Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 11, 2014

Email: Last gen Console Tail

So, is the last-gen console tail shrinking because of the economy shrinking, or is it shrinking because anyone who wants a Wii already has one (I know a lot of gamers who gave theirs away once they got tired of it), and the 360 and PS3 haven’t price-dropped at all?

PS3 is a 7 or 8 year old console that’s still $250. PS2 cut their price from $299 to $199 in its second year. Artificially inflating the value with larger hard-drives and free games (or free download codes) still doesn’t change the price-range. Especially when people would rather be spending their hundreds on a new iPhone. Something’s gotta give here

No focus on gamer expansion = total mercy to macro-economics. For Generations 4-6, everyone said how gaming was expanding when it wasn’t. It was riding the boom of the economies. Now that the macro-economics is going the other way, they are contracting.

Nintendo defined this because Japan has been in economic trouble far longer than the West. Nintendo succeeded with the DS and Wii. Gamer expansion became ‘healthy’ numbers in bad economies, it became INSANE numbers in healthy economies.

Based on this, I expect PS4 numbers to come down to earth. Cannibalization can only go so far. Note you have the Game Industry and analysts quiet about PS4 numbers instead of doing cartwheels like the Sony fanboys. They know the economy sucks.

I’m a recent owner of an iPhone so I’ve been getting my head around it all. If something can be used in a bar and look cool, it will be huge (hence PONG or Donkey Kong). Wii Sports could be played at bars. It was cool enough. These smartphones are all over for these ‘cool’ bar hoppers. Smartphone deals a ton with social media. Social media = female media. Who else is really that interested in stupid facebook and texting all the time?

360 and PS3 non-price drops reflect that MS and Sony are only interested in keeping them profitable at this point. PS2 could be price dropped because it was profitable to do so. I think it is illustrative of the bad economy (have you seen food items getting smaller but the price remaining the same?) and it indicates how ridiculous the PS3 and Xbox 360 overshot the mass audience.

If you look at all the generations, you see the consoles keeping pace with each other up to the seventh generation. MS and Sony decided to ‘leap ahead’ a generation to make Gen 8 consoles for Gen 7. This is why the PS3 and 360 costed so damn much. Why did they do it? For the ‘omg HD graphics’ which both MS and Sony had a ‘living room war’. Sony was heavily invested in Blu-Ray, MS in HD-DVD. The hardware costs blew up the budgets. Nintendo wasn’t the odd man out, they were the only sane ones.

With Gen 8, we see Sony putting out the decent console (which is still spectacularly below PC gaming as it should be). Xbox One and Wii U have a sizable cost of the console cost to be not for the console. It is for the controller. People aren’t going to pay so much money for a gimped console with a funky controller. “But they did it with the Wii.” No, they didn’t. Wii Mote didn’t cost hundreds of dollars. Wii wasn’t 599 US dollars or had the Red Ring of Death. Wii was the only decent console then that was interested in doing the job of a games console.

In Gen 8, PS4 is the only console interested in being a games console. Xbox One is more interested in showcasing The Price is Right and other bullshit media. While Nintendo mouths the words, “It is all about the games,” the games seem uninspired like EA Sports iterations while their passion is more to GamePad doing TViiiiii or 3DS with the ‘omg 3d’ having 3d movies and using cameras to play games based on cards. Gamers don’t care about that shit. And non-gamers don’t care about it because they see the game machine as something to play games.


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