Opinion: Why Sony Won’t Win the Next-Gen War

GameDaily is running an opinion piece on why Sony won’t lose the next-gen console war. More specifically why they think Sony will win the next-gen console war. Unfortunately, I have to disagree based on the very same points they present.

The Brand

I’ll have to admit, the PlayStation brand possesses a lot of power behind it. Sony has sold over 100 million units in each of the last 2 generations. But the Nintendo brand isn’t exactly weak by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, Nintendo’s Game Boy and DS lines are the top selling game systems overall. Now this might not be a fair comparison, since they’re slightly different markets, but it shows that Nintendo’s brand recognition in gaming is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Microsoft Squandered its Lead

OK, this is somewhat true. The Xbox 360 isn’t doing as well as it should be. The PS2 is still outselling the 360 despite being a generation behind. But let’s analyze this a little closer. Why would anyone want to buy for a previous generation system when a current generation one is available Could it be that

  • the Xbox 360 costs $200 more than the PS2?
  • the Xbox 360 only has a handful of must-have titles compared a vast collection on the PS2?

Nah, it couldn’t be that. Everyone knows that console gamers make purchases based solely on how technology specs look on paper. Who needs gameplay? Who wants to save money? As long as my console looks better than yours on paper, I don’t need to even be able play it to be happy. Right? RIGHT?

Japan is ripe for the taking

Yes, it’s true that the Xbox 360 hasn’t made that much headway into Japan yet. Japanese gamers don’t like Microsoft. Also, pre-orders for some Japanese targeted games and related bundles did sell out, as the original piece said. So why wouldn’t Microsoft make headway in the market. I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

The piece also talks about how the Japanese also like new innovative gameplay. Which is why I think the Wii will do well there. The Wii has even more innovation in it’s gameplay style than the PS3 does, and at a mere fraction of the price.

Blu-ray will matter

Yes folks, that’s right, Blu-ray will matter. Once HDTV becomes the norm and replaces SDTV, Blu-ray will matter. Of course, I don’t just mean in terms of specification, it has already done that. I mean in terms of price too. Once HDTVs are available at sub-$200 prices like SDTVs are so that Average Joe can afford them, Blu-ray will matter. Until that happens, the average gamer will see no difference between Blu-ray and DVD movies. They also won’t see the difference between PS3, 360, and Wii full motion videos either. I think it’s pretty safe to say we won’t see $200 HDTVs anytime soon, and therefore the format won’t be a deciding factor in which console to purchase.

Free Online

Unlike the 360, the PS3 will have a free on-line service. Which is great, it gives it a little edge over the 360. It also will let you purchase and download PSX games to play on the PS3 as well. However, the Wii will also have a free on-line service. And it retails several hundred dollars cheaper, and has more must-haves at launch. Not to mention it will let you purchase and download not only N64 games, but also SNES and NES games as well. In addition, Nintendo already has proven itself in the free on-line gaming arena with the DS, and it’s done a pretty good job. So, I think the Wii has the edge in this arena too.

Final Thoughts

I think the PS3 is a great piece of hardware. It’s a cheap supercomputer, and a cheap Blu-ray player. However, as a console, I think the price is just a bit too high for the average console gamer. The Wii on the other hand, has nowhere near the hardware capability that the PS3 does. But it’s nowhere near the price either, and provides a completely new gameplay experience, and will probably be the largest breeding ground for innovation in gaming as a result. It is mainly for this reason that I think that Sony won’t win the next-gen war. Instead, I think that this generation is going to Nintendo.

Opinion: Why Sony Won’t Lose the Next-Gen War [GameDaily]

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