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Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The point of the Playstation Move?

Console Generation wars are tricky things. Not only does a company need to field a good console, but the timing and pricing is crucial for a company to succeed. Consoles represent a fairly large investment for families or gamers who buy them. Their price tag isn't cheap, ranging from around $200 to $500 new, so it is important for families and most gamers to buy a system they know they are going to get a lot of use out of, and most families will only commit to buying one console every several years, which creates huge competition between companies trying to field a gaming console. Of course, the possible returns are great. The gaming industry is growing at an alarming rate, in a time where other entertainment industries like the film industry and music industry are plummeting. In this generation of gaming, there are three main consoles on the market, all of which have benefits and drawbacks. They include Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's XBox 360, and Sony's Playstation 3. Systems usually succeed by taking advantage of timing, uniqueness, and pricing.

Microsoft's Xbox 360
Timing is very important for gaming consoles. Consoles that hit the market first have a huge advantage for two reasons. The first reason is once a family or gamer buys a console, they are unlikely to buy another for several years - which means they are unlikely to buy any other console in the generation. The other advantage is the earlier your system launches, the more games you will have available when other consoles launch. Which means your console, provided it doesn't completely suck, will still get the majority of sales because customers will realize that there are more games and more players to compete against (for online play and with friends) available to the early bird system. The Xbox 360 won this war, launching about a year before both the Wii and the Playstation 3. This allowed the Xbox 360 to build quite a fanbase before either other console even had a chance.

Nintendo's Wii
The Wii was able to succeed because it found a different niche than the other two - the Wii's motion-sensing controller, the Wii Remote, was revolutionary for the time. For that reason, it attracted customers that weren't usually gamers and even convinced some people to buy it despite already investing in the Xbox 360. It succeeded because it was able to distinguish itself apart from its two competitors - the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Unlike those two, it was not a "conventional" gaming console. They targeted families more than gamers, but it served them well.

Sony's Playstation 3
Of course with the Xbox 360 winning the launch time competition and the Wii being completely revolutionary, you would expect the Playstation 3 to try to take advantage of a low price that would attract families and gamers who wanted a cheaper gaming console. Unfortunately for them, they did not do this. They loaded the Playstation 3 with pointless functionality like the ability to play Blu-ray DVDs (which no one cares about in a gaming console) and top-end graphics which would lead to an outrageous $499 launch pricetag. Compare that to the Wii's $250 launch pricetag and the 360's $399 launch pricetag, and you begin to see the problem. Especially when you consider a lot of customers already spent money or was committed to spending money on the Xbox 360 or Wii, the Playstation 3's launch was met with disappointing sales for Sony. This isn't to say that the Playstation 3 was a bad system - in fact it destroys the Xbox 360 in that regard in pretty much every measuring system conceivable. But Sony managed it horribly and for that reason, the Playstation 3 was doomed to fail.

As of now, the Wii blows other console sales out of the water, with a projected 73.97 million sold. Next comes the first dedicated gaming system, the Xbox 360 with 41.7 million units sold. Last, predictably is the Playstation 3 with 38.1 million units sold. At this point, Sony realizes they cannot succeed against the Xbox 360 since they cannot compete in both pricing and games available. So they decide to try to steal the Wii's thunder ... by introducing the Playstation Move controller.

Apparently Sony never learns.

To most people, the Playstation Move looks like a Wii-clone.
While the Playstation Move controller does completely outclass the Wii Remote in motion-sensing and functionality, the design of the controller and the general customer consensus still views it to be nothing but a Wii clone. They have still failed to display they understand what goes into the success of a console. They at least understand based upon their current ad campaign that the motion-sensing controller is mainly a lure for families, not dedicated gamers. However, they fail to realize that families are less likely than dedicated gamers to buy multiple systems. And most families who were willing to try out motion sensing have already bought the Wii! And even for families that haven't bought a Wii yet, the children in those families want the popular Wii, which all their friends have, and the parents are happy to buy them the system with the still-lower pricetag. Further, why buy a Playstation 3 for the sole purpose of the Playstation Move controller when there exists only 56 titles that support the controller, compared to the Wii's over 1100 (and generally more child-friendly) titles? The only people who will benefit from the Playstation Move controller is those who already own the system... which is for the most part dedicated gamers who probably own a Playstation 3 because they like a more traditional console instead of the Wii (or own both the PS3 and a Wii). So remind me, who is going to buy the Playstation Move?

Obviously, this is a desperation move by Sony, trying to save a failed system. Sorry but, they may just want to count their losses at this point and focus on the Playstation 4.


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