Bad hardware sales are a result of bad software sales because the games
are uninteresting. Upgradable hardware is about shifting focus from SW
sales to HW sales, so you could keep selling more hardware for
diminishing amount of gamers.
As the industry keeps crashing, Sony is shifting it’s focus for
Playstation to match it’s other electronics ventures, such as DVD
players – whereas game studios adopt the music and movies model, making
content on all the platforms available, it’s also what Hirai hinted
while he was the head of SCE. This is where you should keep in mind that
the Playstation was Kutaragi’s child, and now Kutaragi removed, Sony has
no incentive for one of it’s divisions going against what the rest of
the company does.
Microsoft started making consoles because of the threat Sony (Kutaragi)
poses for MS, and now that Sony doesn’t pursue disrupting Windows
anymore (you could say Xbox was successful co-opting), MS does not need
to make consoles. And also the threat that was Sony a decade ago, is now
Google with it’s Android. It’s much easier for MS to fight the likes of
Sony and Apple because MS has much more room to maneuver, whereas Google
has as much room, but it moves faster.
So, yeah, the only interesting thing happening is what Nintendo does.
This is like the turn of the 90’s when the game centric computers
disappeared. All we’d need is another “Megadrive” to compete “Snes” to
have things back running again.
Anyway, the tech industry atm is Apple following Sony, Sony following
Google and Google following Apple. And then there’s Microsoft trying to
keep up with them.
This is a good email as you are pointing out that the business strategy is what is creating this move, not technology. Business strategy is the hand, technology is the puppet, though many people think they are the other way around! Microsoft didn’t make a game console because “Oh gosh, darn, the technology has arrived!” They did it because they needed to prevent Sony from taking game developers off of the PC and using Sony’s software architecture. Xbox is, and has been, always a defensive strategy. With Xbox 360, remember how that was going to do HD-DVD and everything else the PlayStation 3 was in regards of ‘taking over the living room’?
You make a great point that with Kutaragi gone, the vision of the ‘PlayStation’ is also gone. It was Kutaragi who said Sony’s big opponent was Microsoft. So what we may be witnessing is the death of the PlayStation. Not the brand. The brand will still be around. But what a PlayStation is.
Microsoft certainly doesn’t see any threat from Sony anymore which could explain why they are de-consolizing the Xbox. I do agree that Apple and Google (or is it Alphabet now?) are considered Sony and Microsoft’s bigger threats.
So this leaves us with Nintendo. What will Nintendo do? They will make more interesting game systems. Microsoft and Sony systems will become more and more indistinguishable with PCs. Nintendo would ultimately own the console market.
BTW, the Xbox being a defensive strategy against Sony is also revealed in that Microsoft never created a handheld game console. Why should they? Sony was no threat to Microsoft in that space. Nintendo’s Gameboys were never a threat to Microsoft.
When looking for the Next Generation of consoles, I find looking at Microsoft and Sony to be a waste of time. Both do nothing but put in PC gaming technology. It is really about what the arcades or Sega or Nintendo is doing. Since we no longer have arcades or Sega, it is all about what Nintendo does.
Hopefully Nintendo does something and not lame like Consoles-For-Otakus-With-Only -Fire-Emblem-Themed-Games.