I was looking back over what has been said on the site since I started posting (not as frequently as I should tbh) and I noticed the first post I made, where we were discussing the initial pricing and how Sony were going to face off against Microsoft.
- would win eventually due to branding
- pricing would stifle growth for the first year.
- Were close to pricing correctly
- Needed to drop prices soon to keep the pressure on Sony
- Were stuck in a rut with Hardcore gamers
How do I see those calls now just over a year on?
Sony is making a big inroads in to the market, their out selling the 360 in most markets now, so I’m fairly sure I called everything to do with Sony correctly.
Microsoft is suffering from not dropping prices in Sony’s first year on the market, Sony sucked up the pain of several prices drops over the first 12 months and recaptured market share, Microsoft should of and needed to of been more aggressive against Sony and keep in touch with Nintendo and taken a price drop similar to the one it’s just had, being first to market doesn’t guarantee a win, games sales of FPS and Racers though popular with developers won’t win you extended market share, though it will guarantee developer support.
Microsoft are on the path to a trailing third place and more than likely one last entry into the gaming market, share holders are going to remember the painful $1 billion warranty extension due to shoddy hardware design (and construction) and finishing 3rd in hardware sales will be a bitter pill to swallow too.
Just seen this post over at qtions, I’d take Bretts’ assertion that PS3 has the HD niche to itself with a pinch of salt, the only game that I’ve seen to date that impresses over anything the 360 has so far produced is GT5 Prologue, and everyone knows how much time and effort goes into the graphical prowess of those titles, everything else the systems are on par with the 360 regularly getting commended on higher frame rates and less slow down (of course Brett could be talking about HD formats where Sony’s Blu-Ray is now the only choice for the home consumer looking for HD content from a store).
As to the limited titles over seas… Japan has always been a problem area for American games companies so we’ll leave them out of the equation for the moment and move instead to Europe where Brett rightly states Microsoft have had some success, the problem is they’re not selling into all the European markets that Sony has gotten into with it’s Playstation brand. I work for one of the biggest employers in my city here in Jolly Olde England, which has meant they have taken on a lot of foreign workers of late (mostly Polish) and talking to them about gaming in downtime periods, it becomes clear that Microsoft didn’t make any head way with Xbox and don’t seem to be with 360 in that market, it’s not that Sony has different games there, it’s just the brand recognition is making the PS3 the more attractive buy as the advertising campaign seems to of been ineffectual or through the wonders of teh intarwebs the Polish have seen Microsofts poor system health records.
I will agree that the 360 never carried any momentum, it’s something that Tigermm and myself have discussed at length, and we noted that the 360 was on target to sell as many units as the original Xbox in the same time frame, now we understand that not all of those are users upgrading from the previous system, but it’s got to play on Microsoft Execs’ minds that in a market they had to themselves for a year, that Nintendo has already drilled their user base into the the ground and Sony is starting to gain ground after what could be the worst console launch ever.
I’ve already said what Microsoft should have done to keep momentum in the market (though how that would have played against the crappy quality of the hardware we’ll never know), Brett how ever suggests Microsoft will try and get the jump again for the Next Next Gen it seems very Microsoft, it fits with a 5 year life cycle, but it’s a gamble a big gamble.
Why? Sony won’t rush to make a PS4, they’ve burnt to much money on PS3 so we’ll see them following their usual hardware pattern and release a new platform towards the end of 2012, but it won’t be a cutting edge machine, we’ll call it a PS3.5 if you will, a better graphics card, tighter online integration, more memory maybe 2 cell chips? what it won’t be is a machine that’s been designed from the ground up, they’ve spent too much money this gen to be going like that again.
So that takes us back to Microsoft, do they plough billions into a console that is state of the art, test it properly and again only attract the hardcore FPS crowd? Or do they get some marketing panache, and go the same route Sony can afford to with their huge brand? rebundle the 360 with some faster cores upgraded graphics chips more memory bluray drive etc.
Tigermm makes the point that if Microsoft drops the 360 in 2010 as they did the Xbox most gamers would lose the good will they’ve so far afforded Microsoft through the RROD issues, a second dropped console will probably be a fatal blow much akin to the Sega Saturn, it’ll get a cult following but it’ll see Microsoft bow out, so they’ll have to support the 360, even though the likelihood is most users will move to the new system if their not all on PS3s by then…