People have for some time been saying that there was one thing that would save the Playstation 3 from failure, and that thing was its blu-ray disk player. However, it seems that instead of Blu-Ray being its saviour, it may well be the thing that kills the PS3.
With the collapse of HD-DVD, the only rival format for high definition DVDs a few months ago, it seemed Sony had a clear run and was therefore the only console that could offer both a high def DVD and a games system, and with Blu-Ray players themselves being so expensive at the time, the PS3 started to see sales pick up because the PS3 was, in effect, the cheapest blu-ray player on the market.
So this Christmas promised much for the PS3. It looked as if Sony might actually start to make money from its games division whilst the PS3 finally had the stand out title that was unique to the PS3 and would make people want a PS3 in order to buy the game. The game in question, Little Big Planet, is indeed a great game. But it has not been the outstanding seller that Sony had hoped for. Indeed figures show that in the US the biggest selling PS3 title last month was a multi format game that still only sold half the number that were sold for the XBox 360. Figures like this will make game developers wonder about whether supporting the PS3 is financially viable.
Perhaps most worrying though for Sony is the fact that PS3 sales were down last month. As the online version of the Wall Street Journal makes clear
"But early results from this holiday season aren't promising. U.S. sales of the PS3 fell 19% last month from a year earlier, while sales doubled for the Wii console and rose 8% for the Xbox 360, according to research firm NPD. Analysts say they expect PS3 sales for this month to be flat or lower than last year, while sales for its rivals are likely to rise"
So what accounts for this decline for PS3 whilst Wii and XBox 360 sales continue to rise, even in a recession ? The answer is Blu-Ray.
The fact is that you can now buy an excellent Panasonic (or even Sony) Blu-Ray DVD player for about £100 less than a Playstation 3. So people are no longer buying a PS3 for Blu-Ray.
So the PS3 with few unique games has lost its unique selling point. As is pointed out by many tech sites now, Sony are really on to a loser which will cost them dear.
So whilst the console wars might not be over, this might be the beginning of the end of Sony's claims to be able to win the war. What is absolutely clear is that Nintendo are the winners.