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TK's MORNING BUZZ: The PlayStation 2 Effect -- Plenty of Action on the Software Front to Go Around

31 Oct, 2000 By: Thomas K. Arnold

In the coming weeks, we'll be able to tell what effect, if any, the arrival of hot new game machine the PlayStation 2 will have on software sales and rentals.

In the best-case scenario, the influx of hundreds of thousands of PlayStation 2 units, capable of playing DVDs as well as PlayStation 1 and 2 games, will see a significant uptick in everyone's business. Owners of these revolutionary new machines will snap up not only video games at the sales and rental counter, but also DVDs so that kids can take a breather between game rounds and watch a movie or two.

In the worst-case scenario, new PlayStation 2 users will be so enamored by the graphics and what-not that they'll focus on games made exclusively for the new player and rent and buy less of the other stuff.

In the end, things could balance themselves out so that the overall effect on software retail is nil. PlayStation 2 games could see the bulk of the action, but enough DVDs and older games could still be sold and bought to make up for the exodus of PlayStation 2 owners who only want to play with the hottest, newest games.

But I doubt that. My hunch is that the PlayStation 2 Effect will be a positive one. When DVD players first came on the market, new owners bought an average of 22 movies to go with their machine. If PlayStation 2 owners are anywhere near as rabid, there should be plenty of action on the software front to go around.

There are only so many new PlayStation 2 games coming to market by the holidays. And I know if I had been lucky enough (smart enough?) to get a player, I'd be testing it out with the biggest variety of software I could find.

The key is for retailers to take advantage of the momentum by making sure their customers know they've got a wide selection of software that can be played on the new machine.

It's time for retailers to be retailers.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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