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Gates Pegs Nintendo, Not Sony, as Toughest Competition 178

Posted by Zonk
from the when-white-plastic-fights dept.
njkid1 writes "Microsoft's Bill Gates thinks that because of the 'impressive strength' of the company and its new Wii console Nintendo is now Microsoft's biggest competition when it comes to videogames. This is somewhat understandable, given Nintendo's new projections for this year. The Japanese game maker plans to sell an impressive 100 Million DS games this year, along with 21 Million Wii games and some six million consoles. This may seem to be just more flack, to go along with Peter Moore's dismissive comments towards Sony at CES this week, but news of the Halo DS game that almost was puts credence to Microsoft's new priorities."
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Gates Pegs Nintendo, Not Sony, as Toughest Competition

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  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @05:05PM (#17546052)
    It still is relvent until may, then Nintendo probably will have outsold the xbox 360...
  • Intriguing. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CDarklock (869868) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @05:10PM (#17546146) Homepage Journal
    I've been pretty impressed by what I hear about the Wii, but I wouldn't consider it a bigger threat than Sony. From where I sit, it looks like Nintendo are perfectly content to do lots of business without being the market leaders - but Sony seem very fixated on the "being number one" mentality. I'd be inclined to promote Nintendo's competition factor, but I wouldn't start counting them as a threat (they don't seem to feel any need to eliminate competitors), and I think it's a BIG mistake to count Sony out as a threat.

    Of course, this could just be a bluff to drive Sony insane with the idea that they aren't even relevant to us anymore.
  • What's the context? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hal2814 (725639) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @05:23PM (#17546404)
    Can't watch the clip at work. What is the context of this remark? Everyone is assuming this is some sort of 360 vs. Wii vs. PS3 context but I wonder if Gates isn't more concerned with the upcoming support of gaming on the Zune vs. the very well entrenched Game Boy line than he is with the success or failure of the 360.
  • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @05:24PM (#17546430)
    In terms of market share, looking solely at the new generation of home consoles atleast. Nintendo is survivor. At just over 117 years old and consistently generating net revenue, Nintendo has the kind of financial longevity Sony aspires to and the market experience Microsoft admires. Each of the Big Three have aspects that have them firmly cemented in the market, but Nintendo and Microsoft have real potential for market gain; Sony (without even considering it's pr flops) doesn't have anywhere to go but down in this generation. Sony indicates this is ok with them as "the industy is growing and the tide raises all boats." Although, If I were a Sony, investor...well, I wouldn't be soon. But what does Nintendo have that Microsoft thinks makes it it's biggest competition?

    Japan.

    Microsoft has been making substantial attempts to push it's X-box 360 in Japan, which it is sevearly deficient in. Latest word indicates Nintendo is the force to contend with in Japan, with the Wii beating out Sony's machine. Microsoft is in a position to ride the wave of the Wii's big splash down in Japan by touting itself as the true 'middle of the road' best deal console. Microsoft realises if it wants to succeed in Japan, it's not the hardware, it's the games; specifically Japanese games. They'll face major competition as they try to sweep up Japanese developers with Nintendo looking for the same.
  • by wframe9109 (899486) * <bowker.x@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @05:28PM (#17546504)
    I would consider it less "middle end" and "for casual gamers," and more "affordable" and "for a broad range of players."

    The Wii is marketed towards the masses more than the other consoles, but this doesn't mean that it isn't appealing to actual gamers. I haven't been gaming for the longest time (286 for the PC, NES for consoles) but I would consider myself and myriads of others like me who spend copious amounts of time gaming more than just casual gamers.

    PWii > Wii60 :-) Although I may end up dropping for a revised Xbox360 in a year or so if that old story was legit.

    As for Sony, there simply is no reason to pick one up now. Hopefully the 360 will keep picking up the dropped PS3 exclusives... Sony needs to be taught a serious lesson for the bungling and anti-consumer crap they've been pulling with this generation.

  • by wframe9109 (899486) * <bowker.x@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @05:55PM (#17547028)
    PWii, not PSWii!

    I brought the Wii to stave off an impending PC upgrade. Going to wait for a round or two of DX10 cards before splurging. Still game on the PC though, but the Wii has taken over as the most used platform.

    Apart from the *anticipation* of several beloved gaming exclusives (which are disappearing quickly), I see no reason to invest in a PS3. With the 360's huge gaming library, top notch (relatively) network options, *optional* HD media player and lower price, one would have to be a serious Sony fan to even consider the PS3 over the 360 (or even Wii) right now.

    On a side note, I'd like to point out that despite the fact that I enjoy top notch graphics on the PC, I found that the graphics on the Wii were just as immersive as any I've encountered on the PC. Then, consider the fact that this is with a game like Zelda, which was designed for a slower platform (and plays equally well on it).

    Anyhow. I'm not crazy :-P No PSWii here.

  • by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @06:36PM (#17547748)

    Oh how quickly people forget. Remember the 360 launch? It sucked. Hard. The sales pace made the PS3 look like a champ.

    I don't know anything about the 360 launch, but there's a big difference between now and a year ago. A year ago the 360 was the only next-gen console on the market. Not having a great launch didn't matter as much since what are the people hungering for a new console going to do? They either already own the PS2, or have a XBox. In short, Microsoft doesn't lose much from a poor launch.

    A year later and a PS3 launch failure hurts Sony a LOT more. Why? Because all three consoles next-gen consoles are now out, so Sony has more competition to worry about. Can't get/afford a PS3? Well the XBOX 360 is available, a good replacement for the PS3 (with the promise of a second generation of games coming out for it too). Or maybe you have the XBox and are looking for something new.. well, the Wii is real cheap, and it's fun and different than the XBox.

    But it is way too early to call this. What I will say though, is that if Microsoft writes off Sony at this point, Sony is going to eat their lunch and Microsoft will end up in third place again.

    Sure, maybe Sony will perform some miracle comeback and sweep the competition. But if this were a baseball game, the score would be 5-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Unless Microsoft really screws up, it's looking like Sony is going to lose this game.

    I also wouldn't take what Bill Gates says to the press as a reflection of what he believes. If you were him, wouldn't you try to say Sony has already lost (and hopefully discourage people from buying PS3s)?
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @06:47PM (#17547922) Homepage Journal
    and he apparently has noticed that while he was fighting head-to-head with Sony's PS3, Nintendo's Wii embraced and extended themselves and created a new battlefield - old people, women, and girls - while also winning over most of the "market" of 13-35 year old males traditionally thought of as the focus.

    That plus the Nintendo Wii is selling way more consoles and games in Japan, according to an article I just read in the New York Times [nytimes.com] in the tech section.
  • by Jesterboy (106813) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @08:55PM (#17549678)
    I don't get where this perceived foreign discrimination in Japanese buying habbits comes from. Having spent a lot of time in Japan, I can tell you that it's patently not the case. Furthermore, it often operates in the opposite direction: Japanese consumers find American products cooler than Japanese ones, when they're practical. You'll see more iPods than any other music player nowadays, there's Coca-cola in every vending machine, and you'd be hard pressed to find a McDonald's that isn't packed during mealtimes.

    A case that is always trotted out is American cars; why don't the Japanese buy them? It's pretty simple, really: they are not feasible in Japan. Have you ever been on a street in a major area of Tokyo? Except for major thoroughfares, most roads are a single lane, with a small green strip marked for pedestrians; these single lanes are only a bit bigger than half a lane on a standard American side street. It doesn't matter if America is making the best cars in the world; if it doesn't fit on the road, it's worthless. Something people usually ignore is the sales of other foreign auto manufacturers in Japan; you won't have any trouble at all finding a Mercedes Benz, a Volkswagen, a Volvo, a BWM, or a Mini in Japan. It's a hard pill to swallow, but it's true: our product is inferior; it ignores the conditions of the market.

    Another case is the XBox; it had a fundamental design flaw in that there was no battery to maintain clock time, so if there was a power outtage or it was unplugged, it lost it's date/time settings. Not a big deal, right? Who unplugs their consoles when they're not in use? The Japanese do: they do this with most appliances to save electricity, and usually store video game consoles away when they're not being played. What seems to be a small issue suddenly becomes incredibly frustrating; how would you like it if everytime you want to play a game, an "Enter the date and time" screen pops up?

    If American companies are going to become internationally viable, they have to get over this idea that we're the only ones in the world. We need to continue to innovate, even if we are already the leader in a field. We need to be more culturally understanding of other nations, and not try to force our mindset on them just because it works for us. Actually, maybe our overall foreign policy should incroporate these ideas too. ^_^
  • Re:Great news... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Thursday January 11, 2007 @11:12AM (#17556538)
    Adding an HDMI port and harddrive capacity, while keeping the price the same, would ONLY compete with Sony, as it would only interest die-hard videophyles.

    Implementation of such a hardware change would have started many months ago. Back when Nintendo still didn't register on Microsoft's radar.

    The incentives to add HDMI (which costs a pretty penny, mind you)

    It's only expensive because of the DRM, and I believe HDCP is already implemented inside the graphics chip for the 360 anyway... This means that the signals are already available, and all that was missing was the jack (and perhaps drivers). Dispite what high end AV equipment and cable vendors would like you to believe, HDMI is less expensive to implement than Component or S-Video because you don't need a RAMDAC.

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