Editorial: Figure Skating in the Console Wars

The latest batch of financial results from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo make for interesting reading. In this instance, however, the results reveal more clearly than ever just how different the business models and market positioning of the three players are.

What's arguably even more interesting, though, is the manner in which these results have been treated by the mass media - especially the business press. Being asked to commentate on the results for a couple of major news channels has granted readers an intriguing insight into just how the media perceives the current console race - one which it is following more intently than any previous development in this sector.

Despite Microsoft's success with the Xbox 360, the firm's entertainment efforts continue to be a footnote to the overall Microsoft story - with a profitable quarter for the Xbox division, driven by sales of Halo 3, being granted vastly less airtime than other developments such as the firm's investment in Facebook...

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D R Fz4055d ago

I was surprised as to how this did not get posted earlier. Great read indeed.

Gizmo_Logix4055d ago

But I expect this article to right over the heads of most 14 year old xbots. :D

lodossrage4055d ago

I hope ALL fanboys will read this excellent bit of REAL information.

wh0am14055d ago

That's one interesting article.
EVERYONE should read it.
It certinaly puts these NPD sales figures in to some perspective.

Gina-get-u4055d ago

The analysis is still incomplete. The author is sharp enough to appreciate that the three companies have different business models, and that each company's definition of success is relative to what it is trying to achieve. But the author fails to examine how successful each company has been in light of its goals. There is a reason the profitability of the xbox division is just a footnote in Microsoft's overall financial picture: Microsoft is not in the gaming business to make a quick buck, but is doing it as a long term investment to expand the range of its software services beyond just business applications into the entertainment and leisure sector. Nintendo and Sony, on the other hand, are in the buisness to make money and need their gaming divisions to remain profitable.That is why these two are a little easier to compare head-to-head. However, Sony may be going beyond gaming a little bit by using the PS3 to establish the Blu-ray format, so comparing it to Nintendo isn't exactly apples to apples anymore.

The point is, as the author said, if you want to determine how successful a console is, don't just look at the financial data. But the author fails to identify the additional factors you have to look at to determine how successful a console is. For example, has the 360 allowed Micorsoft to establish a firm presence in the entertainment sector, and has the PS3 allowed Sony to promote the mass adoption of Blu-ray.