Earlier this week, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's CEO, pointed out the perils of maintaining the status quo in console cycles. According to Iwata, the current state of the industry where hardware is replaced by its successor in just four years is a blunder that Nintendo will not commit.
Instead, Iwata argued that new consoles should be replaced when a major shift in entertainment arrives or all avenues for innovation have been exhausted.
While I can see where Iwata is coming from, I think he misses an important point. Sure, new technologies should govern the arrival of new consoles, but what about the business implications of a 10-year console cycle? It may work for Nintendo, which has two successful hardware options on the market and does well with its first-party software, but what about Sony and Microsoft?
Sad as it is, Iwata is dreaming. From the perspective of hardware manufacturers, new console releases mean a jump in revenue and unique opportunities for growth.… Read more
Years ago, back when Nintendo dominated gaming and Sega still owned a slice of the hardware market, the video game industry was a much different place. Instead of discussions on Cell processors and HDMI, we were talking about the latest 16-bit consoles or how to get through the third level on Super Mario Bros. And when we went to the store to buy a console, we didn't waste time because we knew exactly what we wanted. And we knew exactly what we wanted because our choices were clearcut -- do you want the Nintendo console or Sega hardware?
And yet, today we're neck-deep in an environment where it's becoming too confusing to buy a video game console. There are: four Xbox 360 options (five if you count the Halo 3 console), four Playstation 3 consoles, and (luckily) just one Wii.
Now, for those of us who are tech-savvy and know how the world of gaming works, we obviously know what we want before we head to the stores to buy a console. But what about those people that don't read CNET and don't spend their time rummaging through tech news and columns? To them, it's confusing. And if you ask me, it only hurts business.… Read more
As the consuming world still tries to figure out if it likes musical footwear it's probably a good bet that shoes designed to look like game controllers won't be a huge hit anytime soon.
It would be one thing if they worked remotely, kind of like DDR for Gears of War, but we're talking about a shoe--and nothing more--with a sole that's embedded with ersatz buttons resembling those of an Xbox controller. Shiny Shiny says the footwear, made by Heelys as part of its new "Gamer" line, will arrive on the market just in … Read more
With Microsoft's announcement of the Xbox 360 Arcade, the anticipated device looks to be changing how the Xbox targets consumers.
According to a Microsoft representative, the company feels that "the timing is right to really focus and turn the spotlight on our family content and, yeah, we feel great."
Believe it or not, Microsoft has inked a deal with Warner Bros. to bring HD Looney Tunes to the Xbox Live Video Marketplace, and more games designed with children in mind will be coming down the pike with the help of this new console.
While I applaud Microsoft for making the jump to children's games and attempting to attract the all-too-evasive "nontraditional gamer," isn't it playing a game that Nintendo already knows the secret to? And if so, is Microsoft barking up the wrong tree?
It may surprise you, but the answer is simply no. Microsoft is onto something with this new focus and whether or not you are a Nintendo zealot to the end, you need to realize that Microsoft may start attracting the younger crowd more effectively than you think.… Read more
And just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any more different trim lines for the Xbox 360, Microsoft goes and releases the worst kept secret in all of gaming, the Xbox 360 Arcade. While it's essentially just a souped-up version of the Core, the Arcade 360 does come with a few extras that may attract some uninformed buyers. Plus, the $280 price tag is awfully close to the Wii's cost of $250--so in theory, speaking in terms of price, an Xbox 360 Arcade would be the logical alternative to a Wii this holiday season.
So what does it come with? Bundled inside you'll find a wireless controller, unlike the Core's original wired offering, HDMI-out support, a 256MB memory card, and five Xbox Live Arcade games (Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket, and Feeding Frenzy). All this in an effort to get consumers more familiar with Xbox Live Arcade and what it has to offer.
The price is certainly right, but here's why I don't think you should even bother with it.… Read more