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Gates Pegs Nintendo, Not Sony, as Toughest Competition

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the when-white-plastic-fights dept.

Nintendo 178

njkid1 writes "Microsoft's Bill Gates thinks that because of the 'impressive strength' of the company and its new Wii console Nintendo is now Microsoft's biggest competition when it comes to videogames. This is somewhat understandable, given Nintendo's new projections for this year. The Japanese game maker plans to sell an impressive 100 Million DS games this year, along with 21 Million Wii games and some six million consoles. This may seem to be just more flack, to go along with Peter Moore's dismissive comments towards Sony at CES this week, but news of the Halo DS game that almost was puts credence to Microsoft's new priorities."

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HA (-1, Redundant)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545980)

Never before have I grumbled about editors, even Zonk, but still.

Here is my post on the topic, it already has a (5, interesting) so feel free to mod this post redundent:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=216182&cid=175 45526 [slashdot.org]

(you guys are smart you can adapt it to fit this story)

This changes everything (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17546008)

Damn. I thought that was true until I found out that it's what Gates wants us to think. Then again, maybe it's a clever double bluff. Or maybe he's just desperately trying to make it sound like the 360 is still relevant, regardless of how you rate the other two consoles.

Re:This changes everything (2, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546052)

It still is relvent until may, then Nintendo probably will have outsold the xbox 360...

Re:This changes everything (2, Insightful)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546230)

It still is relvent until may, then Nintendo probably will have outsold the xbox 360...

Though you are probably right in relation to world wide sales. Nintendo is already the Market leader in Japan (over the 360, and PS3) which I feel will continue on an overall basis for the life of the systems (unless Nintendo has MASSIVE manufacturing issues).

Re:This changes everything (2, Insightful)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547340)

How is the 360 not relevant? It's got a solid installed base, a lot of great games, strong sales, and a great upcoming lineup. If you think Microsoft is somehow out of the fight, you're either A) a fanboy B) hopelessly misinformed or C) being disingenuous.

Re: 360 not relevant... in Japan. (4, Insightful)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547512)

How is the 360 not relevant? It's got a solid installed base, a lot of great games, strong sales, and a great upcoming lineup. If you think Microsoft is somehow out of the fight, you're either A) a fanboy B) hopelessly misinformed or C) being disingenuous.

or D) Refering to the Japanese market.

Ok, just for the record I'm a Wii60 owner and currently on Gears of War - Act 2, on Insane. I love the 360 and LIVE in particular.

However the 360 has done shit for business in Japan. Nintendo sold more Wii's on Launch day than the 360 sold (in Japan) to date. (400,000 units vs 280,000). I honestly don't know the problem and why Microsoft can't sell to the Japanese, but 2 X-boxes later they still don't understand the market.

Re: 360 not relevant... in Japan. (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548000)

I don't think it has anything to do with a lack of understanding. It has everything to do with a lack of firepower over there. Depreciated though their market perception may be, Sony holds a lot of sway over Japanese devs. Add to that the fact that one of Microsoft's biggest Japanese-centric titles, Blue Dragon, was very late to the party, it's easy to see how they ended up so where they are. Honestly, though, I'm not sure that the Japanese market is all that important to Microsoft. Until the DS came along, the Japanese market was in a major slump. Judging from the phenomenal performance of the DS, the strong sales of the Wii, and the lackluster performance of the PS3 and 360 thus far, it's readily apparent that Japanese gamers are clamoring for something different. That being said, all is not lost for Microsoft when it comes to Japanese developer relations. Considering the fact that Dead Rising has become a million seller, it should be pretty clear to Japanese developers that there's money to be made selling games abroad, even when they don't sell well at home. I wouldn't be shocked at all to see a lot of Japanese developers working on the 360, even with its tiny Japanese marketshare. They've got enough presence in other territories to make worth working with anyway.

"This year"? (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546138)

Doesn't "this year" for Nintendo probably mean "the fiscal year ending March 31st"?

If it does, then that would be saying they think they can sell about another two million consoles in the next two months or so.

Re:"This year"? (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546194)

Since they've sold ~4 Million in the last 2 months. I think they'll do ok.

Re:"This year"? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546310)

If it does, then that would be saying they think they can sell about another two million consoles in the next two months or so.

Actually that's almost 3 months, and those are 'worldwide' figures. Considering they sold about 4 million units (worldwide) in under 2 months I find 'another 2 million in 3 months' a pretty conservative estimate.

Re:"This year"? (1)

sudnshok (136477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547004)

And they are still selling out as fast as retailers get them in stock.

Re:"This year"? (4, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546858)

Did I miss something? How did DS game sales and comments about the Wii end up in the same write-up? Did Microsoft start planning on producing a handheld while I was hiding under a rock or is there some other Microsoft vs. DS competition I'm missing?

As far as the Wii is concerned, I think Bill has less to worry about than he's letting on. The two are practically in a different market. The big draws of the 360 are visually impressive games, High Definition and media center functionality, none of which are big selling points of the Wii. On the other hand, people interested only in the unique controller and game lineup on the Wii wouldn't give the 360 any serious thought.

Nintendo's spent quite a bit of energy trying to distance itself from direct competition with Microsoft and Sony. In my opinion, they've succeeded. The only competition that's really there is whether you like the Sony/Microsoft style of gaming or the Wii's.

SUVs don't compete with sports cars. People just chose which they'd rather have and then go choose from the available SUVs or the available sports cars. Nintendo is in the enviable position of having lots and lots of people chose their style, but as it turns out, they're the only company offering it.

TW

Re:"This year"? (3, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547948)

The Wii is a competitor for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360, and here's why.

1) Developers - Game studios only have so many resources to devote to game developement. Any that are spent on the Wii are not spent on the PS3 and Xbox 360, even if it is just a port. The cumulative effect of this is less developement for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

2) Follow the Leader - If the Wii gains a significant lead on the other consoles in market share, this will further compound #1 due to the "Follow the Leader" syndrome for game developement. While a lot of games for the PS1 and PS2 were very crappy, having that kind of third party support is any console manufacturer's dream. Stealing that dream hurts the PS3 and Xbox 360.

3) Hardcore - Even though the Wii and DS have been designed to be friendlier systems, there is definately a strong appeal for many hardcore gamers. While hardcore gamers often spend much more money on video games and are thus very likely to own multiple systems, having any portion of said funds diverted to the Wii places it in competition.

4) Casual Understanding - The nerdy, informed, and hardcore may know all about Nintendo's "Blue Ocean" strategy, but more people only know it's a game system, and so are the PS3 and Xbox 360. They aren't aware Nintendo is in a different market, because for them there is only one market.

5) Next Time Gadget - There will be another console generation, and it's pretty clear that barring unthinkable and unpredictable disasters Nintendo will be there. As much as they are competing for a place in this console generation, all of the big three are competing for pole position in the next generation. While not determinate, being the incumbent from the last generation is a significant advantage.

This is not to say that they are truly in direct competition. A better analogy is to say that Nintendo is targeting an entire pie, while Sony and Microsoft are aimed at a smaller piece. To an extent there is conflict, but Nintendo will be just as happy to have the 50-60% of the pie that Microsoft and Sony are only barely interested in.

Re:"This year"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17548132)

Yes, you did miss something. 2 actually.

First, and that may not apply to the slashdot crowd, most people will not buy 2 consoles.
Second, while there are practical reasons to pick up a SUV over a sportscar (like you can put the kids and the week's groceries in it), there isn't by any stretch of the imagination that kind of a difference between consoles. At best you could say that one goes faster, and the other is more fun to drive because it's lighter. But they're both sportscars.

In that market (which really is the only one that matters), the Wii very much competes with the 360.

Non-Competition. Oh, Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17549088)

I think the whole "We're not competing with those other guys" line has been a marketing spin by Nintendo meant to downplay the relatively low-powered hardware in the Wii.

I mean, come on, of course they're competing with Xbox 360 and PS3. There are only 3 current-gen consoles. It's a direct 1 on 1 on 1 free-for-all for developer support, install-base, fan-boy following, media-coverage, and, ultimately, play-time. Any of these resources claimed by one platfom are lost to the others (Taken to its most general form, all forms of entertainment compete with all other forms of entertainment for your time).

The "not competing"-line is pure BS (exceptionally well-played by Nintendo, granted) aimed at disarming both competitors and consumers. I'm surprised at how many people buy into it, and am rather sick of how many people keep regugitating it.

D.

Re:"This year"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17549852)

I've been hearing this quite a bit recently, about how the wii is not in direct competition with the 360/ps3 but can't agree. I've been playing console games since pitfall on the 2600 and spend a fair amount of time playing pc games to boot, so consider myself a fairly hardcore gamer.
This time round I have a choice of 3 game consoles, I'm buying one. I can't really afford more than that and don't want a living room cluttered with consoles anyway. Whichever of the three looks to have the best games and gaming experience gets my cash. Sure, the PS3 and 360 offer a significantly different experience than the wii but they are all games consoles and they are all in direct competition for a spot in my living room.
For the record, wii wins. Pre-ordered but not enough stocks so I'm still waiting (third week of January apparently, not getting my hopes up again though).

*shrug* (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546144)

You don't have to be Kreskin to read the writing on the wall.

The plain and simple fact is that the Wii is doing spectacularly well for itself while the PS3 is receiving a slightly less enthusiastic reception. Only an idiot would turn around and say, "Yeah, we think Sony is going to turn things around and kick our asses."

Instead, they're going to fuel the flames by pointing to their indirect competitor over there. Hopefully at the expense of their biggest competition. Then Microsoft will ride the coattails of the Wii's success by repeating the "Wii60 For the Win!" jingle. A large portion of gamers already think they need both consoles, so why not go with it?

Re:*shrug* (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546312)

Exactly. I wish I had mod points to get you up to 5, but alas, I'll just compliment you instead.

I actually was going to post near exactly what you wrote, but instead, I'll just reaffirm your statement.

Re:*shrug* (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546374)

It's pretty clever psy-ops when you think about it. Whether or not the Wii is actually doing better than the PS3 doesn't matter. What matters is the perception that it is. Throw in a press conference where you casually say that the company that handed you your ass last generation is now irrelevant, and bingo, you've got Sony scrambling around looking for their dick. Brilliant.

Re:*shrug* (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546432)

I remember reading a quote on a blog which essentially said "The PS3 and XBox 360 can coexist with the Wii but not with eachother" which I believe is somewhat true; if the Wii sells remarkably well it will impact sales of the XBox 360 and PS3, but its impact will be far smaller than if either of the other systems becomes remarkably popular. Now I suspect that by dismissing the PS3 Microsoft aims to ensure that the populatity of the Wii60 is greater than the popularity of the PSWii.

Re:*shrug* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17548246)

I disagree.

Gaming bloggers may not realize it, but very few people will buy 2 consoles.

Gates is just pointing out the obvious, which is that, at this point in time, Nintendo has sold between 2 and 4 times as many boxes as Sony (regardless of the reason why), and looks set to pass Microsoft by mid-year. Therefore it's the toughest competitor.

Re:*shrug* (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548562)

Market researcher David Cole, who runs the firm DFC Intelligence, says his best estimate is that 40 percent of U.S. households own a working video-game console.

link [mercurynews.com]

Census Info [census.gov]

The facts are that there are approximately 100 Million households in the us, of which 40% own a working console ...

Now the PS2 has sold about 42 Million systems, the Gamecube has sold about 12 Million systems and the XBox sold about 16 Million systems in North America of which the bulk was in the United states. As a rough guestimate, I would expect 1/3 to 1/2 of all household which have consoles to have multiple systems; being that this represents a userbase approximately equal to the Gamecube or the XBox I would assume that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would try to ensure that their platform was the dominant choice for these gamers.

Intriguing. (4, Interesting)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546146)

I've been pretty impressed by what I hear about the Wii, but I wouldn't consider it a bigger threat than Sony. From where I sit, it looks like Nintendo are perfectly content to do lots of business without being the market leaders - but Sony seem very fixated on the "being number one" mentality. I'd be inclined to promote Nintendo's competition factor, but I wouldn't start counting them as a threat (they don't seem to feel any need to eliminate competitors), and I think it's a BIG mistake to count Sony out as a threat.

Of course, this could just be a bluff to drive Sony insane with the idea that they aren't even relevant to us anymore.

Re:Intriguing. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17546838)

I think it's a BIG mistake to count Sony out as a threat.

So, have you bought a PS3 yet? They're available.

Neither have I.

Re:Intriguing. (1)

liegeofmelkor (978577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547294)

I wouldn't underrate Nintendo's competitive mentality. First of all, they're a Japan-based company accustomed to the brutal, cutthroat corporate wars of the Japanese business system/model. Second, history shows Nintendo can be as ruthless and iron-fisted in the video game market as Microsoft in the computer/software market when they have a dominant market share (remember the Nintendo/Super Nintendo era). Right now, they might just be smart enought to realize they don't have the clout to flex their corporate muscle. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they achieved market dominance in today's video game market. Back in the day they weren't fighting other large corporations with revenue streams outside of video games.

Re:Intriguing. (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547638)

Nintendo simply tries to project the image you describe, whether or not its true, and you've bought into it. The real truth is that, like any other corporation, nothing would make Nintendo happier than dominating the console market and driving the gaming divisions of their competitors out of the business. What, you think they don't remember how great it was when the word "Nintendo" was a synonym for videogames?

Just because they're not trying to outmuscle PS3 and 360 in terms of graphics, don't mistake that for not trying to compete directly with both. That's just a myth that Nintendo's perpetuating in order to put a shine on their image and, again, win the market.

As for Sony's desire to be number one, if all it took was wanting it really bad then Microsoft would already have driven Sony and Nintendo out of the market. Sony (the company as a whole) has been getting worse and worse results over the past several years. Even their gaming division, despite the runaway success of the PS2, has had problems with the PS3's development costs dragging it down. If PS3 doesn't come on strong this year, considering the amount of money they've committed - both in development and in subsidizing the sales of the hardware - I think they're going to be forced out of the game.

Re:Intriguing. (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548034)

From where I sit, it looks like Nintendo are perfectly content to do lots of business without being the market leaders - but Sony seem very fixated on the "being number one" mentality.

In my experience, Nintendo's approach is one of the keys to success, Sony's is a sure way to fail.

Finkployd

Let me explain (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548996)

My wife is as tech-illiterate as it gets. Sure she played SNES as a kid (or was it NES, I don't know, I wasn't around...) I have a PlayStation 2 and I never managed to get her even somewhat interested. Never... It is all dumb to her.

Last week her brother bought a Wii... Guess who was playing, laughing and giggling with her brother last weekend? A PS3 is a HD upgrade with more power of a PS2, the Wii is something novel. I have to admit I forced on the wine a bit that evening, and I asked her if I could buy a Wii.... She said yes.... Didn't buy one because I think we have to save money for other things, but the dunken me got my wife to agree for a completely superflous expense.

Think about it...

Re:Intriguing. (1)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549482)

Of course, this could just be a bluff to drive Sony insane with the idea that they aren't even relevant to us anymore.
...or a deliberate attempt to bury the last nail in the PS3's coffin.

Remember the "Cola Wars" back in the 80's? OK, maybe you're not old enough, but there was a vicious campaign -- starting with The Pepsi Challenge -- between Coke and Pepsi. In the end, sales of both shot sky-high, and competing products -- Dr. Pepper, Shasta, Tab, RC, etc -- got drowned out in all the noise. Both companies benefitted; all companies not involved in the attack disappeared.

Notice how, the more viciously the Democrats and Republicans attack each other, the less likely people are to vote for a third party?

Microsoft recognizes that the PS3's struggling. They also recognize that the Wii isn't really competing that much with the PS3 -- and is . I would be surprised if Microsoft doesn't follow through with an ad campaign comparing the Wii's graphics, net support and game quantity to the Xbox360's. The obvious purpose is to sell more 360's to the millions who are captivated by the Wii (riding its hype machine as The Pepsi Challenge did); the subtext is "The PS3 is such a non-event we're not even bothering to mention it anywhere." People will recognize that the 360 isn't bothering to compare itself to the PS3, and coupled with the negative (free) publicity the PS3 is getting, people will understand the message: "The PS3 is not worth mentioning any more; it is already dead."

It clearly is a little early to declare the PS3 dead, but with all of the negative publicity out there, the time is right for an attempt to bury it further. It may not kill the PS3 for good, but it will succeed in making things harder for Sony. As hard as things are for Sony now, this could be the cut that bleeds Sony dry.

Same vs. Different (4, Insightful)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546176)

The PS3 has the same controls/game style as the XboX, and the XboX is cheaper and more readily availibe. It has almost all the features, too. So I wouldn't think that would be serious competition. The Wii, on the other hand, is so distinct and plain-fun, Microsoft faces losing old-style gamers to the new Wii-style of gaming. I predict Microsoft will get a grip on the button-mashers, but still lose market share because the Wii is, frankly, more fun. It must be embarassing, too. Losing market share to something called the Wii...

Re:Same vs. Different (1)

Red Samurai (893134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546362)

The PS3 has the same controls/game style as the XboX, and the XboX is cheaper and more readily availibe. It has almost all the features, too. So I wouldn't think that would be serious competition.

Bullshit. Aren't you forgetting GAMES? The PS3 will have a greater, Japan-powered library of games.

Re:Same vs. Different (4, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548176)

The problem here is "will have", for two reasons.

1) "Will have" does not help now. Now, there is no compelling reason to have a PS3 over an Xbox 360.

2) We heard a lot of "will have" promises from Sony over the years leading up to the PS3 launch, many of which were broken. However unlikely strong Japanese support will be for the Xbox 360, there is always the market leader Wii (in Japan anyway) availible. We've already seen developers push back titles on the PS3, it's not impossible that some (even big names) might leave altogether if the PS3 doesn't gain momentum.

That was rather nitpicky of me, but I thought necessary.

Re:Same vs. Different (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17546712)

> Losing market share to something called the Wii...

Only until Microsoft announce their new game, it's going to be called wiindows and involves locking down platforms... or so I hear.

Re:Same vs. Different (1)

Elder Entropist (788485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547136)

Losing market share to something called the Wii...
Is that any worse than being tiny and soft (Microsoft)?

Re:Same vs. Different (1)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548544)

It has almost all the features, too.


However, the features that it is missing are pretty key. Next generation DVDs, media readers, and something that people are too quick to overlook - a much better form factor.

It just plain looks better, there's no DVD tray, and there's no power brick. It's also a lot quieter. These are some things people look when buying brand A over brand B. Many people pay for quality, and the PS3 exudes more quality than the XBox 360.

Re:Same vs. Different (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549116)

Are you kidding me? At first, yes, I thought the PS3 looked cool, but Nintendo and Microsoft have come up with some very ELEGENT looking consoles. The PS3 doesn't scream quality, it simply screams for attention. Compared to the 360 and Wii, the PS3 looks clunky and frivilous. The curved surfaces are nice enough, but then there's the edges, which are blocky and off-putting. We are entering a renniassance of the "form follows function" mentality. The iPod, DS, Wii, and 360 all have taken similar design trends (besides the fact that they're all white)... they're all very non-threatening, while remaining elegant and utilitarian.

Consider the forms of the time:

We lived through the 70s and 80s, where silver was badass because of it's "heavy metal" flare. Then the 90s, in which all electronics went black as a way of seeming mysterious, and making their LEDs stick out more, looking more "high tech". But that was childish too. Now, everyone wants to play down their electronics, and are becoming so comfortable with them that they want to be able to fit them into their everyday lives without making a scene. The Wii fits right in on your bookshelf, and is very inconspicous. The 360 is a little less so, and shows off a little more character, but it is still a fairly simple geometric design with some subtle curves and subdued LEDs. The PS3, on the other hand, seems to scream for attention, and looks a little like the 1960s representation of a space ship: an "ominous toy." It has the negative impact of being a bit "toyish", while not gaining the "friendliness" that toyishness tends to carry with it. It's still stuck in the mid-90s "sleak, black, and high contrast" mentality. Even when shown in white or silver, the device's form is a bit too brash.

It's ironic that the LEAST toyish looking console is the Wii.

Re:Same vs. Different (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548736)

It must be embarassing, too. Losing market share to something called the Wii...
Hey, at least the device doesn't have the Urge to Squirt.

Bad assumptions on sony's part (5, Informative)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546318)

Here is Sony's plan to dominate the Game Console market:
  1. Wait for Blu-Ray to plow HD-DVD in this round of 'format wars'.
  2. Wait for all of the games to come out that will make people want to pay the extra money for a PS3 vs an XBox.
  3. Don't stand where the comet is assumed to strike oil (/salute Scott Adams).

You don't need netcraft to tell you the PS3 is essentially stillborn. Their sales are 50% lower than expected [punchjump.com] . Right now Microsoft is beating Sony at it's own game (high end console for hardcore gamers) and Nintendo is running unopposed in it's niche (middle-end console for casual gamers).

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (2, Interesting)

wframe9109 (899486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546504)

I would consider it less "middle end" and "for casual gamers," and more "affordable" and "for a broad range of players."

The Wii is marketed towards the masses more than the other consoles, but this doesn't mean that it isn't appealing to actual gamers. I haven't been gaming for the longest time (286 for the PC, NES for consoles) but I would consider myself and myriads of others like me who spend copious amounts of time gaming more than just casual gamers.

PWii > Wii60 :-) Although I may end up dropping for a revised Xbox360 in a year or so if that old story was legit.

As for Sony, there simply is no reason to pick one up now. Hopefully the 360 will keep picking up the dropped PS3 exclusives... Sony needs to be taught a serious lesson for the bungling and anti-consumer crap they've been pulling with this generation.

Re: Why is a PSWii better than a Wii60 ? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546768)

PWii > Wii60 Although I may end up dropping for a revised Xbox360 in a year or so if that old story was legit.

As a Wii60 owner I disagree, but I'm curious as to why you feel the PSWii is better. The Wii is bar none the best for Local multiplayer fun, and the fact that my retired parents want one is unprecidented.

The 360's biggest selling point for me is X-Box Live. It is a great system and worlds beyond what Sony (or Nintendo) are offering for Free. I also have some Hi-Def content to go with my HDTV, but Live was by far the bigger draw.

The PS3 has a Blu-Ray player. I consider it a wash with the HD-DVD add on for the 360. YES it's nice to have it included, but the modularity means I don't have to buy it if I don't want it. Which currently I don't.

Re: Why is a PSWii better than a Wii60 ? (2, Interesting)

wframe9109 (899486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547028)

PWii, not PSWii!

I brought the Wii to stave off an impending PC upgrade. Going to wait for a round or two of DX10 cards before splurging. Still game on the PC though, but the Wii has taken over as the most used platform.

Apart from the *anticipation* of several beloved gaming exclusives (which are disappearing quickly), I see no reason to invest in a PS3. With the 360's huge gaming library, top notch (relatively) network options, *optional* HD media player and lower price, one would have to be a serious Sony fan to even consider the PS3 over the 360 (or even Wii) right now.

On a side note, I'd like to point out that despite the fact that I enjoy top notch graphics on the PC, I found that the graphics on the Wii were just as immersive as any I've encountered on the PC. Then, consider the fact that this is with a game like Zelda, which was designed for a slower platform (and plays equally well on it).

Anyhow. I'm not crazy :-P No PSWii here.

Ah PWii , not PSWii ... over a Wii60.... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547624)

On a side note, I'd like to point out that despite the fact that I enjoy top notch graphics on the PC, I found that the graphics on the Wii were just as immersive as any I've encountered on the PC.

I hear ya. Especially with the simple graphics of WiiSports, I get totally immersed in Boxing, or Tennis. Personally I hope there are some good RTS's for the Wii to replace my PC gaming simply because my couch beats my computer chair every time. I'm not asking for the world either; StarCraft on the PC was 480p and remains one of my favoirte games.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546592)

I would say that whilst Ninty is doing a good job of picking up first time and casual gamers (after playing on my wii my mum wanted to buy one and my girlfriends dad said he wanted one) they can still hold the more harcore gamers, thats why I've got one. Being a hardcore gamer isn't all about saying "I must have the biggest numbers which can't be used for comparison next to aspects of my console - 3Ghz!!! w00t!". I would say that because real hardcore is about enjoying games as a way to have fun and as an enjoyable fantasy, and I think that Ninty is doing the best in that area - check out twilight princess : )

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546694)

Oh how quickly people forget. Remember the 360 launch? It sucked. Hard. The sales pace made the PS3 look like a champ.

Am I saying this means Sony is going to win? No. But it is way too early to call this. What I will say though, is that if Microsoft writes off Sony at this point, Sony is going to eat their lunch and Microsoft will end up in third place again. Sony has far too much in terms of resources to be written off this early in the game. Microsoft isn't used to playing with people its own size.

Wait a year, then we'll have a reasonable idea of who might win.

Also, I think your point #1 is wrong. The PS3 is supposed to be what plows HD-DVD into the ground. They're not counting on Blu-Ray to make the PS3 successful. It's the other way around. Blu-Ray can fail without the PS3 failing.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (4, Insightful)

sehryan (412731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547032)

"Blu-Ray can fail without the PS3 failing."

Sort of, but it would be a huge blow to the PS3. Sony was counting on the PS3 to drive Blu-Ray into homes. Incorporating Blu-Ray into the PS3 was the primary reason Sony was having in getting their product to market. Blu-Ray is one of the primary reasons the PS3 costs $600 instead of something more competitive, or, it is the primary reason Sony is losing money on every PS3.

If Blu-Ray fails, it will be because of a lack of market penetration. And if Blu-Ray doesn't have a large user base, then that directly correlates to the PS3 not having a large user base.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547494)

Sony was counting on the PS3 to drive Blu-Ray into homes. Incorporating Blu-Ray into the PS3 was the primary reason Sony was having in getting their product to market.

Yes, but driving Blu-Ray into homes won't guarantee it's success. Look at how many people had DiVX capable DVD players, and that still failed horribly.

If Blu-Ray fails, it will be because of a lack of market penetration.

Here I think you are wrong. I think that Blu-Ray could fail for plenty of other reasons, and I think that the most likely reasons would be the introduction of a third, better format, the DRM of Blu-Ray being utterly and completely defeated, or a merger of the two formats. Any of those things could happen even if the PS3 sells as many units as the PS2 did.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547748)


Oh how quickly people forget. Remember the 360 launch? It sucked. Hard. The sales pace made the PS3 look like a champ.

I don't know anything about the 360 launch, but there's a big difference between now and a year ago. A year ago the 360 was the only next-gen console on the market. Not having a great launch didn't matter as much since what are the people hungering for a new console going to do? They either already own the PS2, or have a XBox. In short, Microsoft doesn't lose much from a poor launch.

A year later and a PS3 launch failure hurts Sony a LOT more. Why? Because all three consoles next-gen consoles are now out, so Sony has more competition to worry about. Can't get/afford a PS3? Well the XBOX 360 is available, a good replacement for the PS3 (with the promise of a second generation of games coming out for it too). Or maybe you have the XBox and are looking for something new.. well, the Wii is real cheap, and it's fun and different than the XBox.

But it is way too early to call this. What I will say though, is that if Microsoft writes off Sony at this point, Sony is going to eat their lunch and Microsoft will end up in third place again.

Sure, maybe Sony will perform some miracle comeback and sweep the competition. But if this were a baseball game, the score would be 5-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Unless Microsoft really screws up, it's looking like Sony is going to lose this game.

I also wouldn't take what Bill Gates says to the press as a reflection of what he believes. If you were him, wouldn't you try to say Sony has already lost (and hopefully discourage people from buying PS3s)?

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17548270)

"Oh how quickly people forget. Remember the 360 launch? It sucked. Hard."

Don't forget that the 360 is doing worse than the original xbox (despite the lack of competition in its generation)... it's not really recovered from that launch. Unless the xmas numbers were really good, anyway, I don't know how they compare.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548306)

Sony is only sort of Microsoft's size(They actually have more revenues, they just aren't any where close to as profitable).

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=MSFT [yahoo.com]
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=SNE [yahoo.com]

Microsoft has about $25 billion sitting around, while Sony owes something like $15 billion. If it comes down to shenanigans, Sony doesn't have a chance.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (3, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548314)

You are right that it is way too early to call this, I think a lot of people forget that however poorly things are going for Sony now, they can recover and still give a strong showing this generation.

However, the Xbox360 launch had several characteristics I think are important to note.

1) Preorders were not filled out until Spring. It was completely impossible to get an Xbox360 from an actual store even into March.
2) There were many PS3/Revolution hold outs at the time, who put off buying a 360 assuming that the PS3 would be significantly and undeniably better in every way, or that the Revolution would simply be amazing. There was a spike in 360 sales during the summer following E3.

Regardless, the Xbox 360 launch was bumpy, but it had the grace that there was no competition to capitalize on the blunders. This is not true now, and will make the ordeal harder (but not impossible) for Sony.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548668)

Oh how quickly people forget. Remember the 360 launch? It sucked. Hard.

By sucking hard, you mean it was sold out and not on stores shelves till early summer/late spring 06. I can go down to the bestbuy and buy a ps3 right now. I tried to buy wii, and they told me good luck even though they get a shipment in every week. Scalpers camp the retailers and ebay the wiis for double the price. You can get a ps3 at cost on ebay.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548926)

The sales pace made the PS3 look like a champ.


Except that it didn't.

According to NPD's US numbers: Sony shipped 197,000 PS3s at launch. In contrast, Microsoft shipped 326,000 xboxes at launch.

The 360's sales pace has far outperformed the PS3.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549418)

If you compare only day 1, you're right. If you compare the first six weeks, you're wrong.

Microsoft didn't hit 1,000,000 in sales until the end of February. Sony hit 1,000,000 at the end of December. The 360 launched earlier in the year than the PS3 did.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (2, Informative)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549934)

If you compare only day 1, you're right. If you compare the first six weeks, you're wrong.

Microsoft didn't hit 1,000,000 in sales until the end of February


No. I was comparing November numbers, not day 1. Microsoft hit 1 million well before february. In fact, MS sold 2.5 million by the end of february according to NPD.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550216)

No the 360 launch was a lot better than this. At this time last year, 360s were still unavailable. PS3 is currently doing poorly. Despite unit shortages, they're meeting demand, and this early in the console lifetime thats a bad thing.

PS3 doesn't have any killer apps right now. Of the games out, the only one I hear about is Resistance, and even then its not a must have title. We'll have to wait and see what kind of exclusives Sony can pull out. MGS4 and FFXIII will move units, I'm sure.

Re:Bad assumptions on sony's part (3, Insightful)

jstomel (985001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547480)

Actually, Sony's strategy is fairly clever. I'm not sure it will work, but it is clever. The way I see it is thus:
1)Microsoft gives you the option of adding on HD-DVD for more money. Most people are probably fine paying less and not getting HD. Soney doesn't give you that option. You want a PS3? You get a BR player.
2)Since they have one anyway (wanted or not) PS3 owners buy BR disks rather than conventional DVDs (after all, they paid for it, why not use it).
3)Forced early adoption of BR by gamers raises BR disk sales relative to DVD and HD. DVD distro companies notice this and release their stocks on BR to catch the wave.
4)Once all the major MP lables are releasing on BR (wheather they are also releasing on HD or not) Soney can de facto win the forman war simply by refusing to offer BMG movies on HD. Why would anyone buy an HD player when 25% of the movies out there will never be released on it?
5)The HD movie adopters (videophiles) buy BR, and since the PS3 is as cheap as any BR player, why not get a PS3 and have the extra functionality?
6)PS3 sales boost, drawing in more exclusive games.
Of course, all of this depends on sony selling enough PS3s in the early market to influence BR disk sales significantly. Early indicators are that they are not succeeding at this, but time will tell.

Logic Flaw (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548208)

The flaw in their logic is here:

2)Since they have one anyway (wanted or not) PS3 owners buy BR disks rather than conventional DVDs (after all, they paid for it, why not use it).

To 90%+ of consumers, a Bluray disc and DVD disc are pretty much the same thing. Why would they spend 50% more money for the Bluray disc when a DVD can be had for less money? Sony is yelling "HD! 1080p!" at the top of their lungs, but it's mostly falling on deaf ears.

I remember when DVDs came out. The early adopters and videophiles got them, but everyone else just sort of waited as VHS tapes were a lot cheaper. It wasn't until DVDs started carrying extra content and features that the format began appealing to the average consumer. This caused prices to drop on DVDs, spurring even more consumers to run out and purchase a DVD player. Since the PS2 cost about the same as a regular DVD player, everyone got one of those. The rest is history.

Re:Logic Flaw (1)

jstomel (985001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549000)

You do have a point. I expect sony to drop the prices on their own (BMG) movie set for BR later this year if sales do not pick up. They've already shown their willingness to pour money down a barrel to win this thing and now they're commited. They can't loose this an remain a dominant player in the consumer electronics field. I suspect that they bought BMG for the sole purpose of ensuring that there is no repeat of Betamax. Now we get to see if they can swing it. Personally, I am predicting that sony will nominally win the format war and remain slightly dominant (in terms of sales) in the console wars, though they will loose groun, but new direct download technology, VR, and the Wii 2.0 will trump them before either makes a profit.

Eh? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17546338)

If anyone were to be pegging, it would be Melinda Gates. LOLOLOLOL

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17546598)

That's hot.

Good one Bill (5, Funny)

winningham.2 (666628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546356)

Thats great Bill, but tell us something Wii didn't know.

Great news... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546392)

So, Mr. Gates, when do you plan to drop the price on the xBox 360 console to below $250 USD to compete against Nintendo?

Re:Great news... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546772)

Word is that they plan to add an HDMI port and a larger hard drive and keep the price the same instead of dropping the price.

Perhaps the current high end 360 will become the "core" though? Include a game like Nintendo does? Who knows. However you slice it, don't expect the price to change, only what comes in the box.

Re:Great news... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547198)

Only Apple changes what's in the box while keeping the same price. If Microsoft was doing the same thing, Windows Vista would cost the same as Windows XP. ;)

What's the context? (2, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546404)

Can't watch the clip at work. What is the context of this remark? Everyone is assuming this is some sort of 360 vs. Wii vs. PS3 context but I wonder if Gates isn't more concerned with the upcoming support of gaming on the Zune vs. the very well entrenched Game Boy line than he is with the success or failure of the 360.

I'm inclined to agree (2, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546430)

In terms of market share, looking solely at the new generation of home consoles atleast. Nintendo is survivor. At just over 117 years old and consistently generating net revenue, Nintendo has the kind of financial longevity Sony aspires to and the market experience Microsoft admires. Each of the Big Three have aspects that have them firmly cemented in the market, but Nintendo and Microsoft have real potential for market gain; Sony (without even considering it's pr flops) doesn't have anywhere to go but down in this generation. Sony indicates this is ok with them as "the industy is growing and the tide raises all boats." Although, If I were a Sony, investor...well, I wouldn't be soon. But what does Nintendo have that Microsoft thinks makes it it's biggest competition?

Japan.

Microsoft has been making substantial attempts to push it's X-box 360 in Japan, which it is sevearly deficient in. Latest word indicates Nintendo is the force to contend with in Japan, with the Wii beating out Sony's machine. Microsoft is in a position to ride the wave of the Wii's big splash down in Japan by touting itself as the true 'middle of the road' best deal console. Microsoft realises if it wants to succeed in Japan, it's not the hardware, it's the games; specifically Japanese games. They'll face major competition as they try to sweep up Japanese developers with Nintendo looking for the same.

Like others have already said (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546546)

Japan plays a large part in whether a system becomes successfull or not...

1. Nintendo has (for the most part) enjoyed good success in japan
2. The DS and DS lite are a legal drug in japan
3. The original Xbox did bad in japan, and one couldn't reasonably expect the 360 to do differently there
4. The 360 definately has an american "feel" to it, if you know what I mean. I don't mean it's cheap or anything, what I mean is by the way the console itself looks and controls, and by the way the interface looks and controls, and by the FEELING of the games...I dunno, it just seems more like a console that is aimed at american gamers moreso than anyone else.
5. Microsoft is an american company, and it's no secret that american culture is both loved and hated in japan.
6. Nintendo is japanese in it's origins...kinda like buying a book from a local mom-and-pop rather than amazon.

various other reasons as well...keep in mind these are only my opinions and from what I have seen...I've been gaming since the commodore 64 days, so I figure my opinion has to have at least SOME kind of value, right? Or not...whatever. Suffice it to say, these are my opinions and nothing more. Dissect them to your heart's content.

Japan loves RPGs (2, Insightful)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547266)

In order for any console to succeed in Japan, it needs to have the kind of games the Japanese play. Madden just won't sell, nor will Halo. (most of the people I know, bought their Xbox for Halo.)

However, Blue Dragon may seems to be having an impact. According to this article [risingsunofnihon.com] , it sold 80K copies in its first week and increased XBox360 sales over 500% that week vs the previous week. It's not that the XBox is American, it's that the XBox has Halo and the PS2 had Final Fantasy.

Re:Like others have already said (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547296)

1. Nintendo has (for the most part) enjoyed good success in japan
5. Microsoft is an american company, and it's no secret that american culture is both loved and hated in japan.
6. Nintendo is japanese in it's origins...kinda like buying a book from a local mom-and-pop rather than amazon.


This feels so odd to me actually thinking about that. I don't even think of Nintendo or Sony as "foreign" companies. They are as part of my US culture as McDonalds, Dr. Pepper, Walmart and made in China. I just don't even think about that aspect. If I sterotype the video game companies, I'd say that MS and Sony are more adult or sports/shooters oriented while Nintendo is family/casual gamer focused. I'd make my purchasing decision based more on that than any thing else.

Re:Like others have already said (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547314)

True, but you aren't japanese. Anyone from anywhere int he world other than here (usa) can tell you that the gaming culture can be quite different in other countries (for the record, I've never been to japan...just making an uninformed guess here)

Re:Like others have already said (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547710)

True, but you aren't japanese. Anyone from anywhere int he world other than here (usa) can tell you that the gaming culture can be quite different in other countries (for the record, I've never been to japan...just making an uninformed guess here)

I grew up with video games and would have been classed as a hard core gamer growing up though I considered myself and my family more as causal gamers more than anything. We only rented one game every other weekend. We only bought 2-3 games on Christmas and maybe 1 game at Birthdays. As an adult with a family of my own, we play RPGs together. We all take turns play and hunting for things. If anything objectionable pops up, my wife and I immediately tell our kids what isn't repeatable. This family gaming is a huge change in how I grew up. I played games against my brothers, but only rarely against my mom. Mom mainly played Mario, PacMan, Tetris, and Dr. Mario. We've started the New Year off with DDR, and we take turns playing after I get off from work until about 7:00 when we switch to RPGs. I can't imagine the gaming culture or habits of other families in the US much less other countries. I'd tend to assume everyone games like we do though that's not true.

Re:Like others have already said (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548298)

We've started the New Year off with DDR, and we take turns playing after I get off from work until about 7:00 when we switch to RPGs.

Do your kids eat, or are they LiIon models that plug into the wall overnight?

Re:Like others have already said (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548324)

While 10 years ago I would disagree with you that alot of families are like that, as the "older gaming generation" gets older and older, I think families like yours will begin becoming more and more commonplace...I've been gaming since the commodore 64 days, and I can assure you that my kids will be shown what I grew up with. Gaming has done a lot for my life...MANY good memories...playing punch out, against my bro with ice hockey....a little later all-night games of NBA jam and street fighter 2...LAN parties...I mean, I could prolly write a book on all my gaming memories.

I cannot imagine not having them, and I want my kids to experience the joy and happiness that gaming has brought to me my entire life. Not to mention the problem solving, hand-eye coordination, and overall sharpness of mind playing games has brought about.

By that same token, I think current-gen system are just as important as the "retro" systems for them to experience. Similar to Star Wars, I want them to know how the story begun, not just where it is now.

Re:Like others have already said (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549436)

Gaming has done a lot for my life...MANY good memories...playing punch out, against my bro with ice hockey....a little later all-night games of NBA jam and street fighter 2...LAN parties...I mean, I could prolly write a book on all my gaming memories.

You probably could, but you really shouldn't. It sounds like a major snorefest.

Re: Bah, who needs to be "informed"... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548452)

for the record, I've never been to japan ...just making an uninformed guess here

Welcome to Slashdot! You'll fit right in.

Re:Like others have already said (1)

carlivar (119811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548280)

5. Microsoft is an american company, and it's no secret that american culture is both loved and hated in japan.


Right. Japanese always favor Japanese companies, either out of national pride or economic reasons (given mostly equal products). Americans do not favor American companies in the same way, unfortunately. Now I'm not advocating jingoism, but I've always been under the impression that like voting, the most impact you make with the dollars you spend are those spent close to home.


Also, American cars are now ranked just as high as their Japanese equivalents by publications such as Consumer Reports. This was not the case 10 years ago of course. American cars have improved but Americans will blissfully keep buying their Camrys and Accords most likely. Does this make economic sense? I don't think so. I know, global economy and all that, blah blah. But there are reasons we have a massive trade deficit and American autoworkers are being laid off and car factories closed. It makes me sad, even for simple reasons of history. The Wixom, Michigan Ford plant is LOADED with automotive history. :(


Visit Tokyo and you will maybe see two American cars. That's how many I saw when I was there for a week. I think they were both Cadillacs.


Japan has become an industrial titan by copying and improving Western products. For example, the motorcycle. It's no secret that Japanese motorcycle dominance started with Kawasaki blatantly copying Triumph. Of course within a few years Japanese manufacturers were blowing away the previously #1 UK motorcycle industry in technological advances (a SOHC 4-cylinder engine in the late 60's was lightyears beyond what the UK could do. Constant labor disputes sure did not help.).


People probably label me as a dinosaur and out-of-touch with the "global economy" and such, but what can I say, I'm loyal to American products, truly dismayed when they are inferior, and quick to return when they improve.


Sorry for the rant... I admire Japan very much and I wish the U.S. could turn the table and copy them in many ways. Your points just triggered something. :)

Re:Like others have already said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17548728)

There are a lot of Japanese automotive plants in the US providing jobs, and Americans can buy their stock if they choose to (and vice versa), so the lines between Japanese and American car companies are fairly blurred.

Myself, I bought a Kia. It may not help out American or Japanese automobile manufacturers much, but it has good gas mileage, a good warranty and a low price. I was able to pay it off in full without needing a loan... which frees up money for more interesting things, like helping our gamming industry and saving for retirement. Does it make economic sense? To me it does.

Re:Like others have already said (1)

falsified (638041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548780)

I'd buy Toyota. Most Toyotas (I believe Honda is this way too) offered for sale in the USA are actually made in the USA. Most Chevys, etc are mostly made either in Mexico or Canada. I don't really care who the hell gets the profit; I care about who has the job.

Re:Like others have already said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17548956)

Well, you should have looked at more than cars while you were in Tokyo. You probably saw maybe two MP3 players not made by Apple (an American company). You also probably saw maybe two dispensers that were selling cola not made by Coca-Cola (an American company), and those two were probably Pepsi (an American company). You may also have noticed that the most popular fast food restaurant is McDonald's (an American company), and the most popular coffee chain is Starbuck's (an American company). Hell, while looking for the nonexistent American cars on the street, you conveniently forgot to notice that Tokyo is literally inundated with German cars, not to mention some French and Italian cars as well.

Japanese consumers have no problems with foreign products if they are 1) high quality and b) properly marketed. Microsoft's dismal results in Japan simply comes from failure to provide either, in a market with two powerful incumbents. It's exactly the same problem American carmakers went through in Japan: if you keep trying to sell horrendously engineered cars that is out of touch with local consumer needs for many years, it really isn't surprising that consumers continue to ignore you when you finally come out with something that may be remotely interesting. No need to introduce jingoism into the discussion. (Yes, xenophobia does exist in Japan, and it does affect product preference to an extent, but they mostly affect Chinese- and Korean- made products, not western ones.)

Re:Like others have already said (3, Interesting)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549678)

I don't get where this perceived foreign discrimination in Japanese buying habbits comes from. Having spent a lot of time in Japan, I can tell you that it's patently not the case. Furthermore, it often operates in the opposite direction: Japanese consumers find American products cooler than Japanese ones, when they're practical. You'll see more iPods than any other music player nowadays, there's Coca-cola in every vending machine, and you'd be hard pressed to find a McDonald's that isn't packed during mealtimes.

A case that is always trotted out is American cars; why don't the Japanese buy them? It's pretty simple, really: they are not feasible in Japan. Have you ever been on a street in a major area of Tokyo? Except for major thoroughfares, most roads are a single lane, with a small green strip marked for pedestrians; these single lanes are only a bit bigger than half a lane on a standard American side street. It doesn't matter if America is making the best cars in the world; if it doesn't fit on the road, it's worthless. Something people usually ignore is the sales of other foreign auto manufacturers in Japan; you won't have any trouble at all finding a Mercedes Benz, a Volkswagen, a Volvo, a BWM, or a Mini in Japan. It's a hard pill to swallow, but it's true: our product is inferior; it ignores the conditions of the market.

Another case is the XBox; it had a fundamental design flaw in that there was no battery to maintain clock time, so if there was a power outtage or it was unplugged, it lost it's date/time settings. Not a big deal, right? Who unplugs their consoles when they're not in use? The Japanese do: they do this with most appliances to save electricity, and usually store video game consoles away when they're not being played. What seems to be a small issue suddenly becomes incredibly frustrating; how would you like it if everytime you want to play a game, an "Enter the date and time" screen pops up?

If American companies are going to become internationally viable, they have to get over this idea that we're the only ones in the world. We need to continue to innovate, even if we are already the leader in a field. We need to be more culturally understanding of other nations, and not try to force our mindset on them just because it works for us. Actually, maybe our overall foreign policy should incroporate these ideas too. ^_^

Re:Like others have already said (1)

octal666 (668007) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548654)

I don't think it is just that. I have no inside of the japanese market, but from what I see, there are a large load of games that never come out of japan, I'm not talking about RPGs, I'm talking about all the manga/anime franchises that have many followers in Japan and almost none outside, or games targeted for the japanese market. Just take a look at all the games launched in Japan for the DS that don't come out, or just come out if they see they are being imported (Osu Tatakae Ouendam / Elite Beat Agents, for example).

Does Microsoft have any "only-japan" title? In the last generation, all these games were for GBA / PS2, now the NDS has proven rightfull heir to the GameBoy saga. In its bad launch, Sony has sold more PS3 than MS XBOX360 in a year, in Japan the struggle is Nintendo vs. Sony once again.

And about the combo Wii60 / PS60, maybe it can work for hardcore gamers that want a Wii and some games to play for fun with friends, but people at large don usually buy two consoles, and there are people out there that actually don't buy the hype and instead compare prices. It's just about having a console for playing games.

Some doubts on Wii's longevity (1)

Vacardo (1048640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547462)

As long as we don't see a Wii-Lite console released on the market, forcing users to upgrade out of practicality, I will be content.

360 and Wii don't compete (3, Insightful)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547540)

The Xbox 360 and the Wii have completely different paradigms. The Xbox 360 is about ultra realistic graphics, fast paced driving and brutal violence in which strangers are humiliated through Xbox Live. The Wii is about fun games that often can involve friends and family. One is not better than the other, they are simply very different. Which is better: a car or a sheep? On the other hand, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are trying to fill the same purpose. Unless you feel the SIXAXIS feature of the PS3 is equivalent to the Wiimote's functionality.

Sony thought the console market was theirs. They believed they owned it. They felt that they could abuse the loyalty of the gamer market by winning the high definition video disc market on the backs of their customers. They think that the average Sony customer will work their fingers to the bone to buy their console at its outrageous price. Remember, the PS2 started at a price of $300. Since the PS3 is $600, will the PS4 be $900 or $1200? Oddly enough, in the upper middle class area in which I live, the PS3s are not flying off the shelves.

Re:360 and Wii don't compete (1)

yoprst (944706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548202)

Which is better: a car or a sheep?
a car

Re:360 and Wii don't compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17549326)

Unless you want to make a sweater or enjoy a nice shoulder of lamb with mint sauce!

Re:360 and Wii don't compete (1)

rblum (211213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549296)

The Xbox 360 is about ultra realistic graphics, fast paced driving and brutal violence in which strangers are humiliated through Xbox Live


You mean, like Rockstar's Table Tennis, Viva Pinata, Marble Blast, Uno, ... ?

While the "family friendly" Wii has (a rather brutal) RayMan, Red Steel, Call Of Duty... ?

The Wii is about accessibility first, not about being family friendly. (It's just that the people who demand accessibility don't play too many of the gore-y titles)

Re:360 and Wii don't compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17550078)

A sheep is better!

Of course, a wool sock will do in a pinch.

You're half-right (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17550188)

They're not directly competitive products, but I think Gates is smart in identifying the Wii as a market-changer. The comparison isn't between cars and sheep, it's between mid and high end cars and a new economy model. When all you can buy is a sedan, the difference between Ford and GM products is relevent. But when all you need is an econo-box, and Hyundai suddenly starts appearing on every street corner, the Toyota dealers start looking around nervously.

Gates is good at marketing and sales (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547922)

and he apparently has noticed that while he was fighting head-to-head with Sony's PS3, Nintendo's Wii embraced and extended themselves and created a new battlefield - old people, women, and girls - while also winning over most of the "market" of 13-35 year old males traditionally thought of as the focus.

That plus the Nintendo Wii is selling way more consoles and games in Japan, according to an article I just read in the New York Times [nytimes.com] in the tech section.

How fast fortunes can change.... (0)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548162)

It's amazing how fast Sony became irrelevant. WTF were they thinking....they made a console that no developer will make money on. The PS3 is going to go down as possibly the biggest console crash (from dominant first place PS2 to Dreamcast-style disaster PS3). To anyone that doesn't know this....ever developer is bailing on the console. I mean everyone too...developers can't even make money on the PS3 in Japan. On the other hand, while I think Nintendo has some major weak points....like how long they can carry the Wii-stick gimmick out and the increasingly obsolete hardware of the Wii (starting at launch day).....they still have an iron grip on the handheld market and have a real shot at making everyone forget their last two home console outings. We'll see how long they can ride that. And Microsoft, as usual, gets by just by being steady. They never have the most amazing product, but always have enough cash and competence (not brilliance) to stay in the game. The reality is the XBOX 360 is the best product this generation. It might not have the whiz-bang gimmick (Wii) or technology doodads (ps3), but (because of Sony's screw ups) it will have all the games, cause it is the most viable platform for developers.

Re:How fast fortunes can change.... (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548714)

Your entire post is a rehash of why the PS2 was doomed to fail. "It's too expensive compared to the DC" and "It's too hard to dev for" were the FUD at release. One year later, that transformed into "the XBox is going to remove this from everyone's living room". That Christmas PS1's did a brisk business at $99. Two years, several price reductions, and a change in form factor after that, it was, "XBox360's fast rev of XBox into next-gen makes PS2 irrelevant, and you can't complain about the price of this console just because we complained about yours". One Christmas and a pretty dismal initial rollout later, during which the XBox360 was absolutely crushed in sales by Sony's FIVE-YEAR-OLD SYSTEM, the PS2, we now hear "PS3 is too expensive compared to XBox360" and "It's too hard to dev for". I'm not saying we are witnessing a full replay here, and I know I'm not the first to point this out, but, man, go read a book and make sure you aren't repeating 5-year-old inoperable arguments about very similar circumstances.

The REAL reality is that the XBox360 is IN YOUR OPINION the best product this generation. I doubt you've even played a PS3 game, but I'll allow that you've engaged in due diligence in forming your opinion and that this is your honest opinion. Fine, I'm glad you can make up your mind. But doing so doesn't change the fact that everything about the PS3 launch was predictable by past events, and none of the "acataclysmic failures" this time round are any worse than what happened during the release of BOTH the XBox360 and the PS2. Nothing about the PS3 will doom either Microsoft or Sony. Sorry to break that to you, but at this point I'm certain their will be a next generation of consoles, and that both Sony and Microsoft will be there.

Please, quit hoping the other guy fails and couch your preference as such, with appropriate qualifiers. I personally bought the PS2 because on release day I could still play every PS1 game I owned, and had the patience to wait the 6 months it eventually took for real games of note to come out. The release line-up for the PS3 is much better than last time around; there are actual playable games, and I still have ~100 PS1/2 games I can play while I wait for 6 months while the signature platform titles that brought me to PS come out. That you don't want to do this is fine by me. You are no more or less a person than me, you no more or less deserve to be happy with your purchase than me. That is what MS is up against, not that it really needs to worry that much, and you jumping on the bandwagon to call Sony irrelevant is going to be fun to return to in about 6 months. I like the way the GTA devs put it when they said they are rooting for all three to stay viable yet very near eachother in the market. We the consumers, and the developers as well, are better served when one console is not clearly dominant over the other in all areas. They have a larger composite market and aren't subject to monoculture and monopoly pressures. You should be happy that the PS3 came out at all, if only because it's the revolving wheel of fire that will get you a much better XBox720 or whatever. Or a sweeter Nintendo Uss. Or whatever tickles your pink spot.

Just, please, avoid those moments in which you call for the head of Alfredo Garcia, especially if he's right there in the room with you, m'kay?

there goes Redmond (1)

juan2074 (312848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548322)

This is fargin' war!

Nintendo's US headquarters is less than one mile from Microsoft HQ.

Next thing you know, one of them will lob a bomb over to the other. It will escalate, until it ends with local thermonuclear war. The Overlake area (of Redmond) is going to be one giant crater.

Ahem. (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548442)

The mental image of Gates pegging [wikipedia.org] Nintendo is one I didn't need...

Halo DS was a hoax (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17548482)

Re:Halo DS was a hoax (1)

Mr. Hankey (95668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549044)

Perhaps, but there is an Age of Empires game as well as a MechAssault game on the DS already. Halo may be unlikely, since it's a franchise whose marketing was closely coupled to the Xbox, but who knows what could happen in the future.

Dumb move Bill..dumb... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17548596)

While I think this is double talk by MS, if they truly believe Sony is dead they've driven the knife through their own hearts. Lest we forget the millions who bought PS2s this christmas and the millions of Xbox owners left out in the cold by the 360 launch. Who do you think is going to upgrade to what in the next 2 to 3 years.

The PS3 is not great right now, but look what Sony did to the PSP. It was crap when it launched to, now it is one hot piece of tech.

Like someone said earlier MS is not used to playing with a company with nearly as much loot as them. They think because they've got the leg up Sony will fade away, when it's quite the opposite. Sony knows that this is a marathon not a sprint long as they stay competitive for the first year or two by year 3 they win. Why?

1. The novelty of the Wii will wear off, it already has for me. It's a cool concept but the movements quickly become repetitive and boring. Unless someone is over at my house the Wii collects dust. IMO I'm not the only one who's Wii fever is breaking.

2. Asia. Where are most game developers located? Asia. So as long as the PS3 sells in Asia (which it is) Sony is golden because there will be new games made for it. MS has no such luxury because they don't have a foothold there. There are only so many Gears of Wars and Halos you can make before folks desire something else. RPG anyone?

3. Capacity. Whether BR flops or not capacity is important. Not now, but a year from now two years from now it most certainly will be. To argue that no game will ever need that much space is like someone in the mid 80's claiming the floppy disk was all humans would ever need to store data.

For all MS's smugness MS is making the 360 look a lot like a PS3 lately (HD-DVD, HDMI?, Gates calling it a computer) all things Gates said the 360 wasn't and didn't need to be last year. If MS underestimates Sony they've already lost

Re:Dumb move Bill..dumb... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549152)

The PS3 is not great right now, but look what Sony did to the PSP. It was crap when it launched to, now it is one hot piece of tech.

Meh. The biggest boom in PSP popularity lately is DarkAlex's firmwares. That's not exactly a sign of success.

As always, it's the games (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549042)

Clearly Nintendo has an advantage with its price and controller. But that really doesn't explain the difference in enthusiasm. The one major difference is that Nintendo came out with Zelda. With a few exceptions, the other games launched on Nintendo are not worth the time and are only slightly interesting due to the control scheme. The PS3 launch titles were crap as well with the exception of Resistance: Fall of Man. But let's face it, a great game that has tons of fanboys behind it compared to a great game that does not have a history is not going to move as many consoles. What will be interesting is when the next Final Fantasy comes out. I think that was Sony's big mistake. They should have made FFXII a release title for the PS3. I still think Nintendo would have the edge based on price, but I don't think any PS3s would be sitting on shelves.

Re:As always, it's the games (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549114)

Except Sony cannot decide when the next final fantasy comes out or whatsnot. Zelda is Nintendo's property. Final Fantasy is SquareEnix's. SquareEnix figured the higher ammount of PS2s around, shorter time to market, etc, was a way to make more money out of the game: they were probably (most likely) right, too. I only got FFXII because it was for a console I already had, and it was around.

The hype behind the Wii is a combination of Microsoft being unremarkable (note to the reader: this is not synonym to "crappy". It just means it doesn't stand out, regardless of how good the console actualy is), Sony was overhyped until E3, thus even though they have a decent product, hype works at the elastic principle, the higher they are, the worse the fall, and from Nintendo surprising: We expected so much NOTHING from Nintendo, that what they delivered was amazing in opposition.

All these elements together, and you have a product that sells fast. Plus, the games are actualy quite good. Not many Epics, but a lot of great titles. Too many for the amount of hours I have in a day anyway, if you add all the good DS games that are coming out at the same time, in addition to the final batch of PS2 titles... So its all going good.

no techie, but Bill knows embrace and extend (1)

OutOnARock (935713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549750)


The Wii Remote.

Will be on all the next gen consoles. Why? Nintendo?

More horsepower.

Will be on all the next gen consoles. Why? The nature of the beast.

MS and Sony were racing up the same road. MS glaces over and sees Nintendo beating them both on a different road.

MS will merge the roads (embrace), have the new remote with their better graphics (extend).

Now, what comes after embrace and extend in MS speak???
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