Is there still life in the PS2?

Matthew Cushway, Tesco

PlayStation 2 still has a key part to play in the gaming market this year . It seems some people forget that for a large number of young families the outlay for a new console is a major decision and is simply not an option in the current economy.

"With the PlayStation 2 install base I believe that many younger-skewed games will again perform very well this year. Retailers who stick with the PS2 format for Christmas this year will reap the benefits.”

Gerry Berkley, Woolworths

I think at the right price point there are still younger consumers who are probably still quite satisfied with the PlayStation 2 experience. Their parents might not be able to afford to buy them a next-gen console as yet, so that’s another reason for the continued appeal of the PS2.

"At the end of its life we sold the PlayStation One at the right price and that sold well, and with budget priced software I think there’s still life left in Sony’s PlayStation 2.”

Martin Baxter, HMV

Without doubt at this moment in time there is still life in PlayStation 2 as the games market will always need an entry point home console. We are sometimes blind to the fact that a lot of consumers do not have large amounts of disposable income and the cost of next-gen consoles is still out of a large number of consumers’ reach.

"It is essential that we support this end of the market as we are targeting the next-gen consumers of the future by bringing them into the market at a price they can afford. Looking at PS2 sales the value has dropped on software but the volumes are still relatively high which suggests the format is still active.”

Don McCabe, CHIPS

The PlayStation 2 is now a budget machine. You’re not really going to sell anything at a premium price and so there probably won’t be any more earth-shattering releases for it. It should be managed as a budget machine and it’s got a lot of life left in it.

"In a lot of countries around the world it’s still in the early stages of its lifecycle so if we can continue to keep the machine alive and officially drop the price of the machine down to 69 or 79, then you’ve got a machine within a niche. All the other machines are 100-plus and if you’ve got a parent not wanting to spend more than a hundred then it’s either a PS2 or DS.

"So if it can occupy that territory then it has a future. It won’t be Earth-shattering, but it will be nice and steady. The fact it is early on in its cycle in some territories around the world will help it stay around for a while to come. Summing up, I think the PS2 can last another two years, or even three, if it is managed correctly by Sony.”

Steve O’Brien, Action Replay

I’m not quite sure whether Sony is actively pricing the PS2 console out of the market or have no choice but to bolster its own bottom line by keeping the machine at such a high price in its lifespan.

"But right now, like the housing market, it’s holding a price tag which doesn’t set consumers alight. It would appear that publishers, along with the format holder, are in no way supporting it with anywhere near the same vigour which they did with the PSOne and even then Sony complained that retail pulled out of supporting their console too early.

"I believe certain official distribution used retail at the back end of PS2 to damage the business models of those very independent distribution channels.

"And it is only now that we see the damage which has been done – with no competition to official distribution it allows publishers and format holders alike to water down their retrospective offering and pave their way for a more attractive digital route to market. For the consumer this is obviously a raw deal because as their older consoles wear out and with no backwards compatibility available they will be forced to pay yet again for their retro classics via DRM.”

Stephen Staley, Gameseek

I think there is definitely still life left in the PlayStation 2 – simply because there is a huge installed user base among consumers already. However, I can’t help but think Sony wants to move on and away from the PlayStation 2 as soon as it can.

Having said that, if Nintendo’s recent success with the DS and Wii has proved one thing, it’s that the system with the best graphics processor does not necessarily always sell the best.

"If the PlayStation 2 had innovative software and hardware launched for it, I’m sure it would still do well. I think the PlayStation 2 has the potential to sell well for another three years as long as it gets supported with the latest software.”

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