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The Console Wars March 19, 2007

Posted by batduck in General.
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posted Mon, 03/19/07

Did the Nintendo Wii already win the console war?  This weekend, Gaz came up to spend sometime with us and the pets before he moves in a few weeks (wow, I can’t believe time has flown so quickly).  He played on both the Wii and the X-Box 360… did he prefer the Wii?  I don’t know he surely loooooved playing Gears of War (pictures of Gaz and Wii antics to be posted later)… so our household is still up for grabs as to whats better, but the PS3 is missing from our lineup, we just can’t justify that particular expense.

I just saw this article on Yahoo that prompted the post:

Nintendo Wii Outsells Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Elizabeth Millard, newsfactor.com
Friday March 16 12:03 pm et 

A research firm has reported that Nintendo sold as many Wii game consoles in February as both of its rivals put together. The NPD Group’s latest report found that Nintendo sold 355,000 units during the month, with Microsoft selling 228,000 of its Xbox 360 units, and Sony coming in third place with just 127,000 of its PlayStation 3 consoles.

But Nintendo is not the overall winner for next-generation consoles at this point; the report stated that Microsoft has sold 5.1 million of its consoles, while both Nintendo and Sony have not yet reached the two-million mark for either of their gaming machines.

It is likely that the trio will continue to duke it out for market dominance in the coming years, adding more games and services to capture larger pieces of the $13 billion U.S. video game market.

Building Buzz

Part of Nintendo’s February success stems from a strong start in the early days of the recent console race, said Forrester Research analyst Paul Jackson.

The company sold a significant number of consoles thanks to the strength of its games, and development houses have been quick to work on new titles for Nintendo since it is less expensive to create games for that platform than for Sony’s PlayStation 3 or Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Jackson noted.

“One of Nintendo’s advantages is that it’s slightly less expensive for development houses because the hardware is less powerful and a bit older,” he said. “Nintendo is not in the arms race for the most advanced, most innovative hardware that is going on between the Xbox and the PS3.”

Another reason that Nintendo has garnered attention, and subsequent consumer dollars, is the company’s unique controller, called the Wiimote, which gets players off the couch and moving to emulate game characters in titles like bowling, tennis, and boxing.

“There’s a very popular blog that chronicles a Wii exercise program,” said Jackson. “It’s a bit of a joke, but the fellow has lost some weight, and it’s building buzz around the product.”

Online Worlds

As consumers continue to decide between big game makers, the large game companies will keep adding services that appeal to broader audiences, noted Jackson.

Sony recently released details of its online meeting place, called PlayStation Home, where users can communicate, play online games, swap content, and outfit their personal digital living spaces.

Microsoft, meanwhile, just announced that it is extending its Live online service to PC users, extending its reach beyond the Xbox 360 and uniting console players with PC gamers for titles like the very popular “Halo 2.”

Gamers can expect to see more efforts along these lines, Jackson said, particularly in tying console gaming to multiplayer, online worlds.

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