It’s been interesting to watch as Microsoft and Sony simply decided to copy Nintendo’s philosophy and execution of a ten-year console cycle, rather than come up with an entirely new strategy. Nintendo was slightly more sophisticated in execution, as they gave their technology an initial release as “GameCube,” then a secondary release of basically the same hardware with the addition of of a groundbreaking controller interface, as Wii, giving an effective 10-year life to the technology. In the current economic environment, it is probably best not to try to push another round of console hardware down user’s throats (especially at the price points they want to remain at), so, in this way MS and Sony are adapting the model, but it’s no great stretch. Microsoft’s Natal or Sony’s unnamed PS3 technology will probably form the Wii part of their respective cycles. Back in 2006, Sony was saying that PS3 would have a 10-year lifecycle, and at E3 this year Microsoft was saying the same thing of 360.
Tag Archives: Videogames
Kotaku, which is usually a sensible and practical bunch of folks, has fallen into a germaphobe mindset in which they proclaim it a scandal that GameStop allows employees to take new games home and return them as new. InsideTech weighs in with the concern that employees may steal single-use activation codes that will hobble the customer’s enjoyment of gameplay. -Well, since many games are already cracked open in order to place cases on the floor, I hardly think the latter matters.
Since folks continue to ask questions about OnLive, I thought I’d follow up a bit on my earlier post, and include the information I gathered from discussions with OnLive at their GDC booth.
I liked the guys I spoke with, and they seemed open and forthright about the product, giving me the feeling that OpenLive isn’t bunk so much as the product of good technical people creating something moderately useful. But that product has, for strategic purposes, been positioned by their marketing and biz dev folks as something it truly is not; competitive with existing products or in any significant way market changing.
I posted last week about the apparent entry of several retailers into the business of buying-in and selling used videogames, and someone very insightful in this area mentioned that it would be interesting to see whether someone trading in games at Amazon would put their credit back into new game purchases. He’s right, because this could be pivotal to next steps, if these retailers are successful. -GameStop’s argument is that buying-in pre-owned product is part of a healthy cycle driving new games sales, and generalist retailers getting involved in the model does sort of dilute that benefit.
I remain a big fan of EA. They have a lot of smart and forward-looking people, but it’s hard to stay as flexible as this industry demands with that large a company, and that has been an ongoing challenge for them. They recently announced Q3 results showing unfortunate results, apparently as a result of three elements: