Many analysts and video gamers believe that Playstation 3 sales will be slow for a year or two, but everyone will inevitably buy one. Thus, Sony will again dominate. However, pubishers and developers are not that patient, nor am I convinced conumers are either. Nintendo has promised 6 million consoles shipped by around March 2007. Meanwhile, Sony is currently expected to ship just 1/4 of that number and very few consoles will be available for launch, especially in Japan. This indicates to me three things:
Nintendo and Microsoft will see more third party support while Sony will lose it. Publishers and developers make money by selling games, but they need an audience to sell games too. The PS3 will not have a significant userbase until a year from now, at which point both the Xbox 360 and Wii will have three or four times the installed userbase of the PS3. With the broad and worldwide appeal of the Nintendo Wii, many publishers who traditionally have developed for Sony consoles will produce games for the Wii because of financial reasons.
Nintendo will dominate Japan. Especially if Dragon Quest finds a home on Wii. With a mere 100 000 PS3 consoles available for launch, Sony has handed Japan over to Nintendo. How can Japanese gamers resist an inexpensive console with Nintendo’s Virtual Console and broad support from many Japanese developers? They cannot.
Two years from now, many gamers will not buy the PS3. Even with a price drop. Sony is not in the financial shape to heavily subsidize the console to make it more affordable. By the time the price and supply make it available on a mainstream scale, the Xbox 360 and Wii will both have a large library of games and attractive prices, making them the logical consoles to purchase. The PS3 will have a place in the gaming industry, but it will not dominate this generation.