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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
http://www.neilberman.com/

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Aug 6, 2007 - Posted by | Microsoft | , , , ,

13 Comments »

  1. the ps3 is gonna rock the socks out of 360 and wii. oh, by the way, you know what wii stands for? it’s short for wimpy.

    Comment by Anonymous | Jan 2, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi d.j.

    You submitted an interesting comment about the Wii and PS3/360not competing in the same market. Unfortunately I was not able to publish it due to some abusive language in the content.

    Please can you resubmit it without the abusive content so I can publish it for discussion?

    Thanks, Neil Berman

    Comment by Neil Berman | Jan 6, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi Heil. I was very concerned at the Ps3’s position in this “race”, however, the new 40Gb strategy and a plethora of games have restored the PS3’s honour. I really feel the machine is on a path to greatness as it is evolving all the time.

    Comment by Deszn | Jan 16, 2008 | Reply

  4. Even though the PS3 has a new 40 Gig hard drive, Sony took out backwards compatibility to lower costs. I don’t think it will sell well.

    Comment by phillip | Jan 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. Unfortunately, the comparison of Wii vs. PS3 is unfair, for both consoles. I think Wii provides less than PS3, with the latter being additionally a powerful media center (Awarded by EISA, http://www.eisa-awards.eu/2008/node/738 ), a b-ray player and an upgradeable computer (linux, Ubuntu, YDL). The purpose that each machine serves is different and the price of PS3 (considering all its capabilities) is fair enough.

    Comment by Konstantinos | Jan 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. The wii is a games console thats it. It does not pretend to be a media playback device (although you can view your photo’s on it). Personally I dislike the 1 box does all attitude I like 1 box to do one thing, I have seperate DVD player, Digital TV Box, Games Console, that way if one goes down I don’t lose the lot. PS3 is a media box, but as a ‘next gen’ games console it adds nothing new apart from shiny new graphics. For me ‘Next Gen’ is the Wii, A control system anyone can use.

    Comment by Anonymous | Feb 22, 2008 | Reply

  7. 499$ is too expensive? haha you make me laugh I would buy 2 if it would’ve only costed 499$ here in europe but the thing is when I bought it the machine costed 600€ which is rougly 8 to 900$…

    and tbh the ps3 was worth it. I do have a wii too though only it is gathering dust due to lack of interesting games.

    Comment by Anonymous | Feb 23, 2008 | Reply

  8. The Wii is in a separate market all-together from PS3 and 360. It has mass appeal to people who aren’t even gamers, which is why its so hard to get. Obviously, Nintendo was aiming to re-create the general appeal success of the DS, and they pulled it off.

    However, the Wii doesn’t quite pack the punch in the gaming department. Its controls and fun party games will keep gamers interested in awhile, but it lacks the hardware and software that really makes a gaming system. For gamers, the Wii is an accessory console, meaning ideally you’ll want a PS3 and/or 360 to provide for the true gaming experience.

    The PS3 has become a good console. The industry hated it because of the initial $600 price tag, but many who own one are quite satisfied with it. Sony’s biggest competitor is the negative press at this point.

    At this point, the Wii is still a fad gadget. Its success depends on avoiding the fate of fad gadgets and continuing to provide for new and interesting software. Otherwise, once people tire of it, it will start collecting dust.

    Comment by Anonymous | Feb 25, 2008 | Reply

  9. well.. i think that the wii is better bec. it is more affordable and has pireted games and user friendly the ps3 is cool but who would want to buy a not affordable price if you are going to buy an expensive game and what if you want like more than 5 games see how much did you waste so, in my mind the wii is better even a 3 year old baby can play it and even older and it can excersice you to.:)

    Comment by Anonymous | Mar 4, 2008 | Reply

  10. i tried wii and i got bored with it in half hour…wat’s with the swinging motion of the wiimote?it is stupid,sooner or later they will use the wiimote for hentai game coz u can jerk the wiimote

    anyway,the graphic is like gamecube and it will be the limiting factor for the console,honestly the lifespan of tis console is like 2 years…

    when i play wii,2 things come to my mind,tired and bored and i feel like i’m back to the year 2001(hey i tot my time machine worked out for a moment) with all the sucky graphic…

    Comment by Anonymous | Mar 8, 2008 | Reply

  11. The wii is tons of fun, but lacts true games with the awesome graphics of both the 360 and PS3… Call of Duty 4 alone is worth getting a Next Gen Consle…
    Plus the new smash bros is nothing special same graphics same gameplay different characters…
    Sure get a wii for party games and fun with friends, but when it comes down to serious game play go with the PS3 or 360… They blow the wii out of the water.

    Comment by David | Mar 10, 2008 | Reply

  12. Wii is a good system, no doubt. but it only has a few good games. zelda:twilight princess, mario galaxy, metriod prime 3, and super smash brothers brawl. not to mention the up comming mario kart wii…but for the wii to be out for so long and only produce a few good games, i got bored of my wii very quickly. i recently bought a PS3 and i am more then happy with it. i spent countless hours playing Call of Duty 4 online with a few of my friends. Also PS3 has a very good line up of games coming out soon! (metal gear solid 4, GTA IV, R6-vegas2) and the graphics for the PS3 are amazing! i find if i were to compare the two systmes, id definitly pick my ps3 over my wii.

    Comment by Anonymous | Mar 11, 2008 | Reply

  13. Neil, if you think PS3 gonna die, then you dont know you’re talking about. Wii is selling better because of the hype and when everyone gets bored of the same hand waggling games, the hard core gamers will still turn to PS3 games for its graphics and gameplay. My girl friend used to love Wii Sports but now she doesnt play it anymore because it is just plain simple and boring.

    Comment by Anonymous | Mar 14, 2008 | Reply


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