The Games Console Battle

So, my Xbox360 broke recently, and now I’m using it as a foot rest, but I digress… This post will be about the recent news of the Nintendo Wii, how it continues to break the mold, and how Sony and Microsoft have a battle to fight.

Nintendo Press images

© Nintendo Press Image

Now, looking at these images, some might struggle to see how it will be used. It looks like the prototype was an Ipad with Wii controllers Sellotaped on the sides. The thing is, this is the beauty of Nintendo. Nintendo have always looked at the current market, laughed, and continued as if everyone else was crazy! We can’t forget that this method has been very successful in the past, with the Wii selling 96 million units over the 67 million Xbox360s, or 63 million PS3s.

The more I think about it, the more respect I have for the new Wii U; it’s doing something different, as Nintendo always had. With this new gen of consoles, we want something new. The hardware is hardly pushed on the current gen as it is. A life can only be judged when it’s done, so why not look back at what Nintendo has achieved?

Looking back, the PS1 was really an awful console! Graphics aside (which were great for the day) the gameplay/fun factor was nowhere close to that of the N64. N64 had native capability for four person gaming, and had a much broader offering of titles (Zelda, Mario Kart, all the childhood games we loved). Sure, you can argue that Sony pushed the boundary with what the PS1 could deliver, but in my mind, the n64 was the console of choice. Keep in mind, that I never actually owned an N64, but any time I went to a friend’s house, it was inevitably the N64 that we played, not a PS1.

Even looking at the handheld market, the Gameboy Advance / Nintendo DS, getting 81m and 152m respectively against the PSPs 71m. That’s a combined 233 vs 71. THREE TIMES the number of psps sold. Nintendo are one of those companies you just don’t see doing very well, until you look at the figures! I’m no market expert, but I’m guessing the asian markets have much influence over those figures, and it is certain that the ©Pokemon franchise resulted in an overwhelming amount of those sales!

I don’t think anyone can deny that Nintendo have a knack at creating good consoles, but what they really have is a solid business plan. If they sold their IP (Mario, Pokemon, Zelda) to the likes of Sony or Microsoft, they could say goodbye to many of their sales. So, instead they keep that close, and force the hand of the consumer. I would wager that anybody who has a Wii right now, also has a different seventh gen console (PS3,Xbox360,Wii) for those “graphically stunning” titles simply because that’s not what the Wii offers.

That was never what Nintendo offered; they were never at the bleeding edge of graphical technology. When I think Nintendo I think ‘fun’, ‘colourful’ and ‘family’. When I think Sony or Xbox I think ‘slick’, ‘realism’ and ‘mature’. Make no mistake, sometimes I want to run around kicking the daylights out of hookers, and for that, I’ve got my Xbox (read: PC) and Grand Theft Auto but for those times I want to enjoy a game and have some fun, I’m more likely to pick up a game of Super Smash Bros. with my friends and whomp on each-other.

It seems to me, that Nintendo are carving a family atmosphere around games, a modern-day monopoly, or RISK. Whereas Playstation and Xbox are targeted at the lone teen playing on the internet with friends, totally immersed in the game.

I will be buying the Wii U, not the Xbox 7000 slim or the PS4slim.

What will you be buying?

UPDATE: Check out these pre-alpha graphics (apparently this is taken from Wii U rendering)

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3 thoughts on “The Games Console Battle

  1. I’m interested in the WiiU; hwoever, I don’t think it will do well overall. The problem with the current Wii is the lack of games–it just doesn’t have the library of PS or even Xbox. So the real verdict on the success of WiiU will be to see the availbility of games for it. Nice post!

    • Yea, I think Nintendo has a huge opportunity here to get some new IP, freshen up the brand, and maybe even dump some of the over-sequeled titles they keep churning out. (e.g. Mario Party 9… I mean, really?)

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