Gamasutra has just posted a discussion on the current state of the big three gaming consoles and according to the analysts they asked, Nintendo is doing fantastically well, Microsoft is absorbing third-party support like a sponge strapped to a dolphin and Sony has a long way to go before they’ll be able to compete in the market place.
Hit the jump for specifics, quotes and more analysis than you can shake a rolled up $100 bill at.
It should shock no one that Nintendo’s Wii is doing phenomenally well. GamerMetrics’ Nick Williams seems to think the Wii’s only flaw so far is Nintendo’s inability to acquire third-party support. Shades of the GameCube? According to Mr. Williams “software selection has been adequate, but we continue to be concerned with the lack of must-have third-party titles targeting the mass-market audience”. Obviously it’s impressive that the system is doing so well without third-party games, but more shocking is that the Wii has the lowest attach rate of all the major consoles. With only 2.8 titles sold per console, it seems that even those able to acquire the system aren’t as pleased with the console’s software library as those who own Xbox 360s or PlayStation 3s. Of course, since Nintendo’s console brings in profit on each system sold — unlike its competition — the Big N need not worry much about this, though there will come a time when it won’t be able to sustain its lead based entirely on rehashed Mario and Zelda games.
Michael “I really get paid for this?” Pachter cites the Xbox LIVE arcade as a good deal of Microsoft’s successes so far. Despite MS’ “laser focus on the hardcore gamer, and the price point [that] remains a bit out of reach of the mass market” it remains on many gamers’ wish lists. It seems that both the 360 and the PS3 are proving the idea that there is room for three major consoles in an industry defined by its constant growth, but that the hardcore audience simply doesn’t have the disposable income of your average forty-year-old mother of two.
According to the piece, the PlayStation 3 is bringing up the rear, bolstered only by its potential releases. Mr. Pachter cites Little Big Planet specifically, saying “It looks like a genre-defining game [with] the potential to move consoles. David Cole of DFC Intelligence seems to think that potential is all the PS3 has going for it at the moment adding: “With the PS3, we have said it could be a system that really will not start to catch legs until 2009. However, we have also said that come 2011/2012 we could have a situation where the Wii has sold more overall units, but current software sales are higher for the PS3. I think the competition forced the PS3 to market a little earlier than SCE would have liked.”
Of course, all three of these gentlemen are professionals who get paid to do specifically this kind of prognostication, and I’m sure Gamasutra could have garnered the same information by asking employees of their local Gamestop. Everything stated in the article is mere common sense and while I’m sure Mr. Pachter’s employers hate the idea that they are paying a guy to do the same work they could garner by creating a survey on almost any website, everything written above is public knowledge to most anyone between the ages of 10-30.
That said this news is sure to infuriate the various console fans. If I have learned anything from all my years on the ‘net it’s that there is no orifice too small or large for sexin’. If there are two things though, it’s that there is no room for numbers or reason in any argument regarding gaming. So, does anyone care to disagree with the professional-grade flamebait posted above?