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Congrats Xbox, but don't let it get to your head

This is my very first (EVER) blog post, not much of a writer so forgive me for the grammar & convoluted appearance of this.

I have been gaming for over 20+ years, started with the Atari 2600. Dabbled on the PC, moved on to Nintendo in the mid/late 80s finally becoming a full fledge Playstation fan for the last 17 years. In that time I have noticed an interesting trend. When a console company becomes so popular for many years that success can be a detriment. Often leading to either drastic changes or in some cases ceasing to exist. Every console company has experienced this at one time, so this is a lesson to Microsoft & their fan can happen to you too.

First of all I will start with Atari. In the early 70s to late 70s no other console was as successful as the Atari 2600, that thing sold millions. Unfortunately because of internal power struggles, increase competition from home PCs, & the crash of 83 (look it up) the losses were too much. Eventually over time the console division of Atari ceased operating.

During Atari's troubles Nintendo single handedly saved the US gaming sector with the release of the NES. Nintendo was very popular in their home country but when it reached American shores in the mid 80s the gaming console was alive again. Soon after another company by the name of Sega saw the resurgent market in the US & they too joined in with the Master System. Sega's system was the superior platform but Nintendo was aggresive in its marketing & Sega marketed the Master System with ineffective results. (sound familiar).

Skip ahead to the early 90s, Sega was not to be denied though they released the Genesis around the same time Nintendo put out the SNES. Sure Nintendo had their Mario but Sega introduced Sonic to the masses pitching him as 'cooler' than Mario. The masses bought that & Sega captured the majority of the market share (over 65%) from Nintendo. This however was the last time they achieved that. Sega started releasing over priced add-ons for some reason to moderate but overall poor sales.

Having lost market share to Sega & Sega about to release the CD adapter, Nintendo turned to Sony to counter. We all know the story by now so I will skip over that. All I have to say about that is for the better part of the 80s Nintendo dominated but they were challenged by a rival company & thus resorted to drastic measures. This was the start of Nintendos fall from the top.

Sega fall from their short stint at the top was fast & hard. Sony entered the console sector after 'you know what' & with stellar marketing they began their quick rise to the top while Sega & Nintendo struggled to keep up. The original Playstation easily crushed the the Nintendos N64 & Sega's Saturn. Sega tried once again with the Dreamcast but it was the last console they will ever make.

Sony was at an all time high with the success of the PS1, they continued that momentum with the PS2. Nintendo again resorted to drastic innovation with the Gamecube & Microsoft decided to throw their hat into the ring with the original Xbox. Again Sony easily obliterated the competition taking over 80% of the market share. This in my opinion is where Sony began their series of 'f**k ups'...I will get to this in a sec.

After basically being embarrassed for two generations Nintendo decided that since the 'core' gamer was lost they focused on the more family (everybody) crowd with the Wii. It turned out to be a successful decision though it was not considered to be a next gen machine. In my opinion the Wii was released as a gamble but a gamble that would make up for the failures of the N64 & Gamecube.

With a taste of the console market fresh in their heads & the desire to be a step ahead of Sony's new machine, Microsoft to an extent rushed the release of the XB360. It was no doubt a business decision & you know what it worked. One thing Microsoft does well is they know their fan base very well. Even with all the problems the 360 had they knew their fans will continue to support it. It is the same with Windows...every iteration has problems but cause of aggressive marketing it continues to do very well. We are near the end of this generation of consoles & the the 360 continues to sell, even without a lot of 1st party games the system still leads the market share. They have relied on 3rd party support & since they are the market leader they have the 'right' to dictate how games are made for their system. It is the same way as when the PS2 was leading, Sony had the say in game development.

Anyways back to Sony & their fall. Some due to competition but mainly due to Sony's over confidence after the success of the PS2 which led to poor decisions in creating the PS3, poor marketing (they use to be so good at it with the PS1 & PS2), & over confident management (i am looking at you Ken Kutaragi). In my opinion Sony had the opportunity to lead this gen with the PS3, they had everything in their favor with the success the last 2 gens, but simply putting it "THEY F****D UP!" There is no denying they made some dumb moves this gen that cost them big time. The ball was in their hands & they simply gave it away. Now they have spent the majority of this gen trying to dig their way out of the hole they put themselves in but in the end it may be too late.

So the point I am trying to get across is pretty cliche if you think about it. It happens in sports, schools, business...when you are the top dog for a very long time EVERYBODY is gunning for your position. What you do to stay at the top can either keep you there or make you come crashing down fast.

I am a Sony fan boy to an extent so it pains me to say but 'Congratulations to Microsoft & their fan base' you made it to the top this gen but remember next gen you guys can easily be where Atari, Sega, Nintendo, & Sony is at one time.

Hitting Rock Bottom.

*Sorry for the long post but I felt it was necessary to get this point across. Being a Sony fan is hard this gen I have to admit but I hope this will at least keep people thinking about what they say...Like the old saying goes "What goes around, comes around."

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Chaostar2174d ago

Yeah, Sony made some mistakes at the beginning of this gen, although a lot of them were out of their hands such as manufacturing delays from makers of out-sourced components.

However where hardware is concerned Microsoft has made their fair share of mistakes too but had the luxury of an early start to fall back on. Take the original Xbox, excellent build quality, HHD as standard, reliable. The 360 is a definite step backwards in all those respects but it's because of this corner cutting that MS were able to get the early launch lead that was so necessary to their success.

Microsoft have bought, marketed and maneuvered their way into yet another market, which has brought many competitive advantages but also led to DLC culture and online fees. The question is, are MS like a dog chasing a car (thanks joker) or do they actually know what to do with success they've managed to acquire. Their recent focus is worrying to the core gamer but 3rd parties will continue to support the 360 because of the sales, however what will happen when new hardware comes round?

Anything can happen and you have to ask yourself the question, will MS have the same success if Sony don't repeat their mistakes/misfortunes and both companies launch next-gen consoles within 6 months of each other?

izumo_lee2173d ago

Thanks for commenting Chaostar.

To me Microsoft is doing what Sony did the last 2 gens. Even with the arguably weaker hardware they are able to have greater sales than the PS3. Why is that? Marketing. Microsoft marketed the 360 to the masses like no other this gen. Even with all of its shortcomings their marketing division was able to cover up all of them. Sony use to be able to that so well the last 2 gens but for whatever reason they lost that ability.

What i am interested in seeing next gen is now that Microsoft is pretty much the leader in the HD console will they have the same 'nitpicking' that Sony received this entire gen.

JOHN_DOH2173d ago

XBOX isn't really top console though. You make it seem like they destroyed PS but they sell about the same. I don't think it's the same with windows either because they don't really have any competition there.

darthv722173d ago

Every major console maker that was lucky enough to release a 3rd console has felt the sting of trying to out sell their previous more popular system.

These companies and systems are listed in release order.

Atari: pong, 2600, 5200, 7800, jaguar. The most popular unit was the 2600. Their 3rd system (5200) failed to outsell the 2600 as well as their other systems didnt come close either.

Sega: master system, genesis, saturn, dreamcast. Sega most successful system was the genesis. Even with the additions of the 32x and cd it was their 3rd (saturn) that failed to capture the the same marketshare their genesis once had. Dreamcast was their last chance and ultimately they pulled the plug.

Nintendo: NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii. Now this one is rather interesting as their NES was wildly popular. The SNES took a little time but did eventually beat out the genesis in the 16bit days. Their N64 didnt do as well but faired better than Segas Saturn. Gamecube was a good system but it too didnt beat out the snes. The wii represents a "?" in thie 3rd console curse idea. Even though it isnt their 3rd console it has managed to really capture what was once the popularity of the nintendo name. Like a resurrection of sorts.

Sony: PS1, PS2, PS3. Sony turned heads when they released the original PS1. Besting Sega's saturn and nintendo's n64. Yet it was their 2nd system, PS2, that really put them over the top. It cant be denied that Sony's 2nd outing really brought success to the brand. It may be too early to say their 3rd system is as cursed as other 3rd systems from other prominent companies but it certainly has not exploded in the same way sony saw the PS2 when it came out.

So now we look at MS and the 360 is the 2nd system. Falling in line with other 2nd systems as being more successful than the 1st's it does bring to question....will their 3rd suffer the same fate as other 3rd's? Its as if by the time the 3rd system comes around, consumers are interested in seeing what another company might have to offer.

We can see by looking back at other companies that success didnt "go to their heads" but then again, they didnt have the marketing prowess as MS does. It could be said that the success of something is based on how committed the company is to MAKING it a success. No doubt companies like atari, sega, nintendo and even sony were juggling many things at once during those times. Spreading themselves thin in the marketing department and relying on consumerism to keep thing going. Things such as brand loyalty and name recognition.

MS and their quick to give up on the xbox makes many think they were going to do the same thing to the 360. Here it is goin on its 7th year and MS has remained committed to making the platform a success. Will they do it for their 3rd? That question remains to be seen and perhaps they could be the first 3rd console to break the curse.

Its easy to look at them and how they were outsiders coming into this business. Then again....I seem to recall similar sentiment when Sony joined the club. People said sony didnt belong and yet people gave them a chance and we have the playstation brand taking its place amongst the greats in this business. People need to look past the "corp" that is MS and see the 360 as being a success that deserves its place amongst the greats as well.

Ravenor2172d ago

Wall of text discredited in the first few lines, the 5200 sold terribly because it didn't produce a huge improvement over 2600 games and the hardware was absolutely AWFUL. The Jaguar was also a horrendous mistake, and was also released at a time when I could feasibly lump it in with other garbage consoles of the time.

Seriously, things are different now then they were even 10 years ago.

lex-10202172d ago

Did you actually read the first few lines of his statement? He said the 5200 sold terribly. He was stating the companies have terrible 3rd consoles.

Mikhail2173d ago

Correct me if I am wrong, isn't this the first time the Xbox outsold the PS3 worldwide? and Pls. dont call me a fanboy for I have a 360 and PS3 right now as I hae always enjoyed multiple consoles per generation.

The gap between 360 and Ps3 which is about 4 million is too small to call it a leader. The leader of this gen is the Wii. It proved that power is not everything for a console to be successful.

However, both the 360 and PS3 have an edge right now because they are more future proof as they are now more than consoles. The PS3 and 360 can now be considered as a media hub and are backed by two companies with different product lines that can easily have synergy with their consoles.

This gen belongs to the Wii followed by both the 360 and PS3 at 2nd place. Yet, Wii is at a disadvantage next gen because they are not "future proof enough". The masses are now on the smartphone era wherein they expect their gadgets to perform a multitude of functions. MS understands this with their Windows 8 synergy and Sony is doing it right now with their new SEN integration.

lex-10202172d ago

You are correct (sorta). The first Xbox was a failure (good console, bad sales). The Xbox only outsells the Ps3 in North America and only because it had a year without competition. THe Xbox was released a full year before the Ps3, leading to the 4 million sales more. If you look at the sales from the year the PS3 was released you will see that it outsold the Xbox every year world wide.

NeverEnding19892164d ago

This blog has more to due with Sony's fall from grace. They destroyed with the PS2, but are only just hanging in there with the PS3.

If this gen ended right now it would be a major win for Nintendo and Microsoft, but a loss for Sony. Over 50% of there install base switched consoles.

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