Friday, August 05, 2005

Hiding in the shadows

Right now in the gaming world, the main event is Sony Vs. Microsoft. The Xbox 360 will support Toshiba's HD-DVD format, eventually. The Playstation 3 will use Sony's Blu-Ray technology. Which ever High Definition (HD) technology gets adopted by the masses could make or break Microsoft's or Sony's next gen console initiative. And they are both spending millions and millions trying to get an edge above one another.

And then there is Nintendo, hiding in the shadows, watching the two titans waste their hit points (and money) fighting each other. When one falls, Nintendo could potentially deliver the fatal blow, with the Revolution. The Revolution will be a low cost unit, with a huge classic game library and a secret new game controller. They're taking a risk by not supporting HD. A calculated risk, as HD won't be widely adopted until the near end of the next gen life cycle. And they aren't betting the farm, unlike their competitors.

My guess is, if someone is going to fall this next round, it will be either Sony or Microsoft. imho.


Blogger FuzzyDave said...

I concede that you're more knowledgable about this than I am, but I'm gonna play Devil's Advocate here.

I'm not sure if HD is really gonna be the deal-breaker -- at least I don't think gaming consoles are going to be the deciding factor on which format (sony or toshiba) will become the standard.

As far as HD goes, I think Sony's Blu-Ray will come out as the standard. Sony invented DVD technology and that should carry some weight.

What Sony has in its favor over Toshiba is that Sony owns a movie studio and can choose to release the entire studio catalog on Blu-Ray HD ahead of the other studios, thus creating a de facto standard that other studios will follow. They're already paying a royalty to Sony for DVD licensing, so the switch would be easier than renegotiating a brand new deal with Toshiba.

As far as the Console Wars go, I also think Sony has an advantage over Microsoft, mostly due to the PSP which is quickly emerging as a great portable multimedia player.

(I honestly believe the PSP will eventually bury the iPod as the pocket gadget of choice.)

I don't know the specs of the PS3, but if it has the ability to interface with the PSP, then we will definitely see a huge drop in XBox users.

Just my two bits.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous clu said...

I certainly agree with much you have to say. I do think Sony has the upper hand this next gen, for many of the same reasons.

But... And keep in mind both Microsoft and Sony are pushing Media centers, not pure video game consoles...

If for some reason HD-DVD won over Blu-Ray, let's consider where Sony would be. They would have locked them self into a format, that costs naturally more to produce than HD-DVD, for the next 6-8 years. Blu-Ray movie players/drives would never be mass produved enough to bring down the manufacturing costs. They would either have to continue charging more for the PS3, or eat it big time on each console sold. Sony would also lose out a bunch of money by not licensing Blu-Ray technology to other manufacturers.

I think the same is true for Microsoft, but to a lesser extent. As Toshiba owns HD-DVD. But Microsoft is already doing something incredibly stoopid. They are releasing the first gen 360s with standard DVD players, and plan to upgrade them to HD-DVD later.

As for the PSP... So far, it's only winning in America. The DS has been out selling in Japan for many months, now. And the PSP hasn't even been released in Europe.

The E3 coverage I watched this year all said the same thing, there was nothing on the horizon for the PSP. Nintendo is launching their free online service in America in a few months. Along with some potential killer apps. Like Mario Kart DS online, and Nintendogs.

And then there is size to consider. MP3 players are becoming smaller, easier to fit in a pocket. The PSP is locked into that size for many years.

Portable video players will never be as popular as music players, because you can't watch teevee and ride a bike at the same time.

But it the end, what do I know, I'm just a fanboy seeing it from my donkey kong tinted glasses. But I do appreciate your input, as I think you could as easily be right as me.

4:51 PM  

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