ve reported are accurate.

  2. I know it’s been said before, but let’s wait a little longer before rushing into conclusions you might regret.
    If you take the features from a PS3 and put them on a 360 you’ll see it’s cheaper to buy the PS3. What’s missing is a killer game and a good on-line service and I hope Sony is working towards that. (for their sake that is)
    Also let’s wait and see if the Wii cool factor doesn’t wear off with time.
    Finally let me say that I’ve never bought either a PS or a Nintendo. I’m just tired of all the bashing against the PS3 based solely on mere assumptions.

  3. How about the xbox? what are the numbers involved w/ the Wii, Xbox, and ps3 holiday sales? The problem with the popularity of blogs and sites like digg is that any shmoe can act like an authority.

  4. “If you take the features from a PS3 and put them on a 360 you’ll see it’s cheaper to buy the PS3.”

    sure but do u use all the features?

    wii does one thing great and that ends up mattering more

  5. This is probably the most statistically unsound argument i have ever read. You can’t use 10 stores and auctions on Ebay to determine something involving the whole nation and the world, on a larger scale. Especially when it has been out 2 months. What happens if/when the ps3 starts bringing out better/more games? or a price drop? or even a larger supply? Sales probably would increase. And if they didn’t? then, you’d be right. But seeing as how we haven’t gotten to that point yet, you’re only making a completely baseless claim.

    no, i don’t own a ps3 and no i don’t plan on getting one. On the other hand, poor statistical analysis, and baseless claims do make me want to write comments on the blogs that post them.

  6. I finally bought an Xbox. (Not the 360, but the orginal Xbox) First system I have owned since a Super Nintendo. Great Games!

  7. Goodness, people still give a damn if one system is doing better than another? That is so 90’s. It’s beyond the realm of reality to me why people owe so much loyalty to a fucking video game system. Lapdogs, all of you.

  8. how is any of this ‘official’?

    i think you people don’t know shit about this stuff. your little bubble of information is so small and insiginificant it’s a joke. and you call it ‘official’. please.

    i could care less about which system is better. i just think it’s comical to assert that you have the knowledge to officialy say anything. do you have access to ANY sales figures from any major manufacturer? or are you just a fanboy?

    jeez. get a life.

  9. Yeah, PS3 definitely had a crappy launch. If you think about it, PS3 really has a niche market. How many people are there that both love video games, and have HDTVs? A big chunk of the market for any system is 10 year old boys, who don’t have HDTVs in the room where they play video games, if at all. Sony effectively put out a system that only 20-something yuppies would really want. On the other hand, HDTVs are becoming more and more popular, and if Blu-Ray becomes the standard that will add alot of value to the PS3. Also, you have to consider that there are no blockbuster games for PS3 yet (though this was Sony’s fault for making programming difficult, and not giving developers enough time pre-launch). What I’m trying to say is PS3 had a crappy launch, but don’t be surprised if they come creeping/roaring back with increased HDTV sales and better games.

  10. how does this even get on the front page of reddit let alone #1. A small unfounded website. makes an “official” headline and the community votes it #1? do people hate on the ps3 that much? i seriously wonder what explicitly defines as a DUD for sony. do you mean dud as in, some of the “community” thats jumping on the Wii, or cuz sony has yet to turn a profit? or dud as in there are a few ps3s that have been returned. and you make a Biased survey in a LOCAL test. that has no bearing on the world market.

  11. > How about some references?

    Er, they did their own research. You might want to go back and read the actual article again Gary.

  12. Hi,

    I guess the PS3s you currently find available in the stores will soon be sold. The point is that it’s not the people actually intending to play in their PS3’s that return their machines. It’s the people that bought the device just to make money on ebay.

    The $600 retail price is a lot of cash and it’s quite possible that this is the limit to where people are willing to go and thus prefer to wait before the console gets generally available.

    These people may simply be unaware of the recent returns and may now go ahead and buy the consoled in the retail store.

    I agree though that the Wii is much more popular currently, but also keep in mind that this can change at any time.

    Once people are used to the special control scheme and once the current game get old, we’ll see which console will provide the better games and will keep people buying more and more games.

    The war hasn’t been won yet.


  13. All I can say is that I got a Wii for Christmas (I was a good boy) and I completely love it. It is the most fun I’ve had with a system in a long time. I have my 360 for the usual boring stuff..but my Wii is something new and fresh. So much fun. I have very little interest in the PS3 at this time…sorry….too expensive…no good games…big black ugly box (didn’t XBOX get ripped apart for being a big black box??). Maybe a year or two…we’ll see.

  14. It seems to me that called either one a winner or a loser it a bit premature. I have a HDTV at home, and last time I check, a Wii couldn’t play Blu-ray or HD-DVD movies. The Wii seems to be in a class by itself. it’s not targeted at the HD gamer. Yes the Wii has had higher availability, so much so that Best Buy and Circuit City didn’t even advertise the PS3 in the weekend circulars leading up to Christmas. This gave a distince impression that the PS3 was not available.

    Saying that the PS3 is a dud only shows that gamingmoments (or their editors) aren’t looking at the big picture. Only a year ago, the 360 was declared a failure due to the last of units shipped and some unfortunate heat problems. We’ve seen that system bounce back, and the PS3 will also.

    The Wii is a great machine in it’s own right. I could teach my dad to play tennis on a Wii much more easily than to play Resistance coop mode on a PS3. However, I prefer the PS3 and the HD graphics, and game design to the Wii. That doesn’t make one a dud, it means there is more than one type of gamer out there.

  15. João C. Morais is a PS3 fanboy? What features are you talking about putting on the 360? The almight expensive Blu-Ray so you can watch Telegada Nights on? The PS3 is a flop and the 360 or Wii will be the winners.

  16. Take a closer look at

    Notice that of the 1.13 million PS3 units, .7 million come out of the Americas. I’m willing to wager that a large minority of those units were either 1) bought up for ebay sales or 2) bought before the Wii became a phenomenon and potential returns post-Christmas for those kids that “wanted a Wii not a PS3!!!”

  17. Sorry, let me clarify.

    By references I meant links to Ebay auctions or Craigslist postings, or even screenshots of past auctions/postings.

    Also, it would further enhance your argument “PS3 is a dud for Sony” if you used direct quotes from the store managers themselves. In the end you are trying to prove a point, right?

    I know, I could just surf over to Ebay or Craigslist myself, but I’m not the one writing an article about the PS3.

    By asking for some references, I was just trying to help you convince your readers that the PS is truly a dud for Sony.

  18. Yeah, what’s official here?
    I think these posters have made good points – the returns you cite from speculators hoping to profit on ebay don’t really apply to the unit’s success or popularity with gamers.

    Your argument is that because sales are slower than expected over the first xMas season, and your interviews with local shops indicate the WII has enjoyed a cultural bump because of its innovation that Sony’s product is a failure.

    I, for one, think your local research is admirable and is not insignificant. However, I think the problem with your argument is that you’re applying such a short time window as a predictor, and not applying previous market patterns or market research appropriately.

    For instance, the xBox is propped up by a very large, diversified company that can afford to take a beating. In fact, it did and now has the 360 on the market. Their old unit met with enough success to convince the company that it’s still valuable to be in this space.

    Similarly, Sony is a large, diversified company that can afford to take a beating with this product. I know Sony has recently been featured in the Economist with dismal forecasts about its culture and direction, but again, we’ve seen console manufacturers survive under worse cultural and technology odds (Nintendo, MS) enough times not to discount a player like Sony from the console market.

    Further, I’m not sure you should discount the staying power of the PS3 compared to the WII. It’s generally acknowledged that the WII is meeting success because of its innovative UI hardware. UI devices are probably the easiest thing to improve upon after a console has already entered the market, so I’m not sure that the WII’s ‘gimmick’ will be unique for too long. At that point, the PS3 and 360 will still be years ahead in terms of technology.

    Now, two of the three major manufacturers place the key age bracket for sales slightly higher than one of the posters mentioned (@Kevin), and so I tend to think they may be onto something there. As gyroscopic UI devices become more commonplace (6mo?), it’s difficult to see the focus not shifting back to great graphics and extended functionality, especially for those customers who get older by the day and have more and more purchasing power (17-27yr olds).

  19. References would be nice. I’d love to find one of these below retail PS3s. I was able to get my hands on a couple and sold them on a local classifieds website here in Alberta. Bought for $600, sold for $1000. I could have sold them for more.

  20. I have also asked Best Buy and other retailers, and I was told that Sony ended up shipping MANY more units… most of the units were not returns as you say. That’s why Best Buy, Circuit City, and other stores were able to begin selling PS3’s online!!!!! I thought the same thing you did, but then investigated it slightly more.

    And whoever said they weren’t being sold on eBay for under retail is wrong. They were.

  21. References not needed. Just walk into any gaming store and see for yourself. PS3s are gathering dust on the shelves. That is pretty much a fact for the most part. Long term success?…sure but Nintendo makes $ on every single console they sell. Nintendo is in a different class.

  22. Well this is bad news for Sony and PS3. First Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto IV are going to Xbox 360. Here’s a link. And so is Virtua Fighter 5. And a rumor saying that kingdom hearts 3 will go to the Wii. Can you say ouch. Sony is with there Blu-Ray anyways. And there where a crop load of PS3’s at my local Walmart and none of them got sold don’t even clear the shelves. But today I saw the manager of that Walmart have all the PS3 off the shelves and so where all the X3 Blu-Ray disk. A do to this Walmart being small I asked the manager what was going on and she said that Sony wanted them all back and that’s all she knows. And that’s all I know. Sorry.

  23. Ive played Wii, whats so hot about it? throwing around a remote like a fairy? playing games with crappy graphics? if anything the novelty
    of the Wii will wear off & XBOX 360, or maybe even PS3 will win the console war,

    As for me, a few years down the road, the Wii will fail as it will be just a fad

  24. Esteban made an astute and well thought out rebuttal, much more insightful than the article!!!

    I am not a hardcore gamer, when I was younger I had a lot of video game counsels, but when I went to college I only had a game cube (for Mario Kart Double Dash). When the 360 came out I had absolutely no interest in it. When I read about the Wii I was excited and really wanted one. But when I had an opportunity to try the Wii I was shocked at how awful the graphics were. The graphics were not much better than my old game cube.

    Sure the controller is fun but I couldn’t imagine how awful the Wii would look on my 42inch Plasma HDTV.

    Then when I was in Wal-Mart after Christmas I saw they had one 60 gig PS3. After seeing how amazing it looked (better than any computer game I have played) I was sold. At $600 it is a deal, it is a next generation dvd player, a media center, and can run linux!

    But Blu-ray DVD’s are expensive, the media center software is waiting for a crucial update, the linux os (yellow dog) can’t work with the blue tooth controller or wireless NIC, and the game library is weak! I don’t regret buying the PS3, I know all the problems will be fixed by the end of March (especially the game library, with some great games coming out).

    I bought the PS3 because when I demoed it in the store playing MotorStorm I was amazed. When I played the 360 and the Wii, I was disappointed. Sony had a bad launch because they rushed the PS3 out before it was complete. Yet I believe the PS3 will out last the 360 and Wii because it was built with tomorrow in mind.

    Also, how hard would it be to add a Wii type controller to the PS3 or 360, then where will the Wii be????

  25. Wow, considering a console with a five-to-(laughs)ten-year window a dud after just a few months is about as amazing as Bill Gates prediciting, back in the day, that only a few hundred computers would be in use in America in the future. Way to belly-up your credibility as any kind of authority on the subject with your short-sightedness! Now, you can consider the PS3 as a disappointment on its launch (even Sony admits it could have gone better, and that’s saying something). That is valid. But just wait for the sales to pick up when titles like Final Fantasy XIII come out. The cheaper Blu-Ray player and Resistance:FOM may not be enough to push those consoles, but when you get credible and significant exclusive titles for the PS3, the Sony fanbase will respond with their dollars again. After that, when the first price drop comes, the rest of us gamers who don’t go for the XBox 360 will come for the PS3 as well. So, to summarize: PS3 dud? Doubtful. Disappointment so far? Yes.

  26. The first person asked a great question… “how about some references?” This article is absolute rubbish. I love how people are so quick to condemn the PS3 launch while completely ignoring the 360’s: remember it? Three seperate call-backs. Anyone know how many call-backs the PS3 has had in its first year? ZERO. Not to mention the 360 has a 29% console failure rate that has required them to change their warranty length from a year to 3 years. Red ring of death, anyone? Not to mention, the PS3 sold more units at their launch than the 360 did at theirs. The Wii? The Wii is a fad, it’s for kids, kids who grow up. Kids who will grow up and want a PS3…why? Because the PSOne and PS2 both enjoyed longevity. Do you really think the PS3 will be any different? Let’s not forget that not only does the PS3 enable us to view Bluray movies, the games are on them as well. That’s 25gb of memory on a disc as opposed to a 5gb dvd the 360 uses. People like to say developers wont or can’t use that much memory, but hey, Resistance uses 17gb and has a campaign roughly 3x longer than Halo 3 or Gears. So, a year later, do you still think the PS3 is a dud? Stupid bastard.

  27. I would like to add that I experienced a slightly different experience in my attempts at buying a PS3 during its launch. I live in Boca Raton, Florida (aka, the Beverly Hills of the east coast). I spent over a month looking for the PS3 in stores (EB games, Targets, Best Buys, Circuit Citys, etc) before I finally found one 2 days after Xmas. Stores were reporting to me, in my area, that they were being sold within minutes of their arrival–I seemed to always just miss them. This proved true when I finally found one…I was trading in all my PS2 stuff to buy a 360. In the middle of the cashier scanning my stuff, UPS delivered 2 PS3s. I bought the first one, the guy in line behind me, bought the second one. That was what it was like where I live, for the first 4 months of its launch. The Wii was also a hard find, however, according to Game Informer Magazine (June or July 07 edition), Nintendo has purposefully shipped less consoles than demand calls for to make it look as if the desire for the Wii is greater than it really is.

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