Normally when you’re outselling your biggest ongoing competitor at a rate of almost 2:1 (PS4 numbers versus most recent Xbox One confirmed shipped to retailers number), the general feeling surrounding your company should be of joy and other pleasantries. For those within Sony, however, it may be of actual concern, as Eurogamer reports that Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida is fairly nervous over the uncertainty of why exactly the PS4 is selling so well, so early.
“It’s just beyond our imagination,” Yoshida explains. “We are so happy. But I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what’s happening. You need to understand why your products are selling well so you can plan for the future, right? It defied the conventional thinking.”
He later went on to expand upon that notion, illustrating why the unknown reasons for the success of the PS4 could potentially be a bad thing.
“As soon as we see a great sales number, our instinct tells us we should be concerned about future sales, right?” Yoshida asks Eurogamer. “Are we exhausting all the core gamers? If we sell this number of units, there are no more consumers we can sell to. That’s a really terrifying prospect. So, we want to understand who are these consumers who we do not necessarily consider core gamers, who are purchasing PS4 and why they are doing it and what they are doing with PS4, so we can create a bit more of a positive future, rather than saying, wow, we have sold to every single core gamer. So that’s what we are doing.”
While I regularly rebuke those that carry their words with, what I perceive to be as, a potentially-dishonest humility (the kind where one says their greatest weakness is that “I work too hard), in Sony’s case it’s completely warranted. Recently, outside of the life insurance division, Sony as a company has been financially tanking. They won’t likely break even on net revenue this year, once again. Their shining beacon of hope lies in the PlayStation division, and if they don’t even understand the platform’s success, it means that could fumble the ball ahead of the goal line. We’re just 9 months into a time when all 8th-generation consoles have been released, so there’s still plenty of time to lose momentum.
That said, the PS4 is the most powerful console on the market. A great deal of the third-party games have seen a lot higher sales on the PS4 over the Xbox One because of it. After taking big losses on the PS3, it’s time for those worriers at Sony to kick back and relax at least a little bit and enjoy the early success. Knowledge is power, though, so it can’t hurt for Shu to at least ask around to see why it’s doing so well in the short term.
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