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Nintendo to win in tit-for-tech games war

May 24th, 2006 · No Comments

Wii with discs
Is the only games company with a genuinely fresh next generation vision? By and large, this year’s was just about sequels. There was lots of noise, lots of mixed messages, lots of promises, lots of repetition.
Walking the crowded halls, I saw slick presentations and watched the addicts’ eyes glaze as they lusted for the multi-player realism that would be available later this year. The console boys and girls were in their groove.
But this year, more than any other year, I also saw the suits: TV and movie producers looking for cross-licensing deals; Ad agencies/brand managers looking for product placements; hedge-funders looking for the next big kill. Welcome to a 30 billion Dollar worldwide industry, losing sight of what made it great.
E3 outside
Am I alone in having doubts about where Sony and Microsoft are trying to take this business? Sony has an installed base of more than 100 million PS2 systems and more than 120 million of the original PS. Most are in kids rooms. Microsoft has an installed base of 24 million Xboxes and 3.2 million Xbox 360s. Same location.
Sony promises four million s by the Jan 1 2007. Microsoft says they will have shipped more than 10 million 360s by then.
And the tit for tech approach continues. Sony says it will deliver a powerful system with a player and a world of connectivity for under 700 Dollars. Bill says the Sony price tag is too high. His High-Def answer is to offer an player add-on at “some” cost.
I may be wrong, but I think both companies are missing the point. Sure technoweenies who just have to have the first PS3s will gladly pay 1,000 buck plus for a system off eBay, just as they did for the Xbox.
Both companies want their console at the heart of home entertainment. But at the show, it was Nintendo who had the really revolutionary approach…it was focused on game fun and making a profit. In its latest financials, Nintendo has posted a net income of 92.1 billion Yen.
Nintendo hopes to ship six million Wii consoles by next March, at a price point of under 200 UK pounds (250 USD and Yen).
Increasingly, I think Nintendo’s less bleeding edge approach could be the smart, and profitable, path. Nintendo only has 20 percent of the total market but while the titans exchange punches, Wii could gather up millions of profitable new customers.
People who just want to have fun (pictured below!). People who aren’t intent on spending 10 plus hours a week in the virtual world. The rest of us. By Andy Marken

wii gamers

Tags: Trade · Video games

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