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  1. #1
    Let There Be Rock vashivihan's Avatar
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    The Big Issue: Has the Wii already won?

    Last week THQ boss Brian Farrell has said he believes that although currently leading the race, the Wii is by no means this generation's winner. We know that the Wii has had a price advantage since its release, with Microsoft and Sony competing at a higher end of the video game market, but will price cuts over the coming years be enough to turn the tide?

    For a while it seemed that nothing could stop the Wii wiping the floor with the competition. For over a year the console was almost impossible to buy on a whim and bundles (a standard way for retailers to sweeten the deal when buying a new console) weren't offering better value for money - they basically forced you to buy games you didn't want. But things appear to be changing, not nearly enough to suggest sales are struggling, but there is movement. For the first time you can buy a Wii without having pre-ordered and value bundles are appearing.


    Metal Gear Solid 4 will be huge, but where are the other popular PS2 franchises for PS3?Predicting sales of the Wii is hard. Assuming Nintendo doesn't drop the price (at the moment it appears to have no reason to do so) then are there still a huge number of people out there that want a Wii but haven't bought one, and are willing to pay 180? Wii Fit is sure to spike some interest, but are newcomers to the console going to lay out 250 for just that or will the majority of sales come from existing owners wanting something else to play that isn't Wii Sports or Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games? Wii Fit is sure to be marketed as an alternative to expensive home gym equipment, but Nintendo might just need a few more titles up its sleeve in Q3 and Q4 in order maintain its strong sales.

    There are over 100 million PlayStation 2 gamers, and it's this audience that Microsoft and Sony needs to convince to make the jump to their consoles - before they're caught by the unpredicted hysteria surrounding the Wii. Sony surely has an easier job on its hands. For reasons that aren't exactly clear, the PS3 has seen a bit of resurgence in recent months in the minds of gamers. You only have to read one of the large gaming forums to see that people have swung from being pretty bitter about Sony's latest console to feeling it's ready to storm ahead.

    The PlayStation 3 has lived on the promise of AAA games coming down the line ever since launch, but maybe now those games are getting closer. Although most would agree that no console could match the Xbox 360's line-up during the second half of 2007, many believe that 2008 will be the year of the PlayStation 3. The titles that will drive this success aren't so obvious though. The most clear-cut is undoubtedly the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4. June will mark the series' debut on the PS3 and it will without doubt be one of the biggest third-party exclusives to hit any of the consoles this year.

    Looking at the rest of the line-up and you'd assume plenty of established PS2 franchises would finally be appearing on the console, but the current schedule doesn't suggest that. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue carries with it a huge number of fans on the PS2, but Resistance 2, MotorStorm 2, LittleBigPlanet and Killzone 2 don't. Killzone 2 doesn't even have a solid original game to build on, with current hype being more about visuals than any real signs that the game will be able to compete with the big boys. But we're yet to consider the impact Grand Theft Auto IV will have on sales.


    GTA 4 plus a 360 price cut could equal big business for MSIf there's one game that will drive sales of next-gen consoles this year it's GTA 4. GTA is a series that transcends video games more than any other. Halo is big, but GTA is played by everyone - assuming they're over 18 years old. The question is whether GTA 4 will have a greater positive effect on sales of the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360.

    Microsoft's Xbox 360 stands as the console most likely to go either way on the sales front. With a lack of new exclusive games in Q3 and Q4 the console could fall behind the competition in monthly sales. While the exclusive line-up this year is looking good already it doesn't include many games that are likely to shift consoles to gamers sitting on the fence. With this week's price cut, made prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto 4, things could be very different. Microsoft needs to make it clear to everyone that the Xbox 360 game is the version to buy. It's widely thought that GTA 4 will sell a lot of PlayStation 3s for Sony, but Microsoft needs to steal a portion of that audience. If the game is marketed primarily as an Xbox 360 title, console sales in May will make for some very interesting reading.

    Even two years into this latest console war it's still too early to say there's a clear winner. The Wii is undoubtedly leading the pack at the moment, with the console generating more hype than anyone could have imagined when everyone was laughing at the new name. The PS3 seems certain to have a strong year, but with a much lower price and what currently stands as a stronger exclusive line-up, the Xbox 360 isn't out of the picture. In terms of software sales the Xbox 360 should still lead the way for the considerable future, with the war against the Wii in terms of console sales perhaps not being quite as important as it's made out to be.

    Do you think the Wii has won the console war or is it still too early to call? Do console sales matter more than software sales? Let us know in the comments section below.
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  2. #2
    Got lifeboat? sremick's Avatar
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    Won what? The different consoles are for different markets.

    There is a war between the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The Wii is in a different class. It's like saying, "Who has won the transportation war? Hummers, pick-up trucks, or bicycles?"
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  3. #3
    WiiChat Member bgenius88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sremick
    Won what? The different consoles are for different markets.

    There is a war between the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The Wii is in a different class. It's like saying, "Who has won the transportation war? Hummers, pick-up trucks, or bicycles?"
    Lol..yea you def got a point. Wii is doing its own thing. Only thing you can compare when it comes down to nintendo and sony is their portables..ds vs. psp


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  4. #4
    WiiChat Member illmasaki's Avatar
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    hopefully bicycles will win.

  5. #5
    WiiChat Member hal2814's Avatar
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    Bicycle?! You shut your mouth. Hoyle is obviously the winner! That dude on the Bicycle cards looks like he's riding a corn cob. Look at the resolution on the Hoyle cards. Bicycle looks like crap in comparison. We were talking about playing cards, right? Hoyle makes so much better playing cards than either Bicycle or Nintendo. They'll win this generation of cards...

  6. #6
    Got lifeboat? sremick's Avatar
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    Haha, +1 for remembering that Nintendo used to make cards.
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  7. #7
    WiiChat Member gamedango's Avatar
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    Nice article. I still think there is competition. Even tho wii is doing it's own thing. It's still a home video game system like the rest. So which philosophy of each 3 brings in the most sales, which in my mind is the winner. Wii is winning but their lineup is about tapped after Mario Kart comes out. Nothing really big on the horizon after that. I think it will level out in about a year. with xbox, playstation and wii going back and forth for the lead each month.

  8. #8
    Conquistador T3kNi9e's Avatar
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    Okami developers were talking about the war in PSM. They said they wish there was a clear winner like with PS1 and PS2 because they want to develop on the console that is winning. They said they wanted to developer on 360 but it sells horribly in Japan, but overall its doing really good and sells alot of software and crap on XBL. PS3 is selling decently in Japan but still not very good. Wii is selling alot in Japan but overall not by much compared to the 360 and software doesn't sell so good.

    So like Okami, the race is still so very close to call a clear winner. I think it will stay this way. Hell, thats better than having 1 clear winner. It evokes more competition and forces the companies (Sony, MS, Nintendo) to keep making there console better.
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  9. #9
    WiiChat Member hal2814's Avatar
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    To be fair, even if Nintendo is going after a different market there's one place where the Wii is in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft: retail shelf space. The Wii may appeal to all types of players but if you're looking for one in a store, you'll have to go to the video game section where it will be displayed along with all the other video game consoles. Shelf space is a prized possession and retailers don't give it out like candy. Shortages aside, if Nintendo wants to sell the Wii, they're going to have to have retailers willing to stock it and stock it prominently.

  10. #10
    Got lifeboat? sremick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hal2814
    To be fair, even if Nintendo is going after a different market there's one place where the Wii is in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft: retail shelf space. The Wii may appeal to all types of players but if you're looking for one in a store, you'll have to go to the video game section where it will be displayed along with all the other video game consoles. Shelf space is a prized possession and retailers don't give it out like candy.
    But not everything in the video game section of a retail store is competing against each other. Is the PS3 competing against the PSP? I understand what you're trying to say, but it's not totally accurate: there isn't so much "fixed" space as you might suggest. If something is selling, a retailer will make the space... even if means only putting a few out front and having 99% of stock out back in the warehouse.

    if Nintendo wants to sell the Wii, they're going to have to have retailers willing to stock it and stock it prominently.
    That's hardly the problem.
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