PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect Arabic Content

July 16, 2009 -

The PlayStation 3 may be struggling in major consumer markets, but Middle Eastern gamers apparently love Sony's Blu-Ray equipped console.

Emirates Business 24/7 reports that the Middle East enjoys the highest level of PS3 sales among developing countries. SCEE exec Jim Ryan commented:

The PS3... has a strong market in the Middle East. The sales have been disproportionately strong in the Middle East and Africa... and parts of Asia, especially in the May-June-July period.

At least 20,000 to 25,000 PS3s have been sold in developing countries this year and 80 per cent of that was in the Middle East... In other emerging countries such as Iran and Africa it's entry-level machines like the PS2 which... are moving fast.

The high summer temperatures, combined with the economic downturn, have encouraged [Middle Eastern] users to stay at home, which is another major driver of sales.

Despite the PS3's relative success, gamers in the Middle Eastern market shouldn't expect much in the way of culturally familiar games on the system, Ryan said:

Without too much of Arabic content in games, sales figures are positive. Unless gaming companies see big returns from the localisation or Arabisation of content there will be no investment made on that front.

Emirates Business 24/7 reports that the total Middle Eastern gaming market for systems and software is $750,000 million, with at least a third of that amount controlled by Sony.


Comments

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

"The PlayStation 3 may be struggling in major consumer markets"

Am I the only person that sees the console doing solid. Not massively successful, but far from struggling and failing as I see plugged in many gaming sites?  I mean, it isn't too far behind the 360 in selling power now even with the much heftier price tag and given the year head start the 360 had over the PS3, the gap between the two in sales is nowhere near as big as it should be.  A price cut is all the system needs to become HUGELY successful, but right now it is just solid.

Back onto topic though.

I remember the PS2 not being allowed in Iraq because of military capabilities when it first came out. Now the PS3 is becoming popular in the middle east. Something about that seems funny to me.

"

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

The much heftier price in build is what is deeming the PS3 a failure, because it isn't selling enough to make that cost up.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

Am I the only person that sees the console doing solid. Not massively successful, but far from struggling and failing as I see plugged in many gaming sites? 

Console gaming seems to have cultivated the mindset that if X hasn't sold as much as Y then X is failing, probably due to so few leading companies and a largely youth orientated market (if you've read any of the official magazines they seem to be aimed at the teenage crowd and lean more towards the "we rock/they suck" angle- it's much easier to sell that story than pages and pages of graphs and in depth market analysis afterall). I think this is even more apparent nowadays, when Microsoft and Sony reference the competition both of them ignore the Wii because if you want to compare units sold, both of them are far behind Nintendo.

The X to Y comparison is fine for low-brow journalism, but it just doesn't work for a business analysis. No one would seriosuly look at Pepsi and decide it's struggling because Coke sells more. It reminds me of the old DC vs Marvel setup before they managed to nearly kill their own business in the 90's.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

It is failing, because Sony spends more to make it per unit then it recoups in sales per unit.  This is usually the case with hardware sales, and requires a high volume of sales to actually begin to turn a profit.  Almost three years out of the gate, if a product hasn't begun to turn a profit vs. it's build cost, it's failing.  Now, the 360 was almost an overnight success, but has been falling behind due to build quality issues.  The Wii, well, the Wii is just dominating market share, and was the only system built to be profitable almost from the start.  That's basically a license to print money.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

The PS3 is a loss leader (as was the 360), they are still making a profit as it leads to game/peripheral sales which is always where the money has been and more than makes up for the discrepency between manufacture and sale costs (you've got to buy the console to buy the games, no one is going to buy the console and nothing else = guaranteed return investor). If it didn't and was the failure your making it out to be, they wouldn't still be able to sell it after three years on the market.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

There's a flaw there.  Blu-Ray sales aren't taken into account because Sony's Blu-Ray division is separate from the game division.  A lot of people have bought PS3's just as a cheap Blu-Ray player at first, because at it's launch it was cheaper than a lot of Blu-Ray players out there.  Therefore, they aren't recouping their costs.

And they aren't going to be able to sell it for too much longer.  Since the system's release the entire company has been losing profits in the double-digit percentages.  That's a lot of dough that they are LOSING, because total company profits are falling as their production costs increase.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

Got any stats on how people bought a PS3 and just use it as a Blu-Ray player? No? Just talking nonesene without any consideration of their profits from the PlayStation division which their annual report showed as having gone up from the previous business year then. Not really paying heed to your own signature are you. The notion that those units sold solely as a blu-ray player is a greater loss than the profits generated by the rest of the division (which it would have to be for "Therefore, they aren't recouping their costs " to be true) is frankly absurd and contradictory to all evidence. Costs of materials have increased due to everything else gong on with the economy, but overall production cost of the PS3 is much lower than when they started manufacturing them (current estimate is around $400 to manufacture).

Every electronics firm has had major losses the last year, and some more than Sony, none of the big players who deal in multiple industries have been taken out of the game, to expect it to happen to Sony is either cynical or naive.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

I used to sell PS3s for a large retail outlet.  For every 1 PS3 that was bought with games, another 2 would be sold without.  When I asked if they wanted any games for it, I was told that they would only be using it as a Blu-Ray player.

Also, look at Sony's sales figures as a company.  They are down in all markets.  The other markets aren't making enough money to recoup losses for the development of the PS3, so stop trying to prentend they are.  Sony is big enough to soak those losses up, but it is a failing system.  That doesn't mean they'll be taken "out of the game," nor am I or have I suggested such.

You seem to be confusing profitability with market share.  As far as market share is concerned, PS3 failed before it was even out of the gate.  Setting such a high price point is going to kill both profitability and market share because nobody wants to spend that kind of money.  Also, your current estimate of 400 to manufacture is still the same price as the cheapest PS3 to buy new, which means they'd only be breaking even for every one of those they sell.

As far as the cost of production going down, that's all well and good, but nobody's buying them in the first place, so they aren't recouping. 

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

accursed double post

 

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

I used to sell PS3s for a large retail outlet.  For every 1 PS3 that was bought with games, another 2 would be sold without.  When I asked if they wanted any games for it, I was told that they would only be using it as a Blu-Ray player.

That's not reflective of other retail outlets, almost all consoles are sold with games (primarily because the majority that sell are as packaged as such, either as dictated by Sony like the MGS or LBP packs or the retailer i.e. the buy console get X amount of one of these games). And how do you know that those who stated they bought it as a Blu-Ray player only stuck to that? it's not like it's a binding contract is it.

That doesn't mean they'll be taken "out of the game," nor am I or have I suggested such.

That's exatly how the following comes across

And they aren't going to be able to sell it for too much longer.  

The other markets aren't making enough money to recoup losses for the development of the PS3, so stop trying to prentend they are.

Stop ignoring the fact that the PS3 isn't a Sony division it's own right, it's part of the PlayStation division which has increasing profits, they don't need other areas of the business to recoup the PS3 loss lead.

You seem to be confusing profitability with market share.  

Not at all, the point I am making is that a smaller market share does not make the product a failure, it's a nonesense to claim any product has failed because it has a smaller market share otherwise there would be no competitive products, there'd only be one car manufacturer, one drinks company etc etc. Claiming it's failing because it's market share is smaller is no better than fanboy ranting. The 360 has not failed because it's market share is smaller than the Wii's, the original xBox did not fail because it's market share was smaller than the PS2's. "Not as successful as the company would like" is a long way from "failure".

Setting such a high price point is going to kill both profitability and market share because nobody wants to spend that kind of money.

Market share has decreased since the PS2 era but if their gross profits are higher now from the previous financial year (which their company report showed they were) then obviosuly it is not killing profitibility.

As far as the cost of production going down, that's all well and good, but nobody's buying them in the first place, so they aren't recouping. 

Again, facts do not support this. 23 million peoplewith year on year sales increasing is a long way from nobody.

 

(Also, your current estimate of 400 to manufacture is still the same price as the cheapest PS3 to buy new, which means they'd only be breaking even for every one of those they sell) The estimate was from January last year, a somewhat important detail I overlooked sorry, estimates from December '08 placed it at breaking even at retail so taking into account all the other costs to get a product from manufacturing point to boxed on the shelf the production cost would be below the $400 at the start of the year, estimates were that the PS3 should be making profit on each unit sold as early as the end of first quarter 2009 (no idea if that followed through though and estimates from business analysts should always be taken with a pinch of salt, they are only just a bit more accurate than weather analysts at times))

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

"localisation or Arabisation" Because it's just not Sony unless you create a word to qualify what local area you're talking about.

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

Unless of course it's a word already in the dictionary for the last 120 years or so....

Ar·ab·ize

tr.v.   Ar·ab·ized, Ar·ab·iz·ing, Ar·ab·iz·es

  1. To make Arabic in form, style, or character.
  2. To bring under Arab influence or control.

Ar'ab·i·za'tion (-bĭ-zā'shən) n.

 

Also, especially British, Ar-ab-ise.
 

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

I stand corrected, damn politcally correct culture's gotten to me. I guess I'll have to be especially offensive with my friends this weekend.

Also, thanks for showing the Queen's English version (or as I call it, the correct version).

Re: PlayStation 3 Popular in Middle East, But Don't Expect ...

Also, thanks for showing the Queen's English version (or as I call it, the correct version).

Darn tootin' me ol' mucker

 
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