Tag Archives: Video games

A PlayStation 3 Price Cut Looming!?! Who Could Have Foreseen This?

You heard it here first, ladies and gentleman! My previous post on March 31st of this year, Despite Sony’s Denial, PS3 Price Cut Inevitable, says it all. Here’s a quick recap:

March 30th: Sony executives cut the price of the PS2 but adamantly denied that they would even think about cutting the price of the PS3, despite economic conditions.

In response, I said that unemployment would keep rising. As a result, more parents would be home with their kids, Nintendo Wii would become even more popular – it’s already the most popular of the 3 consoles due to its social and family oriented platform and games – which would continue to put pressure on Sony and PS3. As such, a price cut for the PS3 would be announced by Christmas time at the absolute the latest.

Mario gets a new life

Fast forward to the NPD report released late yesterday evening regarding video-game sales for the month of April. Now, sales of just about everything got hit, especially hardware and console sales, but just take a look at the numbers. According to the report, Nintendo Wii sold roughly 340,000 units, which is just under twice as many as the 175,000 Xbox 360’s that sold in April. But it’s almost 3 times as many units sold as the 127,000 PlayStation 3’s! So what do Sony execs announce today? Price cuts may be coming.

Oh how quick Sony changes its tune when sentiment about this economic “rally” we’ve been having turns just a bit sour. Keep in mind, on March 31st, the markets, stocks, and economic indicators had all been moving in the right direction, (finally!) for 3 weeks straight. And the stock price – my goodness! – Sony (NYSE: SNE) had gone from as low as $15.64 on March 9th to as high as $21.35 on March 30th, the day they made their emphatic denial regarding a price cut. I mean I get it, you know, regaining 36% in your stock in 3 weeks, that’ll make you feel a little arrogant, a little powerful. I get it. But now that rally is flattening out, and today’s reversal by the electronics powerhouse is quite possibly the purest lesson anyone in business can learn about the hubris of success.

When you’re on top, plan for the dips and don’t get cocky! When things look dismal, keep your head because that’s when fortunes are made. Looks like Sony had a problem with the former, while Nintendo’s been focused on the latter. Despite, the 43% drop in sales on a month-over-month basis, Nintendo Wii was still the number one selling system, and the top four selling games in April…all made by Nintendo. Seems as though their strategy of focusing on the social and personal aspects of usage that a player can get out of the Nintendo Wii console is working in bringing Nintendo out of eternal adolescence and into adulthood, as Nintendo products and games have been widely known to be void of extreme and graphic violence, and catering mostly to the younger generation of gamers.

The new Nintendo, all growed up, certainly doesn’t seem shy anymore when it comes to blood, guts, and gore, just take a look at the recently released MadWorld. Just to give you a sense of it, you have to enter your birthdate into this GameStop website link before you can watch a video of or even about the game. (I love it!) I have to admit, I was and still am a diehard PS3 fan, or “fanboy,” or whatever you want to call it, but even I broke down a few weeks ago, and added to Nintendo’s sales numbers when I got my own Wii along with MadWorld, and a few other games and accessories. I know, I know, for hardcore PS3 players and advocates, this is akin to joining the Dead Rabbits” while living in the Five Points, but I have a pre-teen little brother that I look after often, and a girlfriend that used to complain about video games, but couldn’t stop playing Mario Galaxy at Best Buy, even after we were done with our purchases.

Nintendo Wii + games and accessories = $400.

Playing Mario Kart with your girlfriend and little brother for hours while reminiscing about your childhood – when you looked like you were having a seizure, jumping and moving with the 64-bit characters of the original NES or Sega Genesis (when it certainly didn’t help move the characters the way it does with a Wii) = priceless!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love and play games on my PS3. But right now, Wii definitely has the “1-Up” in my household. However, for those that want and don’t have a PlayStation 3 due to its high price, it’s certainly looking more like a price cut of at least $100 could be here by Summer’s end. Maybe even Sony will try to create some of its own “fireworks” for the Fourth of July…

Mario hits a homerun!

Mario hits a homerun!


Despite Sony’s Denial, PS3 Price Cut Inevitable

Slimmer, Sleaker PS2 now $99.99

Slimmer, Sleaker PS2 now $99.99

Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) today announced that starting tomorrow, April 1, Playstation 2 will be available for $99.99. Playstation 2 is not only the best-selling console ever, with over 140 million units sold by mid 2008, but it is also the fastest-selling console as well, reaching 100 million units sold within 5 years and 9 months.

I remember when the word Playstation first started to become a household name. Nintendo and Sega had been the dominant players in the video game industry for decades, and there was a ton of doubt surrounding whether Sony, which had been dominant in overall electronics retail, had the ability to compete with the “big boys” in the video game wars, without having enough industry experience and know how. Aside from the stiff competition, it is well-known that the hardware side of video gaming is typically a losing endeavor for the companies that produce the consoles, as it costs more for the company to produce them than the price they receive at sale. However, large profit margins made on software sales, combined with much more significant volume of game sales, more than makes up for the losses experienced on hardware. But at that time, there was also talk of problems with coding on the software end of Sony’s new venture, which only added to mounting skepticism over the new console’s fate.

Even after the overwhelming success of Playstation, and its variant PSone – which combined, was the first console to ever reach sales of 100 million units, – Sony faced the same skepticism when rumors of their plans for the second generation, Playstation 2 console, hit the press. Launched at the turn of the century in the year 2000, Playstation 2, as mentioned, is now the fastest selling console ever, reaching 100 million units sold in almost half the time it took for the original Playstation to hit that mark.

With todays announcement regarding not just the price cut, but also the deep bench of more than 100+ titles slated to be added to its game arsenal just this year, it’s no surprise that almost 10 years later, Playstation 2 is showing no signs of slowing down in popularity. Aside from that, Director of Hardware Marketing, John Koller, is quoted in this article as having stated, “We don’t intend on discarding the system any time soon.” Meanwhile, direct competitors, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube – both released a year after Playstation 2 – were discontinued in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Based on all that, I’d say Sony has certainly proven the naysayers wrong regarding their ability to enter and dominate the video game industry, or perhaps even any sub-industry within consumer electronics, without having gleamed prior industry experience or know how.

Sony’s newest generation console, Playstation 3, however, has sorely lagged behind its predecessors in terms of sales volume and popularity, mostly due to it having the highest price point of all the newest game systems at $399.99.

Special Edition Gun Metal Grey 40GB PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4 Bundle

Special Edition Gun Metal Grey 40GB PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4 Bundle

With the price of the PS2 being cut today, along with Sony’s recent weaker-than-expected earnings announcement, all in the midst of the current economic recession, some serious pressure has been mounting for a big drop in the price of the PS3. Most argue that a $50-$100 price cut would make the PS3 much more competitive with current console-sales leaders, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. Despite absolute denial of the corporation’s willingness to do so, recent news of technological advances within the industry, like the rumor-heavy OnLive service set to launch soon, as well as rising popularity of the other competing consoles, I’d say a PS3 price cut this year is inevitable. With unemployment looking to continue rising, which means more and more parents staying home with their children, Nintendo Wii, which is the cheapest and is widely accepted as the most family and socially oriented of all the current systems, may have an opportunity to take a significant amount of market share away from Sony during the upcoming summer months, when kids are out school and playing video games more than ever. If Sony remains stubborn on price throughout the summer, I have no doubt that an ’09 Christmas price cut could be the company’s last option in an effort to keep PS3 competitive with Wii and Xbox 360. If that were to happen, I think the war over which console is best, Wii, 360, or PS3, would come to an abrupt end with a nice three-peat for Sony. Power to the Players!

The Week Ahead: Weekly Activities For Every Investor

Let me preface this article correctly prior to your hopeful enjoyment. Prior to finding a career path that I felt passionate about, I like everyone else, looked for a “job” in the urban rat race, and found myself as a broker-trainee at a full-service boutique brokerage firm on Wall Street. 3 months and a week after my interview at that firm, I was a Series 7 & 63 licensed registered representative. In 4 years on Wall Street, I made some good money, ran my own team of brokers and trainees, and most importantly, got out when I realized that my goals for my clients and my goals for myself were in direct conflict with each other. Now that’s another post for another time, but I say all that to say that I know how the industry works from somewhat of an inside perspective. Not an insider perspective’s; I didn’t work at any firms that trade publicly, not as a broker anyway, and am not in position to know anyone that would have “insider information.” Even if I did, I obviously wouldn’t be readily advertising my possession of information that would be illegal to disseminate. So, reading this, you will not receive the “golden tip” that will allow you to “corner the market” on anything.

***Also, and this is the most important: I am no longer a registered representative, nor do I work for any organization involved in the Finance, Insurance, or Banking Industry’s. I do not work for any organization for that matter, as I am currently unemployed. All financial information contained herein this article, and anywhere else on this blog is based solely on my opinion, or that of the writer, and should NOT be considered as a recommendation for or against any trading activity in any financial markets. All investors should consult with a Certified Financial Planner or Advisor prior to making any trading decisions and all decisions that could potentially have serious affects on the financial stability of that investor. Any gains or losses in time or money incurred in the financial markets generated based on any information contained herein this article or on this blog is the sole responsibility of the reader. TheRabidWhole’s Blog, and WordPress.com, will NOT be held responsible for any gains or losses incurred in the financial account of any reader and/or investor that directs market activity based on any of the information contained on TheRabidWhole’s Blog.***


Now that that is out of the way, remember that this is strictly the opinion of one man. You, the reader, are responsible for what you do based on this information.

The World Bank just announced that they are forecasting a drop in the world economy for the first time since World War II. OPEC also announced cuts, that will potentially push oil prices north of $50 per barrel. This should come as no surprise, as we are moving into the summer months. No matter how the economy is doing, people all over the world travel more during the summer. Kids, buses, and planes, go back and forth from private schools, colleges, and universities. Now with unemployment as high as it is, and with the spread between household income and the standard of living closing rapidly, (already “underwater” for some) there will of course be a lot less travel and therefore oil consumption than last summer. However, the cyclical nature of the increase in oil consumption and prices will still prove valid, in my opinion (IMO). As investor, it is always important to know what is going in the economy on a “macro” scale, which basically means on a very basic superficial, many investment professionals would say on a “fundamental,” basis. For me, a great way to access this public information that every investor should know is by checking out cnnmoney.com every Sunday. The site has an article series, “The week ahead” which provides investors with a glimpse into the important economic information due to be reported on for the upcoming week. (Click here for this past Sunday’s article which gives a glimpse into what’s happening on Wall Street and in Washington this week.)

Regardless of whether or not you are able to keep a close watch of your investment portfolio, every investor should be aware of potential upcoming events that may present opportunities to either get positioned in a stock or security you feel can show you profits, or to take profits on a position in which you may already have profits. I myself have found the week ahead article series extremely helpful in allowing me to anticipate the daily fluctuations of the overall markets. How? Well, on a trading day in which there will be important economic news, and that news is mostly projected to be negative, (February Retail Sales due to be reported on this Thursday, for example, or the Trade Defecit Report due this Friday) chances are that negative news will bring the overall market down for that day. When the market is down, most stocks will be down if only due to the reason that a move in the overall market reflects, at the very least, 50% of the move any individual stock will show on that same day. So, unless you have a particular position that has a great news release or some sort of positive catalyst that will cause that position to “buck the trend” and climb in the face of a falling market, most likely that position will follow the trend. Therefore, forming an opinion about how you believe the market will act overall in relation to any economic news released on any day should sharpen your ability to anticipate market moves on any given day. Now, you won’t become the Nostradamus of the Stock Market, nor will you reach “Oracle of Omaha” status, but knowing what is due to be reported, you should be able to discern whether or not that information will be taken positively or negatively by most other investors. Opinions quite possibly vary most on this perspective, but I personally believe that any day where the overall market is down should be taken as a buying opportunity somewhere. The trick is finding that situation that has been doing well recently, both fundamentally and technically, and still has enough potential (enough positive sentiment behind the stock or security) to fall less than the market falls (percentage wise), on a red day, a down day, and also enough positivity to rise immediately and aggressively at the first sign of positive news, which will lend to even more positive sentiment on that stock.

A great and recent example of this has been Gamestop Corp. (NASD:GME). From September, when our economic armageddon began, to November 20th, (the “November Lows”) GME was falling just like the market, despite some positive news specific to that stock. This is obviously because the overall news regarding the global economy, the entire financial system, and our housing and insurance systems was so dismal, and we were in the midst of a recession already 10-12 months in the making, that nothing could really stop the downfall at that time, not even individual positive news. Just like an individual that had A+ credit at that time, Gamestop as an A+ rated company at the time (or at least BB+ rated according the S&P upgrade of their corporate credit rating on Sep. 18, 2008) was still being treated like every other questionable company out there. The entire system was questionable. However, that company was and still is the world’s largest videogame retailer, and still experiencing significant growth, despite the economic contractions. Nevertheless, the stock price fell from $41 the Friday before the Lehman collapse, to as low as $16.91 on November 20th. This illustrates the importance of having information that gives you a glimpse into what may be coming on the economic front. Just looking at information on the stock itself in September, it looked like a good opportunity to buy and make some profits. But looking also at the information that would have been in those cnnmoney week ahead articles around that time, certainly would have given you a completely different perspective, and might perhaps have provided you with enough insight to see that buying Gamestop in September indeed may not have been the best time to get involved. It’s certainly something, you would have wanted to keep an eye on though. Since those November lows of $16.91, GME has traded as high as $29.08 (reached on Feb. 25, 2009), and is currently back down to $22 and change, due to other video game retailers attempting to enter the used video game market that Gamestop has dominated for so long. Anyone else smell a buying opportunity?


Ultimately, it is every investor’s duty to educate yourself on any and everything that could affect your investments in any way. If that sounds like a daunting task, perhaps you should consider keeping all of your money in savings and checking accounts, or the proverbial mattress. But if you want to be successful at investing, just like being successful at anything, you need to arm yourself with the tools that will enable you to do as best a job as humanly possible. No matter how much time you have to devote to research and education on investments, every investor should at least check the news headlines on their positions each week to be aware of what has happened, as well as attempt to gain information on any and all upcoming economic events or reports that could impact your specific holdings, or the industry’s in which your holdings operate. If you haven’t already noticed from the tone of this article, I myself prefer to deal strictly with stocks and stock options, also called equity options. However, that does not mean that this mentality cannot be applied to mutual funds, Bonds, Commodities, ETF’s, and any other financial products in which one might choose to invest. Knowledge is power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so never think that you know so much about any one thing that you do not need to know more. Good luck!