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Can i get a witness?

December 22, 2006

A commenter on Joystiq with some concurrent thoughts (to mine) on new-gen predictions.

I think the console wars this generation are very compelling, because I believe that the market share distribution will be very, very balanced. I say this because the X-Box has the head start; they have the ability to ensure that they’ll be successful this way (10 million total consoles to be in households within the coming months)… On the other hand, Wii has proven to be incredibly successful. Not only does Nintendo have the undying support of their loyal fans, but they now are capturing more and more consumers due to the buzz from the press, and the powerful word-of-mouth that has gotten people excited for the system.

People seem to think that PS3 is this awful mess of a failure that has no chance of recovering. Not true. Sony made a lot of mistakes, but they aren’t dead in the water; the reason this is such a big deal is because the supposed-#1 of videogame consoles let its guard down and made it possible for the competition to even the playing field. Don’t believe for one second that the PS3 will bomb. It simply now has some legit competition.

In the end, us gamers are the winners. Because of the intense competition which is sure to ensue, all three companies are going to try their damnest to secure the #1 market share, which now is up for grabs. The end result? Better games!

I used to say “everybody wins!” earlier on with this console race business, but after the launches and shortages and hype and everything else, i lost sight of some fundamental convictions i used to have. No, i don’t think that everybody will win, but i also don’t see anyone losing. It’ll be last-gen all over again, except the bar graphs will be a little more level. I still see 360 will plummeting to the bottom, though.

With me being the only person on this site to cut Sony some slack, i’ve made myself the Devil’s Advocate. And with that comes great responsibility, like banging Al Pacino’s daughter (sister? both?).

21 Comments leave one →
  1. frisby permalink
    December 23, 2006 1:57 pm

    Don’t underestimate the fact that Sony is walking on thin ice. ANOTHER wrong move and it’s all over.

  2. December 23, 2006 3:31 pm

    Don’t underestimate Sony… 😡

  3. frisby permalink
    December 23, 2006 4:00 pm

    Oh i can see Sony busting some bad shit in the months to come. That would bounce them back into the game. HOWEVER, if they don’t get some kill apps and hold on to their exclusivity, I could see the PS3 being a much larger version of the Sega Saturn.

  4. December 23, 2006 6:00 pm

    I’ma give you that one. Can i get that Family Feud sound effect for friz real quick?


    Thank you.

  5. December 26, 2006 1:07 pm

    Sorry, but I do agree with friz, and I’ll use the Joystick comment to support my argument: Sony needs more than just an equal share of the market in gaming to stay afloat! Yes, the PS3 may even raise above the 360 eventually in the gaming market, but that won’t be enough for Sony to even break even…

    Anyway, the whole console war debacle has been rendered mute: the Japanese sales numbers have surfaced, and the hardware that sold the most units by far is… the DS Lite! Yep, DS is eating into the market share of ALL the next-gen consoles, and this is before Pokémon Diamond makes it to the U.S.!

  6. December 26, 2006 2:10 pm

    What is it with this breaking even? Xbox 360 has accumulated major losses and still haven’t profited. MS makes about as much as Sony on their system, slightly more. Logic would tell me that If Sony surpasses 360 by mid-2008 on the worldwide tally and 360 keeps its current pace, Sony will break even and profit first. The only question in my mind is production of the PS3.

    Wait till PS3 launches in all territories (Europe, Oceania, Africa, rest of Asia) and then we can start raising red flags, claiming what it needs to stay afloat and whatnot. It’s the console in shortest supply and the only one to not have launched everywhere. Let’s give it a chance, gang.

    The perception of Sony stems from their media blunders and the collective Sony hate which makes their entire situation overblown, in my view. Like the commenter said, Sony made it possible to even the playing field, but it isn’t even.

  7. December 26, 2006 4:31 pm

    No, I’m not getting the 360 off the hook, Rollin… I just didn’t spread too wide in my comment and talked about the other sources of revenue that MS and Sony have.

    Of all the three major competitors in the video game industry that we are talking about (MS, Sony, and Nintendo), Nintendo is the only one that has video games and hardware as their only source of revenue. If Nintendo’s video game strategy fails, the whole company fails. MS and Sony have other major branches in their company that, until recently, are their main source of income. For MS, actually, the video game market is still not a major source of income.

    However, Sony’s other branches have recently suffered major losses financially, but with the PS2 they were able to sustain themselves because sales on that system have been so good. I don’t have the exact numbers, so you can still prove me wrong, but I believe that Sony this year is really betting the provervial farm on the complete success of the PS3 (with Blu-Ray hitching a ride on the console), and by complete success I mean dominating more than half of the video game market share. And (again, some financial journalism and math would have to be thrown in here), they have to do this in 2007!

    So, I’m not saying that PS3 is dead in the water, and I really want to give MS and Sony a chance, but, boy, Sony is sure taking some major risks! This is not taking in account all the blunders that admittedly get over-inflated in the blogosphere…

    It is not that I don’t like Sony or MS (I’m actually rooting for the 360 here, but I have to be realistic), or that I wouldn’t own one of their magnificent machines if I had the chance, it’s just that Sony is truly putting themselves in a rough financial spot and nothing less than complete domination will get them out.

  8. December 27, 2006 3:57 am

    I getcha, but even still i disagree. I know about Sony’s problem with their multi divisions and such, but — and i don’t have numbers either, so 😡 — believe it or don’t, PS2 is still dominating all home consoles as of the beginning of December. I saw it on Joystiq or somethin. DS was on top, followed closely by PS2 and distantly by the next-gen sales hierarchy of Wii-360-PS3.

    The PS2 makes all the difference for Sony i think, and you have to remember that Sony is the only console maker to not even have to put their last system on life support, much less is it dead and not to mention it has the biggest install base in history; bigger than the entire GB family. That thing is Atlus holding up the Sony planet, as you mentioned. It’s like a rally race with the PS2 juiced up and running overtime while PS3 ties its shoes. It sells more hardware (in the US) and software (worldwide) than anything; i don’t think i need to restate that. And i’m outta metaphors.

    My firm opinion is that the PS2 software alone will hold it down for PS3 to catch up by whenever it’s ready, 2007 or beyond — but not that beyond. At the same time, i think Sony is doing some massive legwork behind the scenes getting ready for the rest of their launches and getting hardware/software up to speed.

    Domination is important, but to me they only need to supersede Microsoft and they’re set. Wii can’t be touched for a while and that’s the clear winner if it keeps the pace. I kinda like that standing of Sony for most, MS for some, and Nintendo for everybody who has one or none of the others. I hope they all do well for their own sake because no one console can please every single gamer for the full generation. Nintendo don’t do Sony games, MS can’t do Nintendo, and Sony does a little of everything, but not quite.

  9. December 27, 2006 12:10 pm

    Good points.

    I do agree that it would be best to have all three consoles to cover all gaming needs, since they are so different. Wii for the fun interface, PS3 for the super complex, graphic-heavy games, and 360 for Halo 3!

  10. Sum0 permalink
    December 27, 2006 2:17 pm

    I really don’t get these predictions of Sony’s doom. (And let me say first that I am definitely not a Sony fanboy!) Sega managed to survive for five more years and released another console after the failure of the Saturn, and are still going today, of course. Can you really picture Sony holding a press conference in a year’s time and saying “Well, the PS3 didn’t do as well as we hoped, so we’ve decided it’s time to close the company down.” It won’t happen. Worst case scenario, the PS3 sells a couple of million at least and still enjoys a full life-span in third place.

  11. December 27, 2006 2:39 pm

    Sony’s current case I think is a first in the history of the industry, so I’ll wait.

    By the way, I was about to cut Sony some slack, and then I came across this:–28860.phtml

    That whole “our clients are idiots” attitude that Sony execs and representatives have is the reason they give me the hives… even if their products are top-notch!

  12. frisby permalink
    December 27, 2006 5:45 pm


    Sega also makes arcade games and has plenty of exclusive SEGA exclusives. Sony has 2 100% guaranteed exclusives right now. That would be JACK (and) SQUAT.

    Will they quit…no. But they may have to do something majorly different in the future if they want to stay in the business.

    Oh and Tony, that freezing thing sounds like Sony a cover up for their Kiosks being POS’s.

  13. December 27, 2006 6:43 pm

    No kiddin’!

    I just think Sony reps have been scared to death against giving any semblance of negative information about the PS3… They don’t understand that consumers will perceive these phony explanations as a cover up for a more serious problem.

    If these reps just came out and said, “Look, this is a heavy-processing machine that needs a lot of ventilation. If you keep it in a closed compartment it will heat up and eventually shut down!” THAT would make perfect sense… but no, they decide to make us feel like we look like idiots and give us this major piece of BS.

    It is sad, because the PS3 IS a good product, but marketing blunders and uninformed representatives and executives make it look bad…

  14. December 27, 2006 6:43 pm

    It’s good to know there’s no love lost between friz and Sony, but Sony also has their own 1st and 2nd party exclusives. Killzone, GoW, Jak & Daxter, Motorstorm, Gran Turismo, and it goes on beyond my knowledge. MS has one 1st party dev worth writing about (not counting Rare) and shares a bunch of 3rd party titles with PS3, so it evens out with 360’s 3rd party current exclusives and the few Sony has.

    I don’t see the need for them to reinvent their strategy from past generations to pull through. Tony said it before, Microsoft is doing tons of things right but they just can’t catch a break with the gaming population. Obviously gamers who want traditional gaming are waiting for something else, and probably with the name PlayStation on it.

    About the Sony rep: are people really gonna assemble their public perception of the entire company based on the guy who fixes demo units? Fine, the guy was a bonehead, but the D-toid article was clear in stating it wasn’t sure whether it was the guy being an idiot or if Sony told him to say that.

  15. frisby permalink
    December 27, 2006 7:05 pm

    I was being cynical Rollin.

    I guess my counter was a little more bashing than I planed. However I don’t know if any of those titles mentioned are worthy of Killer App Status. GoW does kick ass but it is still a current…err…last gen game.

    I do agree that a Sony kiosk repair man is as much of a reliable source as a Gamestop employee. he may have wanted to sound smart, but his response sounds like a “response to be given when in question about freezing games”.

    It’s a Kiosk. At least it has the potential to be on, rather than just not being there like the Wii in non gamestop retailers.

  16. December 27, 2006 7:55 pm

    I getcha.

    But hey, Sony didn’t kill the competition with killer apps. The majority of their success is attributed to a string of hits. Shit, Nintendo has been the king of killer apps since inception and they’ve only just come outta the gutter because they eased off their own stable a little bit and spread the spotlight around. For killer app status software, Sony has the universal one: Final Fantasy.

    Halo 3 will sell copies and Live subscriptions, but few 360s.

  17. frisby permalink
    December 27, 2006 8:24 pm

    Clogging the market with Good games is never a bad thing. I’ve always been a fan of quality over quantity, but I guess thats just what i am about.

  18. December 27, 2006 8:34 pm

    Ditto, cept i like not waiting months for the next worthwhile game to play on a given system. Sony combined the two ethos and i think that’s what they plan to do again. A few triple-A games mixed into lots of double-A quality titles.

    It works. Or so the DS tells me. Though Wii’s launch keeps denying it…

  19. December 28, 2006 1:34 pm

    I’m still playing mostly on my micro… >:p

  20. Sum0 permalink
    December 28, 2006 8:45 pm

    Us gamers can look very carefully at each console. We can weigh up the Xbox’s online capabilities against the intricacies of the Wii’s controller against the usefulness of the PS3’s Blu-Ray, and so on. From this we make grand predictions about the future – the PS3 will fail because the developers are too thin on the ground, or the X360 will be a success because it has the best graphics, or whatever.

    Joe Q Public, on the other hand, doesn’t see any of this. (S)he merely sees the games and the brand. It’s less easy to predict the fickle nature of the public, who are the ones who will really decide who wins. Who’s to say that the public won’t be turned off by the Wii’s graphics, or will continue their love affair with the Playstation brand? It’s impossible to tell that from statistics alone.

  21. December 29, 2006 1:01 pm

    I think Sum0 “summed it all up” quite nicely! 😉

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