Most people in the industry are predicting a successful launch for the PlayStation 3, selling out across the world, but it's the period following the launch that is casting doubt over the long term success of the console. Priced substantially higher than the competition at a staggering $599 (£425), the relatively low priced Xbox 360, and expected low price point of the Wii could well leave Sony and the PS3 in tricky situation.
Sony chief executive Howard Stringer doesn't see the high price as a problem though, noting that "you're paying for potential," and that "if the PS3 lives up to its total potential, then I don't think anyone will be worried about Nintendo or Xbox's cheaper price."
Sony is claiming that it has another trump card for its PlayStation 3 when compared to the XBOX 360. Sony is committed to distributing games digitally through its E-Distribution Initiative including first-party games. "Our first party projects are all unique to PS3. Some of our games, by virtue of their design and hardware demands, simply couldn't work on Xbox 360," said SCEA Santa Monica director of external production John Hight. Microsoft's XBOX Live Arcade, on the other hand, has been mainly limited to third-party efforts and classic titles.
Whether Microsoft will feel compelled to respond with its own first-party efforts on XBOX Live Arcade remains a mystery.