Sega extends price war with Sony
Saturday 13 April 1996
Sega cut the price of the Saturn by pounds 50 to pounds 249 at the beginning of this month, saying the promotion would last three weeks. However, the success of the campaign is tempting the company to continue the discount for as long as it takes to wrest the initiative from Sony's PlayStation, which is continuing to outsell the Saturn, according to new figures released yesterday. Sega declined to confirm the decision yesterday.
The PlayStation is priced at pounds 295 and Sony says it has no plans to cut the price. "It is not necessary, given the current level of demand." However, Sony may be forced to reduce its prices if it finds that Sega is clawing back market share.
Another possibility is that it will choose to give away free games with the consoles rather than cut the price. Both companies were coy on new initiatives but are expected to announce plans at the European Computer Trade show which starts at London's Olympia on Sunday. The tit-for-tat sniping is part of an increasingly bitter battle that has seen both companies engage in a marketing frenzy.
The stakes are huge in the computer games market, which is worth around pounds 2bn a year world-wide. Figures released yesterday by Sony claim that its PlayStation console has sold more than 3.7 million units world-wide compared with Sega Saturn's figure of 3.5m.
European sales have topped 700,000 since its launch in September last year including 200,000 in the UK. Sony claims world-wide revenues for the PlayStation have passed $2bn and that it is a more successful launch than the Sony Walkman.
Sony had already claimed victory in the Christmas battle when it said it had sold 35,000 units in December against Saturn's 25,000. Sega had been spending less on promoting its new launch while Sony had earmarked pounds 20m to push the PlayStation. Both companies tend to dispute each other's figures as a matter of course.
The fierce battle for the hearts and pocket money of the nation's youth is threatening to leave Nintendo far behind.
The company insists its long-delayed Nintendo 64 console, which operates on 64-bit technology, will be launched in the late autumn, denying suggestions that its debut has been put back until next year. A price point has yet to be decided.
Nintendo has enjoyed much success with its Gameboy machine but instead of joining Sega and Sony with new 32-bit machines which are more powerful, it has chosen to wait and try to leapfrog rivals with its 64-bit machine.
Sega is set to announce that it has first publication rights to Virgin's Heart of Darkness, an interactive cartoon-based game. Sony will not have rights to publish the game on in Playstation unit next year.
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Israel-Gaza crisis: YouTube footage shows scale of destruction after 50 days of shelling
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
£28 - 32k + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Business Development Manager ...
£40000 - £70000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C# .NET ...