Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Console Gaming Meta

Video games have been around for as long as I can remember. The first system I ever played on was a Sega. It was a simple time back then, graphics were not anything spectacular and the game play was not mind blowing. However, times have changed and technology have advance which has made the gaming world more and more competitive. In today's’ world, the big three rule the console gaming are Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony. Each of these companies had their own unique strategy when it comes to customer attraction. Nintendo focuses on easy, fun, and cartoonish games that kids of all ages would enjoy. While Microsoft and Sony focused on thrilling, violent, and real-time strategy games geared more towards teens.

The real-battle of these companies started after the release of the 7th generation console of Microsoft’s X-box 360. The release of the 360 was considered a breakthrough in gaming with its 1080i HD graphics, it was unprecedented for its time. However, the 10 minutes of fame was cut short after Sony’s release of the PlayStation 3 (PS3). The PS3 offered Blu-ray which was the ultimate graphic even in by today's standards. This help promote the PS3 to compete with the X-box. However, both of the consoles were expensive which made people ponder on which to invest. This is when Nintendo step in with their console the Wii. The Wii was a breakthrough in its own sense. The console’s main selling point was that games would be played through motion control. Even though the graphics were not as good as the other 2, the Wii offered a whole new innovative way to play video games. Nintendo’s move was genius because it brought out their brand to a whole new level.

From the chart above, you can see how much Nintendo beats out the other two in terms of sales. Their strategy to sell something innovative and cheap relative to the other competitors put then over the top in this generations battle. However, in the 8th generation there is a whole new meta-game.

In this current generation, the console you buy will most likely be determined by what titles of games you want to play. Console gaming technology have probably reached a local maximum right now and will continue to stay steady for a while.

In the graph above, you can see that Nintendo has been lacking in sales in their next gen console because they lack variation in their game choices. Meanwhile, Sony and Microsoft are performing significantly better because of how much variation they offer in terms of games. Sony and Microsoft are constantly battling for exclusive right to hot sellers in order to indirectly persuade people to switch to their consoles. With more and more game developers trying to create the next big hit, it’s important for these companies to ensure their place in the market by buying the exclusive rights to these future best sellers before the other one snatches it. This also acts like a barrier to entry to the market if all the hot titles are exclusive, then it’ll be really hard for start-ups to come in. I am interested to see what type of consoles generation 9 will bring and how this will affect the change in strategy for the big three.

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