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Did Nintendo Save The PlayStation 3?

sjohnson
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Posted November 5, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

The Console Wars: Rise of the Machines

According to analysts at DFC Intelligence, now is the time for the PlayStation 3 to shine, and the system owes at least part of its spotlight to the Nintendo Wii.

The logical line goes something like this: Around launch time, Sony's strategy was to focus on competing with the 360. It discounted the Wii entirely as Nintendo seemed utterly irrelevant in the console race before the launch of the Wii. When the PS3 launched at its original high price point, with its meager launch slate of disappointing games, bottom-end gamers were out of the picture for Sony. Rather than purchasing an Arcade 360, though, those consumers flocked to the Wii, which kept Microsoft from total market dominance during a particularly bleak period in PlayStation history. 

Now that the PS3 is not appreciably more expensive than the 360 (when you figure in online fees, specifically), and the Wii is seeing its sales implode like a pin-pricked balloon, the PlayStation is poised to be the "It" system.

Here's how DFC put it:

"The main danger Sony faced was that the Xbox 360 would become embedded as the system of choice. Instead consumers flocked to the Nintendo Wii....The Xbox 360 had solid sales, but they have not been enough to give Microsoft anywhere near a breakout market position. In many respects, Sony was saved by the success of the Wii."

If the Wii hadn't launched, and the 360 had grown its install base significantly around this time, there would be increasing imperative for developers to make 360-specific games, and few reasons to make PS3-exclusive titles -- after all, who wants to develop expensive games for the few people who could afford such an expensive machine? Eventually, things could have snowballed to the point that the PS3 would be edged out of the market altogether.

As for the future, I see a flattening out of the console market. I think each system serves a different market, and now that the "extremes" (The Wii's extreme novelty; the PS3's extreme price) of the early days of this console generation have been blunted/countered, and consumers are more aware of which system does what, I think each system is going to find its own part of the market. Perhaps, for this generation, the console war is essentially over and could be called a three-way tie. The real losers this generation are PC gamers.

What do you think?

Source: DFC Intelligence

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Did Nintendo Save The PlayStation 3?
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