TheONbutton Durham Computer Services

Remote IT Support and Computer & Technology Help in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh NC

Are Wii seeing the demise of the Playstation?

Click here for CES Gaming news including PSP Skype & GPS and PS3 MGS4

Last year a struggling console company announced a new product with a silly name. Being third in a three horse race, this looked like the beginning of the end for Nintendo. Meanwhile the PS3 marketing machine thundered on, with Sony’s new release opening to record crowds. Wii’s release by comparison was surrounded by less media hype, but of course the world was expecting less from the product.

What a difference a few months makes…

With PS3s in stock almost anywhere, Wiis are pretty hard to come by. There is still a line outside Nintendo’s Rockerfeller Center store every morning – I know, I was recently in that line for 2 hours – of people hoping to get a unit. Meanwhile US sales figures show Wii has outsold PS3 by over 2 to 1 this year. Adding to the pressure on Sony, Microsoft has now hinted that it is considering a lower preferred price point for consoles.

Read the February 2008 update & analysis on console sales here.

So where does this leave the Playstation dynasty? Overpriced and losing customers I expect. Three of my work colleagues who had Playstations now have a Wii. I had a PS1, a PS2 and I’ve got a PSP, but now I have a Wii and I don’t plan to buy a PS3. I just don’t see the need. I’ve experienced Wii gameplay.

What a mega risk Nintendo took and how amazingly it has paid off. Playing tennis for ‘real’ in my living room, I have no desire to return to old style controllers. I can play the Wii for 5 minutes or 5 hours and I’ll always come away with a big smile, plenty of exercise and probably a broken vase.

Sony’s model is based upon selling a critical mass of units to recoup R&D costs in game, Bluray DVD and accessory sales. However with the current Wii-driven dynamic in the market, will it achieve the sales volume it needs? PS3’s high retail cost is surely due to the colossal development effort which went into both the console and Bluray. So what happens if sales continue like they are and Bluray fails? Will there be a PS4…?

Then there’s the Microsoft element. Remember the Xbox 360 came out way before the PS3 and won more than a few 3rd gen sales at the expense of Sony’s delays. With Microsoft talking about a lower price point, where does this leave Sony?

Maybe I’m being over-pessimistic for Sony but if the current stock market turmoil does turn the world towards recession, then I’m not sure how many $499 consoles will really sell when the market leader costs only $250. More likely, I reckon Sony will follow Nintendo’s wave-it-in-the-air-fun-factor and be forced into margin-sapping price cuts. This will in turn have a negative effect on both the R&D budget for PS4 and it’s release date as PS3 will need to be in stores for longer to return a profit.

Maybe if the price drops to a reasonable level I’ll complete my Playstation collection. In the meanwhile though I’ll happily carry on with my Wii; breaking into smiles, sweats and of course breaking vases.

Read the February 2008 update & analysis on console sales here.

See photos and read CES news about: Laptops & UMPCs, Home Entertainment, Media Players, Cellphones, Gaming and Trick Technologies.

To read all the CES 2008 articles, click here.

Click here to read about the Wii Zapper

Click here to read about how the British are dealing with Wii stock shortages

Neil Berman

Aug 6, 2007 Posted by | Microsoft | , , , , | 13 Comments

Nokia 770 Review: Use one tablet daily to help surfing addiction

Unpacking my $129 Nokia 770 last week I wondered if this tablet would cure my need for full-size surfing in a pint-sized package. Out of the box and pint-sized turns out to be an overstatement. Weighing in at super featherweight with a flush-fitting hard case, the 770 is slim and slick. The antenna is strong and the full-page widescreen surfing with finger dragging puts the iPhone’s 2-years-later tech to shame.

So why did this Linux-powered tablet never reach stardom? Perhaps because it is a mobile connectivity device without its own mobile connection. The 770 and its latest and greatest sibling, the 800 are dependent mobile devices. If you’re near a hotspot or your cellphone has Bluetooth DUN you’re fine, otherwise you have a paperweight. Why does this matter? Because for the street price of the 800 you can get a Vista powered laptop with the same wifi connectivity and bags more functionality.

So the concept sits in a similar quandry as the UMPCs: They’re too flawed to be principal purchases and they’re too expensive to be successful discretionary purchases at their relative functionality/price points.

But at $129 including shipping for the 770, well that’s a different proposition. The surfing experience is great, you can view full pages really easily and the battery goes for ages.

A cure for addiction? Almost. Something to replace those old magazines on your coffee table? Definitely.

Click here to read the Nokia N810 review

Neil Berman
(Published from my Nokia 770)

Aug 4, 2007 Posted by | Mobile | , , , , | Leave a comment


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