console wars 3.0: my 2 eurocents

So, MS, Sony and Nintendo have all announced their next gen consoles.
All three have a different vision on what the market wants and how to deliver it.
MS believes that it must get to market first to knock Sony from the top position.
This is a good strategy.
They have used a pre-existing architcture, Power PC á la Apple, and basically bundled it all together to make a machine they expect to get in the stores before the holidays. [This normally means sometime in November]
Of course, as any Windows user will know, MS do not always deliver on their promised delivery dates. [see Longhorn].
They have also pitched their machine, XBOX 360 [aka Xbox 2], as a home media system.
A kind of DVR on steroids.
Sony, with the PS3, have also come up with a home media system concept. They chose, however, to use the all shiny and new cell processor architecture. So their ship dates, which remain unconfirmed and vague, are likely to be behind MS.
If the hype behind the power of the PS3, i.e. twice as powerful as the Xbox 360 and backwards compatible, is true this may not be a killer to the markets.
People have been known to wait for a more powerful version of something that to satiate an immediate need. [This is how Microsoft killed many good products like Wordstar etc. Hyping the next version of their own product as more functional so people would wait for it]
Finally there is the dark horse, the Nintendo revolution. The specs are very vague still, but the box is minute. They have a firm date of “sometime in 2006” that has the web imagining a doomed future for them.
They are using the same basic architecture as the gamecube, but just way more powerful. So it will be backwards compatible.
And the box is a pure gaming machine and not some home media box.
This strategy may also work. Nintendo are obviosly going for volume sales. Making a small box that, although less powerful than the competition, will no doubt be priced very competitively.
With the other two players producing one box does it all solutions I expect nintendo to come up with lots of peripherals, like add on hard drives etc, but keep the main unit costs down. The only rumored competitve spec is the wifi control pads.
So who will win.
My money is on Sony.
They have a huge market base, a proven track record in backwards compatability, and a real desire to bring a true home media system to market. [They wanted to do this with the PS2 but could not justify the costs]
But there is enough market space for the other two.

One thought on “console wars 3.0: my 2 eurocents

  1. Keitaro says:

    UPDATE: MS announced at E3 that the XBOX 360 will be backwards compatible, and then ….
    took that back.
    To them backwards compatible means being able to run a “recompiled and reboxed” version of existing titles.
    i.e. People who own XBOX 1 games will have to repurchase them to play them on the new machine.
    What a con!

    Like

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