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Wii Businesses Nintendo Entertainment Games

Third Place Is Fine By Nintendo 368

Posted by Zonk
from the as-long-as-they're-in-the-top-three dept.
anaesthetica writes "The New Yorker writes that Nintendo is fine with third place. Between Sony and Microsoft both trying to build the most comprehensively next-generation console, and barely breaking even in their efforts [Zonk: Though that's changing for Microsoft], Nintendo has decided to go a different route. Wii doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it focuses on simple fun playing games — a strategy which turns out to be much better for Nintendo's bottom line and stock prices. From the article: 'A recent survey of the evidence on market share... found that companies that adopt what they call "competitor-oriented objectives" actually end up hurting their own profitability. In other words, the more a company focuses on beating its competitors, rather than on the bottom line, the worse it is likely to do.'"
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Third Place Is Fine By Nintendo

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  • by jimstapleton (999106) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:08PM (#17038754) Journal
    because Nintendo is the one console I don't see as a competetor for 3rd place in this race, N will get 1st or 2nd I suspect.
  • *Gasp* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheAngryMob (49125) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:08PM (#17038762) Homepage
    You mean giving customers what they want will help sell your product?

    I'm shocked! Shocked I say!
  • Not too surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quizzicus (891184) <johnbanderson@nOspam.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:09PM (#17038776) Journal
    ...the more a company focuses on beating its competitors, rather than on the bottom line, the worse it is likely to do.

    I find the same to be generally true among humans.

  • Is Wii fun? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:12PM (#17038820) Homepage Journal
    All I see are articles talking about how fun Wii is, the new way of interacting with games.
    But is this new game play interaction something that can keep the wii going in the longterm?

    I have tried it, so I honestly don't if tilt controllers are something to build a console around.

    Also, with PS/3 being a fully functional computer with a keyboard/mouse/blueray, its more than just a console. And Xbox live with internet access to media is more than a console. The Wii is a console and priced like it.

  • Ok But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moore.dustin (942289) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:14PM (#17038878) Homepage
    Sonys bottom line is being focused on with the PS3. Blu Ray is part of the focus on the companies bottom line.

    Essentially, Nintendo makes its consoles and games and that is the company. They really have nothing else to gain from other things like XBox live, hard drives in consoles, and Sonys Blu Ray. Microsoft and Sony are thinking broader, but still focused on the companies bottom line. If you want to do just the game division, that is fine, but when and if that works that company would find it hard to take that success and apply it to other divisions. The PS3 without Blu Ray is cheaper and maybe easier to make, but if Blu Ray is a success because of the PS3 and/or vice versa, well lets just say Sony will get the last laugh as they dominate to huge markets.

    Of course there is more to this and the OP's arguement has merits, but in this dogfight, Sony and Microsoft have FAR FAR more at stake than the success of its gaming division.

  • Re:Is Wii fun? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:23PM (#17039012)
    I have tried it, so I honestly don't if tilt controllers are something to build a console around.

    The question I would have for this is how much time did you try it for, what games did you play and did you keep an open mind?

    But is this new game play interaction something that can keep the wii going in the longterm?

    The Wiimote (and Nunchuck) are no where near perfect implementations of the technology and yet they're far better than any controller I have used. When you play most conventional games (FPS, Racing Games) the Wiimote (and Nunchuck) is actually almost as good as the best interfaces for these games (Keyboard & Mouse, Steering Wheel) and in many games it is actually superior (Adventure games). The beauty of the Wiimote is that it allows for (nearly) endless usage options and a good designer can make a highly useable and intuitive interface.

    Also, with PS/3 being a fully functional computer with a keyboard/mouse/blueray, its more than just a console. And Xbox live with internet access to media is more than a console. The Wii is a console and priced like it.

    I have a PC, why do I need another one that doesn't have the functionality and expandability of my existing PC?
  • by blueZhift (652272) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:32PM (#17039184) Homepage Journal
    First or second place is a definite possibility from what can be seen so far. But Nintendo knows that profit is far more important than their place in the so called console wars. So they've a good chance of making both consumers and shareholders happy all at the same time. Who'd have thunk that?
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:44PM (#17039386)

    Sony and Microsoft have comparable products. Nintendo is going it's own way. If you want a traditional console with high definition graphics, you'll be choosing an Xbox 360 or a PS3. If you want Nintendo's motion sensing game console, you'll buy a Wii. I consider the purchase of a Wii to be independent of the purchase of either of the other systems. If you can afford a PS3, you can certainly afford to purchase a Wii as well. Because of the Wii's unique control scheme most of it's games will be Wii exclusive. If you want those games, you'll need to buy a Wii. Most of the games on the other two consoles will be ported to both. So someone who wants to buy an Xbox 360 could change their mind and buy a PS3. And vice versa.

    It remains to be seen how well the Nintendo Wii will sell once there is sufficient supply. Three quarters of the people who purchased the Wii also purchased Zelda. Did they purchase a Wii because they want a Wii or because they wanted Zelda? The comment I have about non-gamers picking up the Wii is: The Lord of the Rings movies were very popular among non-nerds, but does that mean that those same non-nerds will play D&D every week? People may play the Wii at someone's house and think it's fun, it doesn't mean that they'll go out and purchase one. High definition televisions are coming down in price which will drive people to want high definition content for them. I think the Wii will do fine, I'll just be a devil's advocate to the Nintendo fanboys. Honestly, I don't think the Wii will be third, it will be competing for first with the Xbox 360. The PS3 will be in last place because it has equivalent graphics to the Xbox 360 for a higher price. 1UP has an article called "PS3: What the Cell is Going On?" (with examples), but I can't directly link to it.

    Nintendo and Microsoft's consoles are currently profitable per unit (Microsoft's manufacturing costs have decreased dramatically). Sony is in a bad way with the PS3. Short supply with huge losses per unit. If Sony cuts the price, it's competitors can easily match and exceed that cut. A price war between Microsoft and Nintendo would be an unprecedented disaster for Sony. Imagine the reaction of the Big 3 American auto makers if Toyota and Honda had a price war in the U.S.

  • by Geof (153857) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:48PM (#17039452) Homepage

    Excellent point. I often have seen the same said of open source. It's not about beating Microsoft. As long as the software we make is useful to us, we can't lose.

  • by soft_guy (534437) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:52PM (#17039506)
    Just because the PS2 was successful does not guarentee success for PS3.
  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:57PM (#17039598)
    Sony will get 1st place because they can lose half their market from the PS2 and still move 50+ million units and well they won't lose half their followers.

    No, they cannot do that and keep #1. They would if the other two kept selling the same number of consoles they did last gen but those 50 million people they'd no longer have probably want a new console, too. If half of them picked the 360 and half picked the Wii Sony's lead would be insignificant, if the distribution was less even Sony would be #2.

    Losing half their market is being generous, from the looks of it they're heading for a self-reinforcing cycle that hurts the PS3 and helps the competition (games and developers leave the platform -> fewer buyers -> games and developers leave the platform). If they lose the lead at the start more and more games are going to migrate (and many are already doing that) to the competition and by the time the PS3 reaches an acceptable price the competition will have control of many major game series that were exclusive to Sony on the PS2. Square Enix said they want to go multiplatform, GTA4 will be multiplatform! They've only got MGS4 and FF13 remaining as their big draws and both are too far off while the competition is hitting with Gears of War and Zelda right now.
  • Re:Is Wii fun? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Senjutsu (614542) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:09PM (#17039752)
    All I see are articles talking about how fun Wii is, the new way of interacting with games. But is this new game play interaction something that can keep the wii going in the longterm?

    No. No matter how good the games are, you'll eventually get tired of using motion to interact with them, just like how great games weren't enough to keep any other console alive once people got tired of the novelty of pushing buttons to play.

    Oh, wait, that's not the way it works. Games are the draw for the Wii, just like everything else; they aren't asking you to play shit just because you get to swing your arms while doing it. The control scheme isn't a novelty meant to sustain interest in and of itself, but rather to allow for more creative games to be devloped, and those games will sustain the interest, as in any other gaming market.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:14PM (#17039834)
    Competing against another person leads to two things. In victory it leads to complacence and ego and ultimately downfall. In defeat it leads to frustration, anger and downfall.

    The only solution is to compete against oneself. Solve the problem or run the race a little better than last time. Keep trying do thing s little better every time and nobody has power over you.
  • by the dark hero (971268) <adriatic_hero.hotmail@com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:18PM (#17039888) Homepage
    The software developers might be able to concentrate a little more on actual gameplay and controls than wasting time putting realistic skin on a player model.

    It's not about wasting so much time than it is wasting money. Games for the wii will require significantly lower budgets or the budget may be dispensed differently. what i think will happeb is that there will be less crunch time graphics-wise and it may allow the artists to come up with more unique designs. hopefully, this will get rid of the "hollywood glitz" some videogames suffer from and it will provide for some creative, more interesting titles.

  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:21PM (#17039934)
    Its that simple. Nintendo cant compete on the hardware level. Nintendo barely even makes their own games these days.

    That's why the Gamecube (which was considered to be roughly as powerful as the XBox) was able to be released at the same time as the XBox, cost $100 less than the XBox and (unlike the XBox) was sold at a profit. Nintendo could have produced a system that was more powerful than the competition and charged less than the competition but would likely have lost market share; they needed something drastically different in order to attract gamers, and they needed something drastically less expensive to develop for to attract developers.

    All they did was buy motion sensing technology and designed a controller. They should just release it for PS3 and 360, and sell it for $200 :)

    With the exception of Guitar Hero and DDR I can't think of a single add on that was actually purchased by anyone ...
  • by norminator (784674) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:31PM (#17040088)
    It's barely more capable than the Gamecube and the only two gimmicks it has going are the wireless controller and the virtual console. BOTH of these could have been released for the Gamecube, which already had a broadband adapter as well.

    It's funny to see some people calling the XBox360 and the PS3 "just the same old warmed-over stuff with high-resolution graphics", talking up the Wii's "innovativeness", while others refer to the Wii as yesterday's technology with an extra gimmick or two, instead of what PS3/XBox360 are doing...

    In the past, "innovative" controllers have been released for Nintendo consoles (Power Glove, U-Force, Power Pad, ROB the robot), but none of those ever had more than a couple of games at most that were really designed for the controller, because releasing it as a new controller for an existing system made it a gimmick. The Wiimote possibly could have been a GameCube add-on. It's probably not the technological focus of the console. But it is the philosophical focus of the Wii. Almost all Wii games are designed specifically for the Wii controller. At this point the controller can no longer be considered a gimmick, since it's really an integral part of the whole console. The console would have to be the gimmick, and time will tell. There seems to be an awful lot of reviewers out there that write about how playing games on the Wii is "just plain fun", and they can't stop smiling while they play. At this point it's still hard to buy a Wii at any retail store because they're selling out, just like the PS3. I'd say the Wii is not going to be just a gimmick.

    It's barely more capable than the Gamecube...

    From what I understand it's about twice as capable as a GameCube. Obviously it doesn't have the graphical power of the PS3 or the XBox360, but as it has been said many many times, that's not what they're going for. I'm guessing that a lot of the focus on the earliest game development has been on making the controller work well with games. I'm sure that once developers get more familiar with the Wii, they'll be more prepared to make use of the added power the Wii has over the GameCube, just like developers will do over time for the new generations of the other consoles.

    And now all of these games which look like budget titles (Wii sports, Excite Truck) are $60 just like all the other new consoles.

    Wii Sports is included with the console (for now), and games in general [target.com] seem to peak out at around $50 [walmart.com], with some going as low as $30.
  • by sectionboy (930605) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:43PM (#17040280)
    Raw computational/graphical power? admittedly. Profitability, earning/cost ratio? probably not, we will see. Fun factor? Definitely NOT!
  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:44PM (#17040312)
    I don't think many people understand how product popularity can not be controlled all that well and tends to snowball (in both directions). In videogames there are two important factors:

    • The system with the most good game sells more units
    • The system that sells more units gets the most good games


    A small change early on in a systems life (Product Shortage, Higher Price, Stronger Competition) will have an effect on how well that system sells early on. Even a reasonably small effect on early sales have a dramatic impact on the number of games (in particular the number of exclusive games). As gamers see less games produced for a system (and that many of the best games are cross platform) sales are dramatically reduced. After a while the system sells a fraction of its potential ...

    Essentially, I agree with you that there is no reason to assume that any console manufacturer will be able to capture more than 10% of their existing market share.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:54PM (#17040506) Homepage Journal
    I'd like to know how many of those PS2 purchases are replacements for units whose laser units went bad. People are not going to buy two PS3s under the same model - after the first $600 unit dies the death of a dead laser or laser tracking system, which has happened to practically every sony product with a laser in it released thus far, they're not going to run out and spend another $600. Sony will fix some of them even after the warranty period expires - the rest of them will represent lost customers. I personally haven't had a PS2 laser die on me (I've sold two to make rent on different occasions due to my own stupidity, and own a slim one now) but about half the people I know who have PS2s are on their second or third system now. Who knows, maybe this will be the moment that Sony figures out how to make an optical drive that lasts, but I wouldn't put my money on it.
  • by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <dylan AT dylanbrams DOT com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:55PM (#17040530) Homepage Journal
    My stepbrother is 18 and an extremely casual gamer. Perfect target market. I'm 27 and a former addictive gamer. We both want a Wii more than the other options, and he's already got one. He loves the thing. I'm picking the Wii as a winner.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:08PM (#17040728) Journal
    Quite true. There is limited loyalty to consoles. How many people followed Sega after the Playstation came out? And the XBox didn't do too badly itself. The PS2 owners will be happy with their PS2 for a while. They'll buy a PS3 if it has better games but that will be the deciding factor.
  • by xero314 (722674) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:29PM (#17041052)
    "Sony will get 1st place because they can lose half their market from the SNES and still move 50+ million units and well they won't lose half their followers."
    Here's a statement just as foolish (hopefully, it will illustrate a point for you.)
    "Nintendo will get 1st place because they can lose half their market from the SNES and still move 50+ million units and well they won't lose half their followers."
    Not trying to fuel and wars here but your are incorrect in comparing these two statements since your contrived example is incorrect. If the SNES had lost half of it's followers they would have moved less than 25million units (49 million Super NES units were sold worldwide where as the PS 2 has sold over 100 million). The N64 (which lost 33% market share over the SNES) had no strong 3rd competitor (sony being dominant in that generation and sega barely moving 10 million units) where as in this generate there are 3 strong competitors (Both nintendo and Microsoft moved 20+ million last gen.) If you do the math, and assume last gen capped out the market (I am only using this for hypothetical reasons) then there are about 150 million units to sell. If Sony maintains only half their install base then they will sell over 50 million units leave 100 million units to split among last generations 2nd and 3rd place manufacturers. This means it is possible, assuming sony screws the pooch royally (like Sega who by the way who had only a 35% market share as opposed to well over 50% for Sony ), but unlikely. Sony is the first console manufacturer to dominate for two solid generations, so I am going to speculate that it will take at least until the PS4 before any possibility of true failure on the PS line (though I doubt it will be a failure even then).
  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:49PM (#17041348)
    The Wii may be twice as powerful as the previous Gamecube, but the Gamecube wasn't a powerhouse to begin with.

    The Gamecube was much more powerful than the PS2 (at least twice as powerful as the PS2); the Wii being at least twice as powerful as the Gamecube would be dramatically more powerful than the PS2. Developers have said that the PS2 will be a viable platform at least until 2009/2010 so wouldn't this mean that the Wii was powerful enough for it's intended life (5 to 6 years -> 2011/2012)?
  • by norminator (784674) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @07:04PM (#17041530)
    I think Nintendo is pulling a blunder here by using the controller to promote games, instead of games to promote the controller.

    I'm not sure you understand the concept of the Wiimote... it's not about having a different controller, it's about having a more natural and fun way to interact with the system. As you (and I) said above, gimmicky controllers for systems past only had one or two games for them, so the controllers were not successful. Nintendo wants to encourage people who aren't currently gamers to become gamers. Releasing a new add-on controller and then trying to push a whole library just for that add-on is a bigger effort than you seem to believe. The Wii was designed for and around the new interface. And now, all of the games can take advantage of that interface.

    To me, it really doesn't make sense for a developer to create a tennis game for a gamepad-style controller. In the past, they've always had to do that. Even if a Wiimote-style controller would have been developed (well) for an earlier system, a game developer can't count on very many people buying that controller to use it with their game. Now, someone can come in and make a great tennis game that really uses that controller, because everyone who owns a Wii has that controller. Suddenly developers have a reason to make a game that can take advantage of the controller.

    The Wii may be twice as powerful as the previous Gamecube, but the Gamecube wasn't a powerhouse to begin with.

    I skipped over the GameCube/Xbox/PS2 generation entirely, but my understanding was that the PS2 was the least powerful of that generation, and that the GameCube was a close 2nd to the XBox.

    I'll come right out and admit it: Graphics matter.

    They matter... to a point, and Nintendo knows that to appeal to a wide market, they can't make the console too expensive by throwing in all of the HD stuff. It'll do what it needs to for an SD display, which is still by far the most dominant display type in peoples' homes. They can tackle HD in the next generation. And as for Wii Sports... it's not supposed to be a graphical marvel. It's there as an introduction to the Wiimote. That's why it's free with the console. That's why there's several different games (none with any real depth) on the disc. It's funny though, from people I've talked to that own a Wii, it's the most talked about title. People seem to be playing it for hours and having a great time. And it's not the same as Atari 2600 fun... even though it doesn't have the PS3 graphics, it still is immersing. The graphics are enough to start to draw people in, and the technology in the Wiimote draws people in the rest of the way.

    As I said before, Nintendo hasn't abandoned cool technology in the Wii. They've just changed the focus of that technology.
  • by Rytr23 (704409) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @07:12PM (#17041634)
    but the fact that you can install Linux on these systems, could do a lot for their market share

    I sincerely hope you were just joking right? You couldn't seriously think that this magical "install Linux on a Console" market has the potential to do anything for the market share.. Do you? Oh gosh.. you do..
  • by painQuin (626852) <painQuin@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @07:17PM (#17041700) Homepage
    just a thought, it's hard to sell 50 million units when you can only ship 200k or so..
  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @07:42PM (#17042024)
    The interesting thing is Japan. I think your analysis is spot-on for the West, but PS3 oldsold the 360 in Japan on its first day despite very limited supply. The 360 isn't really a competitor there, so Japanese enthusiasm for the system should prevent a real death spiral. The Wii isn't really a factor in this, since FF (which is scarily huge in Japan) and MGS might go to the 360 but are unlikely to go to the Wii.

    Why couldn't final fantasy and Metal Gear go to the Wii?

    The Playstation, PS2 and Nintendo DS are all the least powerful systems of their generation and all recieved the final fantasy games; in fact it is the system that sells well in Japan that gets Final Fantasy games, not the other way around. It was always assumed that the PSP was going to get all Final Fantasy game until Animal Crossing / Brain Training / Nintendogs (and the release of the DS Lite) caused the Nintendo DS to grow at an unprecidented rate that force square to focus on the DS.

    As a hypothetical argument, if when the Wii is released on November 2nd in Japan it sells like crazy until E3 I'm willing to bet that Square would announce that Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games were under development for the Wii (maybe not Final Fantasy 13). The fact is that Square/Enix and Konami love money, not Sony.
  • by burnunit0 (630935) <burnunit@waste.org> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @07:52PM (#17042144) Homepage

    In its price range, I think the Wii is a healthy addition to have along with a 360 or PS3, but not so much a direct competitor to them among the 18+ crowd.

    Well yeah, exactly. With the Wii being sold at a price point that is already profitable, I don't think Nintendo is in a position that it has to give a crap if you buy a Wii in addition to something else. Whereas the big offsetting factor for consoles that lose money is that you'll buy the games, you'll buy the online services, and so on. In the world of XBox, for example, since they need the revenue from the ongoing purchase of games and services just to make back their losses and turn a profit, it has to matter to them if you also buy a Wii because that means you have less dollars to spend on their own add-on service(s) and games.

    But if every Wii turns a profit, then those add-on services they sell are gravy, not vital tactics to "winning". From the point of view of Nintendo, I'd argue that the fact that you (or others) consider the Wii a "healthy addition" is wonderful for Nintendo because they'll still make a profit even if you only see it as an addition to the more...serious console purchase. But from the point of view of Sony and MS, buying that "additional system" is totally anathema.

    Every dollar you spend on Wii is a dollar not spent on something they desperately need to sell you to make up the cash they're giving away with that loss leader HD system they sold you.

    Intriguingly, in the Nintendo model, for all the fluffy marketing talk about gameplay and revolution, the business side doesn't care one tiny little bit what your heart feels about the Wii, as long as you buy one. Insofar as you love it and give them more gravy, they do not have to care. Other than whatever enjoyment they get in making more money.

    Whereas for the other two--for all the talk about the game platforms as hardcore, better, more technically accomplished true blue and the perception of their philosophies as supposedly more mature, hard nosed, cutthroat and, let's be honest, American and masculine--the other two need you, yes you, to love them; need you to believe it in your heartso that you never hesitate to keep your dollars right there, with them, where they are more needed and rightfully belong.

    Nintendo's little faerie machine liberates the more old-fashioned, hard-nosed business model from messy sticky feelings and gives it a very pretty black bottom line to look at. Is the Wii really a limp wristed sissybox [joystiq.com] for weirdo degenerates [penny-arcade.com]? Or the phalanx of a 21st century global corporate Captain Of Industry?

    And let us not set aside that tone in which the Wii is described by detractors--throwing around terms that first degrade homosexuality and/or femininity, then apply those degraded conceptualizations to the Wii in contrast to the normative (generally, heterosexual male) features of the other platforms. There's a lot of masculine defensiveness tied up in the XBox and PS3.

    Which one is a more healthy view? In the context of critiquing a game you also attack women and homosexuals in order to defend systems whose makers ultimately need you to fall in love with them? (or to be fair to the Joystiq article linked above, your roommate, who is not so much "critiquing" as standing in for a fairly wide swath of the gaming community) Or you make a game system that makes money and, by virtue of a neutrally functioning business model doesn't give a shit if you're straight, gay, male, female, young or old? Whose word of mouth representatives can depend less on diminishment of something or someone else.

    If I owned stock in Sony and MS I'd be forced to ask, are you putting our money into a product that depends on how people feel in order for you to actually make money on it? And then are

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @08:02PM (#17042228)
    Let's look at past "console wars" 1. original nintendo vs. atari -original nintendo won for having better games and a more intuitive controller, plus it was packaged with a robot which really saved the industry. 2. Super Nintendo vs. Sega - Similar graphical power, SNES won for having the most good games and third party support. 3. Nintendo 64 vs. PS1 - 64 had superior graphical power, but Sony won for bringing in the use of cd's instead of cartridges. 4. xbox vs. ps2 vs. gamecube - GC and Xbox had superior graphical power, but sony won for having the most 3rd party support. For the record, I say won loosely. It's not an exclusive market. Most of the "hardcore gamers" will own more than one console. This round, I predict Nintendo to do the best simply because they brought in a new concept. Developers seem excited about it, which will garner it more 3rd party support. And it's all at a much lower price than it's competitors. Frankly, I don't care if you can run the entire earth on your console. If Pong's more fun, I'm playing Pong.
  • by ClamIAm (926466) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @08:18PM (#17042388)
    Actually it's more like

    1) Design the most expensive machine you can.
    2) ???
    3) Profit!

    Step 2 is "Realize how stupid Step 1 is".
  • by deathy_epl+ccs (896747) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @08:21PM (#17042424)
    Yes. Yes I do. Obviously Sony does as well, or they would not have done it. Besides, it has happened before.

    It is my belief that the PS3-Linux connection is likely to do more damage than good. The PS3 is a very powerful computer at it's *ahem* core. However, the crowd that's likely to run Linux on it is the crowd that's not likely to run out and buy a whole lot of video games or Blu-Ray movies. My figures may not be accurate, but I'd understood that Sony is losing something like ~$200 per console. This means that, for every console they sell to someone that doesn't buy at least $200 worth of additional product, they are taking damage.

    Heck, I'm tempted to buy one and turn it into a Linux box so that I can deliberately damage Sony. I've been finding myself increasingly angry with them over the past few years, and quite frankly I think it's time for them to get spanked for their behavior. However, I'm not tempted enough to shell out $600 to do it. heheheheheheh

  • Re:PS3's chance. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @09:16PM (#17043074) Homepage
    ...but the fact that you can install Linux on these systems, could do a lot for their market share

    I don't know why so many people seem to think there is some vast inchoate yearning on the part of the general public to run Linux.

    If there was such a vast demand for Linux, you'd see people running it NOW all over the place on their desktop computers, not waiting for an underpowered living room machine to run it on. Yes, I said underpowered. From the point of view of Linux, it is basically a PowerPC with 7 DSPs that are useless for most things that you do on a typical computer, and with 256 MB of RAM, and no accelerated video. If you can't get the SPEs cranking, it's a run-of-the mill single core, single threaded processor. It will be handily beaten in nearly everything by a typical desktop machine, and completely blown out of the water by a Core Duo or Core 2 Duo.

    And don't think getting the SPEs going just involves recompiling your kernel and applications to be multithreaded. The SPEs use a different instruction set from the PPE, and they do not have direct access to system memory. You basically have to set up specialized programs on them, DMA your data to them, let them operate, and DMA the results back out. To take advantage of them, you have to write your application from the start to use them.

    The place where they will get some measurable market share outside of gaming is among people who want a Blu-Ray player. They've got a real price advantage there. (Although, when drives are plentiful enough to let Sony meet demand, maybe stand-alone Blu-Ray players will have come down, so even this market is not a sure thing).

  • by Redlazer (786403) * on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @09:48PM (#17043430) Homepage
    Considering that every Wii sold, Nintendo makes 50 dollars, i would say that Nintendo is already ahead of Sony and perhaps Microsoft as far as profits go.

    Also, Nintendos online system is said to be very robust, and the Channeling system is fantastic, and easy to naviagte. There are even some nice touches, such as the controller vibrating when you select a menu option, and several others.

    Also, dont forget that Excitetruck allows you to use an SD card with music on it to play during races, so you even get that benefit.

    And why isnt HD support considered a gimmick? To me, appealing to the minority of people out there (people with HD displays), and mindlessly pushing new formats, and insisting to the public that HD Graphics are here, even though any surveys or analysts will show that HD is still by far the minority, which is only further accented by Europe, where im pretty sure only 1 person named Wallace has an HDTV...

    the 360 and the PS3 are pushing their graphical prowess as a gimmick. "Look at me! Im much more powerful than the rest of them! I can play music! And download files! And defragment your harddrive! And wash your car!".

    Every single step a company takes is a gimmick to generate sales. The Wii's controller, Xbox Live, HD Graphics, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, the SIXAXIS. All of them are gimmicks. Some of them are more succesful than others - and i think the Wii will be the most successful gimmik of all.

    By the way, i hear the photo editing software on the Wii is very very good.

    And is it just me, or does it sound like youre talking about the last generation? You do realize we're not talking about the Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox, right?

    By the way, the PS2's power was laughable in comparison to the other two consoles - and look at who won?

    -Red

  • Re:PS3's chance. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @10:55PM (#17044038)
    And Linux can't even win the desktop, what makes you think the average consumer will care about installing Linux on the PS3?

    Average consumers don't care about Linux. They don't care about any OS. The fact that they are faced with a system that can play games, or are faced with a similar system that can play games, surf the net, do real word processing, or make spreadsheets, will play a real roll. As I tried to point out in the original post, the price is definitely going to be a problem for them, and could make the personal computer side of the system a non-factor.
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @11:12PM (#17044212)
    Obviously I don't have real figures, but I have the strong suspicion that consoles loose money the way movies loose money... in the accounting office. Even if they loose some money on each console, there is great value in having sold a lot of units. We live in a team society. Whether it is voting for the presidential candidate that you think will win, to placing your value as a person on what football team you like, people are worried about picking a looser, even it it meets their needs. If Sony can sell twice as many units the first year as MS, their second year will be better. Price is a problem though...
  • by Yosho (135835) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @01:26AM (#17045372) Homepage
    In the past, "innovative" controllers have been released for Nintendo consoles (Power Glove, U-Force, Power Pad, ROB the robot), but none of those ever had more than a couple of games at most that were really designed for the controller, because releasing it as a new controller for an existing system made it a gimmick.

    Nintendo has always innovated with their controllers. You're only listing the ones that were failures. Oh, and they didn't make the Power Glove, that was a third-party accessory. The NES had the crosspad; the SNES had a diamond-shaped set of buttons and shoulder buttons; the N64 had an analog stick in addition to a crosspad, and an expansion slot for rumble/memory cards; and the Gamecube controller had analog shoulder buttons. Also, relatively late in the GC's life, they released the Wavebird, which was widely hailed as the first first-party wireless controller that didn't suck (largely because it used RF rather than infrared). Don't forget the entire concept of the DS, if you want to include handhelds.

    Sure, the expansion slot in the N64 controller didn't catch on -- but how common are those other features now? All of these innovations have been copied (to various degrees of success) by other console manufacturers; the reason Nintendo waited until so late into Wii development to announce its controller was so that the other console manufacturers couldn't copy it without making it look like a last-minute hack (hi, Sony).

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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