PS3 can sell "maybe more" than PS2

Says Sony Europe founder Chris Deering.

Can the PlayStation 3 beat the overwhelming sales success of PlayStation 2? Chris Deering, the founding president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, thinks it can - "maybe more".

Speaking exclusively to Eurogamer - as part of a sweeping exploration of the life and times of PS2-era Sony through the mouths of those that shaped it - Deering said when the PS3 Slim price falls, sky's the limit.

"I think it can sell as many as PS2, maybe more," Deering revealed.

"In the case of both PS1 and PS2, we sold more Slim units than original models. The PS3 Slim has only been out a couple of years.

"If you could get a PS3 for a hundred pounds... Can you imagine? It could go much higher and last longer."

But Phil Harrison, former head of Sony Worldwide Studios and key speaker at PS3 press conferences over the years, isn't so sure.

"I hope PS3 can match PS2, but I think the market dynamics are slightly different," he said. "It's much more competitive.

"For a large chunk of its lifecycle PS2 didn't really have any competition anywhere in the world, so Sony was able to sell a huge number of units. If PS3 does reach the same level it will take longer and it will be a more difficult challenge."

The PlayStation 2, to date, has managed 147.6 million sales worldwide. The only console likely to match that at the moment is Wii, which has sold at a faster pace than PS2 since launch. PS3 sales are currently at 41.6 million worldwide.

Sony UK boss Ray Maguire admits there is a "long way to go", and recognises that "most of the PS2 product we sold was sold at 150 or below".

The PlayStation 3 launched in the UK in March 2007 at the eye-popping price of 425 for the 60GB model. Today, over three years later, a 160GB PS3 Slim sells for 249.99.

Mulling the question over, Chris Deering concluded: "Ken Kutaragi is a genius, but he got a little bit unlucky with PS3. You can't be lucky enough to get three gold medals in a row."

Our full insiders story about PS2-era Sony is live right now. And who better to write about the personalities, the parties, the luck, signing GTAIII and the runaway success than Ellie Gibson - who used to work there.

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