Gaming System Skirmish

I don't own a gaming system but was fascinated by an article that I read from a magazine in my boss's office. It focused on the power struggle between the three major companies; Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. First, Microsoft launched the XBox 360 for the Christmas of 2005 in order to beat Sony and Nintendo in the release of their most current gaming systems, and hopefully steal some of their market. They focused on building a strong on-line connection between gamers. The PS3 and the Nintendo Wii both came out this past Christmas. The PS3 incorporated Sony's new Blue Ray technology and felt that graphics were the key to gaming systems sales. Nintendo, on the other hand, forewent graphics and focused their research and development on a more interactive game controller.
Sony Playstation has held market dominance since they introduced their first playstation. When they launched the PS3, it seemed as if they didn't account for what the XBox had done with on-line interaction or what the struggling Nintendo was doing with their new interactive controller. They seemed to think that just because they always have had market dominance by having better graphics that they would continue to hold their market strength.
Nintendo was considered dead in the water after the Nintendo Game Cube failed. They responded by NOT trying to keep pace with Sony's graphics. It could have been the perfect response. The Nintendo spokesman may have stated it best when he said, "people want fun not graphics" (Electronic Gaming Monthly, March 08).
The Nintendo Wii has made twice as much as the PS3 in the past few months. Has Nintendo taken the right approach with their new game controller or is it just a novelty? Will we start seeing Nintendo Wiis resold on ebay in a year? Is Sony's focus on technology more profitable in the long run?


Eric said...

Heavens no Nintendo’s Wii is not just a novelty. Interactive gaming systems are here to stay! I, an unmarried college student have played all three systems and there is a huge difference between the systems. Wii has completely changed the name of the game. While only serious gamers are drawn to the PS3 and X-box 360, almost everyone can and does have fun with the Wii. It’s a gaming system where the whole family can sit down and take turns. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.

Kim said...

Nintendo was smart to change its controller. A Businessweek article a few months ago said the company was focusing on the non-gaming market instead of the serious gaming market. However, the controller is not the only reason the Wii has outsold Playstation 3. The lower price has definitely increased its demand. Only the above-average, serious gamer will pay over $600 for a gaming system.

Jessica said...

I think that the new game system by Nintendo has hit a market that was unsatisfied with the other systems over the past few years. As a parent, I have not wanted to buy an XBOX, because of the adult content in the games. The Playstation is not much better, from what I hear. I think that the Nintendo meets my needs and the needs of most parents with small children. The more serious gamers will still focus on the XBOX and Playstation, but the parents of children will probably chose the wii. I think that it was a good move and now Nintendo needs to build off the momentum.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Jackson for not including a link.

Eric: I'll keep your recommendation in mind next Christmas.

Kim: you've almost got it, but you need to state clearly that you think the Wii is 1) in a different market, and 2) one in which demand is more elastic.

Belba said...

Today we have the PS3, Xbox, and the Wii which are all competing against each other. The question is not which is better, the question should be which one is right for you? Each brand’s target audience over laps in some way, but some may argue if you are more family oriented, then the Wii would be more suitable for you. Others might argue that if you have more of an independent life style, then either the PS3 or Xbox would be best for you. In either case, each one has its advantages and disadvantages; and every year, each one tries to one up the other. But one of the biggest factors that play into who buys which brand is the way the company markets to its audience.

Technology these days has to be continually improving to survive. For example, the Wii went from Wii, to Wii Fit, to Wii Fit Plus. Each one is more interactive, more entertaining, and each one has its accessories. Now the PS3 and Xbox have the ability to play the Wii types games with the purchase of an additional accessory (i.e. Motion for PS3 and Kinect for Xbox). The Wii however, can’t play the specialized games the PS3 and Xbox offer, such as “Call of Duty” and “Halo.” But somehow, the brands have to distinguish themselves to stay within the competitive realm.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Belba for a spelling error.