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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
Great article, reposted without permission, from here: http://vision.pcvsconsole.com/?article=1

This is it folks. The beginning of the end.

The winds of change

The winds of change are in the air. Can you feel it? I know I can, and so do millions of other gamers. It’s the looming arrival of the next generation of consoles, and the winds are powered by the approaching hurricane known as the Xbox 360, fresh off the heels of the mighty little tornado known as the Nintendo DS.

Tornadoes and hurricanes are deadly beasts. Without proper planning and precautions, the risk of injury or death is greatly increased. You always hear about the aftermath – the millions of dollars in damage, the injuries and fatalities. This new crop of storms is no different. We have new fatalities on the horizon – the death of Sony and the Playstation Generation™.

The first fatal blow

The first sign of things to come was the arrival of the poorly planned PSP and its subsequent defeat at the hands of the Nintendo DS. When the PSP was first announced, it was assumed by the zombies that it would compete with and totally trounce the Nintendo GameBoy Advance. But lo and behold, Nintendo quickly announced their plans to release a new handheld. The Sony zombies scoffed and declared themselves victorious, falsely assuming that Nintendo had gone into Panic Mode™ and that Sony had the upper hand in the next-generation handheld war.

Reality proved otherwise. The Nintendo DS was further along in the planning stage, and therefore was able to hit shelves before the PSP, launching first in the US on top of that. It was an instant success, becoming the fastest selling handheld system in history. By the time the PSP hit the shelves, it was already one foot in the grave that the DS had dug for it. The Sony Zombies assured an initial surge for the PSP at launchtime, but that zombie market became saturated very quickly. The DS had quickly regained the number one weekly/monthly spot and was never in danger of losing the overall sales spot.

Sony has lost touch with consumers. They created a product that was overpriced, impractical, poorly designed, and with alarming amounts of manufacturing defects. The Nintendo DS was the system that the consumers wanted, with its lower price, innovative features, better practicality, and most importantly, better games. The PSP just turned out to be an expensive, stylish extension of the traditional handheld experience. The Nintendo DS promised to take handheld gaming in a whole new direction, and it delivered.

The failure of the PSP against the Nintendo DS was the first in a series of fatal mistakes that will lead to Sony’s demise. The enormous development and manufacturing costs of the PSP and the underestimation of the Nintendo DS has turned out to be a financial disaster for Sony, who has been hurting financially for quite some time now. The PSP software is not selling at anywhere near the rate for Sony to break even on the astronomical PSP hardware costs.

At one time, the video game division of Sony was the most profitable game division by far and just about their only profitable division period. The disaster of the PSP has squandered that profitability.

The next fatal blow

The success of the Xbox 360 can be paralleled to the Nintendo DS in many ways. Much the same way the DS beat the PSP, the Xbox 360 was planned better and will hit the shelves much sooner than the PS3, and it will also launch in the US first. X360 will have the first crucial holiday season in the biggest market all to itself. Building off the surging Xbox brand name and with exclusive first and third party content, X360 will come out strong out of the gates this winter and will start digging the PS3’s grave just as DS did for PSP.

PS3 will arrive late, atleast 6 months later in the US than X360. The Sony zombies will snap up the first batch, then the sales of PS3 will drop off just as the PSP sales did. X360 will quickly regain the weekly/monthly sales lead and keep the overall sales lead by quite a margin all throughout. M$ has a goal of 10 million X360’s sold before the PS3 launch, and they will be as aggressive as they have to be in order to accomplish that goal.

The well designed architecture and M$ designed development tools will ensure that X360 games are well designed, look great, and play great right from the get-go. By the time the PS3 arrives, X360 will let loose with its even better looking and playing second-gen games, which will easily surpass the launch games of the PS3. M$ is also holding on to its Ace card, Halo 3, especially for the PS3 launch, as well as a few of its other popular first-party franchises, all of which will be Xbox Live enabled.

Sony will have to rely on sequels to its old and busted franchises, which sales indicate are losing major ground in popularity to the new hotness Xbox franchises. Without a solid lineup of first-party games, PS3 will need to rely completely on 3rd parties, the majority of which will also be making better versions of the same games for X360. Microsoft will be sure to clone and surpass the rest of the popular PS2/3 games themselves or through exclusive 3rd parties.

Sony has lost touch with consumers. They created a product that was overpriced, impractical, poorly designed, and with (as precedent of PS2 and PSP suggests) alarming amounts of manufacturing defects. The Xbox 360 is the system that the consumers want, with its lower price, innovative features, better practicality, and most importantly, better games.

The failure of the PS3 against the X360 will be yet another one of Sony’s fatal mistakes that will lead to its demise. The enormous development and manufacturing costs of the PS3 and the underestimation of the X360 will turn out to be another financial disaster for Sony, who has been hurting financially for quite some time now. The PS3 software will not sell at anywhere near the rate for Sony to break even on the astronomical PS3 hardware costs.

But wait, there’s more!

Xbox 360 will do major damage to PS3 all by itself. But that’s not all – we haven’t even begun to talk about the Nintendo Revolution yet. When it does launch in the US next year, the innovative features of Revolution will give gamers yet another reason to abandon the Sony camp.

Fighting a battle on 4 fronts (PSP vs GBA and DS, PS3 vs X360 and Revo) will be a huge disaster for Sony.

Out with the old, in with the new

Xbox 360 will emerge as the new market leader. M$ will accomplish its goal of 10 million units before the PS3 launches. The early adopters, hardcore gamers, and casual gamers will flock to X360 in droves. They won’t even need to bother with the PS3 since X360 will have better exclusives as well as better multiplatform games arriving first on X360.

Revolution will once again capture the Nintendo faithful, and its innovation will attract a solid amount of hardcore and casual gamers, as well as expand towards new people who didn’t consider themselves gamers before, just as they have done with the DS system.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

The interesting thing to note here is the symbiotic relationship between X360 and Revolution. They won’t be direct competitors to each other, yet they will both be direct competitors to the PS3.

Nintendo doesn’t need to rely on market dominance in order to succeed. With their efficient system designs and excellent first-party software sales, they are able to easily recoup their expenses and continue making great hardware and software. Nintendo sets realistic goals and is able to consinstently meet them.

This leads to a good scenario for both Nintendo and M$, but a very bad one for Sony. Since X360 will emerge as the leader, Revolution will be playing second fiddle, but that’s fine for Nintendo. The low cost of Revolution and the innovative gameplay will make Revolution an excellent 2nd console after everybody gets their X360s. It even has a nice slim design to fit alongside the X360 for those who are tight on space. The large size, ridiculous price, and lack of innovation of the PS3 will be major liabilities for Sony.

Is our children learning?

Microsoft and Nintendo have watched and learned from each other and are taking a few pages from each other’s books to ensure their future success.

M$ has learned the value and importance of a strong first-party software lineup to push their hardware and turn profits. Nintendo is working on an online system to rival Xbox Live and have designed a console with a familiar architecture and a good set of development tools.

Sony has turned into an old dog unwilling to learn new tricks. Being the market leader for so long, they didn’t think they had any reason to learn. However, the late rise of the Xbox over the last year has proven that line of thinking to be false.

PS3 is teh kiddie!!1

Xbox 360 is a console for grown-ups. With the highest percentage of M rated games, as well as western developed first-person shooters and military sims/action, and a better marketing strategy, X360 will attract grown-up gamers at an unprecedented rate.

Nintendo has a solid lock on the family-oriented games, and under new leadership and the innovation of Revolution, they will be able to pull in gamers of all ages. With the built-in emulation of all Nintendo consoles, they will be able to attract many of the classic gamers that have strayed from Nintendo in recent years.

Sony will be left with the teenage punks and wannabes, who make up the majority of zombies. Since the intelligent gamers will go to X360 and Revolution, the braindead phat-pants wearing teenagers will give Sony the kiddiest image of the new consoles.

Old and busted

Sony will be left with nothing but the most hardcore Sony zombies. The sensible consumers have more than enough reasons to pass on the PS3. This time, just as the case with the PSP, the Sony brandname will not be enough to sell the system. The Sony name has faded, it no longer offers the illusion of quality that it used to. Years of overpriced, underperforming, and shoddily built products are coming back to haunt them.

M$ and Nintendo will gain considerable market share, all at Sony’s expense. Unlike M$ and Nintendo, who have smart financing, enormous cash reserves, and first party software sales, Sony does not have a safety net to fall back on in the case of the impending disaster.

The present and near future of Sony are bad enough, but they are nowhere near as bad as what is coming to Sony in the longer term. If they even bother to make a PSP2 and a PS4, M$ will be sure to have the Xbox 3 ready to beat the PS4 to market, and Nintendo will have the next GameBoy system ready to trounce the PSP2. From now on, all of Sony’s babies will be slaughtered in their cribs.

After a few years of losses, Sony will have no choice but to exit the hardware race and go software-only. But there’s a problem – their software sucks.

Good riddance

The downfall of Sony has been a long time coming. Their crappy products, ridiculous prices, and legions of zombies have been a plague upon this earth. They have stifled innovation by flooding the shelves with garbage and appealing to the lowest common denominator.

With the failure of the videogame division, the rest of the company will not be able to sustain its own weight. Sony will either be bought outright in its entirety, or sold off division by division until it is all but dismantled.

The return to the glory days

Do not be sad at the death of the Playstation Generation. Be happy and celebrate. With each death comes the feeding of new life.

With Sony and their zombies out of the way, the standard for quality will rise greatly, and the consumers will benefit greatly. The door also opens up for a newcomer to enter the market, or perhaps the return of an old rival. The possibilities are endless. Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 12:42 PM Game Development | Back to top


Comments on this post: Death of the PlayStation Generation

# re: Death of the PlayStation Generation
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Interesting article. I think to a great deal that it will depend on the success or failure of the simultaneous worldwide rollout.

My local best buy is getting 30 units. 20 "big" ones and 10 "little" ones. That's it.

I know that future waves will replentish, but I 'spect there's gonna be some pushin' and shovin'.

Maybe that's a good thing. dunno.
Left by BradC on Nov 15, 2005 3:32 PM

# re: Death of the PlayStation Generation
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I'm waiting for the second wave of hardware before I buy. There are a few launch titles that interest me, but by the time the first hardware revision comes out, there will be more titles, more 3rd party accessories and a more stable platform. (Not that I expect it to be unstable, but I seldom buy a 1.0 release of anything these days.)
Left by Blogus Maximus on Nov 15, 2005 4:12 PM

# re: Death of the PlayStation Generation
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very well put together article. I myself will wait for the second wave of the hardware as u said. besides I'm not thru rocking my xbox yet.heheheheh
Left by xoftspy user on Nov 15, 2005 4:41 PM

# re: Death of the PlayStation Generation
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Are you an Nsider? I think I've read this before?
Left by dscuber9000 on Jan 06, 2006 4:10 PM

# re: Death of the PlayStation Generation
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It's about time the gaming industry came back to the states!
Left by DEAtH on Apr 28, 2008 7:03 PM

# re: Death of the PlayStation Generation
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Fcxn

Left by Luis on Nov 12, 2009 6:52 PM

# re: Death of the PlayStation Generation
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who ever wrote this is right the ps3 is dieng nobody gives a dam about blu ray on it it does not make much difference especialey on the xbox with hd its the same plus its too dear for what your getting
Left by jordon on Jul 13, 2010 1:50 PM

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