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Why Sony won next gen already

So it's that time again. A console generation comes to an end and everything starts at zero. But this time seems to be different and I will tell you why.

Let's start with Nintendo. Trying to recreate the Wii's success with the WiiU somehow failed ...but why exactly?
To wrap it up in one sentence - core gamers can't be fooled twice and casual gamers are still happy (or had enough) with their WiiSports & WiiFit. But that's just half of the truth.

Of course there's the big Nintendo-only audience who primarily cares about Mario and Zelda and buys Nintendo consoles for that, and only that reason, but - is it really worth getting a console for 1 or 2 games per year? It's each to their own I guess.

What's left is the JRPG audience who's probably hoping that the WiiU will host worthy sequels to most of this gen's best JRPG's. Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, Fire Emblem, Xenoblade Chronicles, just to name a few. There's definately a lot of potential here but will it be enough to make Nintendo relevant in the next generation?

Personally, I don't think it will. The low hardware specs combined with the missing impact the WiiU iniatlly made due to lack of launch titles will prevent the console from reaching the heights of it's predecessor. But that are just my thoughts based on the current situation, who knows what Nintendo has left in store, especially for this years E3 - the first E3 since the WiiU's launch and an important one for the WiiU's future.

Then there's Microsoft. Taking a first step into the japanese dominated video game industry with the first Xbox was a success - even though not much of a commercial one. Competing with the PS2 was impossible at that time, but much more important than that was the foundation it build for its successor - the Xbox 360.

Instead of focussing on substantial hardware upgrades, Microsoft set it's priorities in the software department - mainly building and expanding it's online network Xbox Live to great success.

In fact, this network was so well designed that gamers didn't bother paying for it. Xbox Live took gaming with friends to a whole new level, lowering the barrier of entry to online gaming to a minimum while maintaining the uncomplicated gaming experience with friends that you know from local multiplayer games.

But of course, it wasn't all sunshine and roses. The console started with some high quality IP's but throughout the years, those IP's either lost it's exclusivity or dropped in quality, Mass Effect or Fable being good examples. Halo and Gears Of War delivered as always, Kinect on the other hand turned out to be rather a gimmick than a revolutionary feature. What was left, was a console that stood out because of it's online experience - while charging for features that should be free on a ~300$ console.

So what about the next Xbox? All kinds of rumors are floating around the internet right now - most of them not overly positive. From requiring a constant online/Kinect connection to blocking used games - even if all of them turn out to be false, what in my opinion will happen, they're all bad publicity that makes former Xbox gamers look for alternatives right now. And until Microsoft can prove them wrong (probably at this years E3), those gamers could've already made a decision - because the lately announced PS4 comes with almost all the features the Xbox360 had - and even more.

Which brings us to Sony. Dominating the console market with the PS2 but struggling to keep up that pace with the PS3 has different reasons. One definately being to costly at launch while simultaneously not bringing enough good purchasing reasons in the form of high quality launch titles. Another surely being the fact, that especially multiplatform developers struggled in handling the PS3's cell processor which resulted in a lot of technically inferior games. The late launch could also be blamed for the PS3's initial failure. At that time, most gamers probably already got either the Wii or the Xbox360.

But with time, developers learned to use the PS3's architecture to their advantage and showed the gaming community, what the PS3 is capable of. Especially Sony-exclusive developers like Naughty Dog or Sony Santa Monica constantly outdone each other with each game and showed, how important it is for a console to have strong first party support.

But even Sony realized, that the times when great exclusives were enough to win the console war were over. And so, Playstation Plus got introduced. Costing the same amount that gamers need to pay for a yearly Xbox Live subscription, Playstation Plus not only brought discounts for all sorts of games and DLC's - it also featured an adequate supply of free games to download and exclusive early access to all sorts of content including betas.

So what's left is a company and a console that somehow managed to take the throne back this generation by having the most consistent supply of exclusive games quantity and quality wise, a free online gaming experience with the possibility to expand it even more by paying for a service that clearly outweighs it's costs, and by being the only console able to playback BluRay-discs making a separate BluRay player needless.

So how did Sony win the next gen system war already?

Simply by showing the world that the PS4 is basically just more of the same, only better. Not only did big developers all around the gaming industry praise the PS4 for being much easier to develop games for - small, independant developers also reported that Sony now actively suppports them by giving them royalties up front so that they can fund their games. In return, Sony get's some form of exclusivity for that specific game.

And on top of that, social gaming will have a whole new meaning thanks to the new share button which could even turn out to be a big system seller. By sharing your best moments with all your friends on social networking sites, non-gamers could be persuaded into getting a PS4 for themselves. And of course, there's a cross game chat available this time which combined with the overhauled PSN (or is it now called SEN?) should please everyone who's in the need of a Xbox Live-like online environment.

So this was my first english blog post. The main idea behind it was to improve my language skills since this is not my first language and because of this, I'd really appreciate every feedback, but especially on my spelling and grammar! :)

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iGAM3R-VIII2793d ago

pretty good, the only thing is that some of the words and sentence structure isn't on par but nevertheless, this is pretty good.

ZodTheRipper2792d ago

Thank you! :)
Yes I tried to not write it too simple... so I knew that I've probably messed some sentences up :S

Software_Lover2793d ago

Won what? What did Nintendo win this gen since the Wii blew Microsoft and Sony out of the water? What will Microsoft win if they sell the most consoles next gen? Nothing at all!

I could critique a lot of this blog but it will serve no purpose. Its your opinion, and you have your right to it, plus................ your English writing skills are probably better than 95% of the users on this site.

Wishing you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

DragonKnight2792d ago

What did Nintendo win?

They won the satisfaction of sh*tty 3rd party support and abandoning the core market in favour of the unpredictable casual market, thus setting themselves up for likely 2 to 3 gens of utter failure as they frantically try to recapture an impulse buy gimmick that will bring back the only crowd that will care about Nintendo beyond the die hard "we don't need anything new" Nintendo fanboys.

Software_Lover2792d ago

............... I stand corrected

TopDudeMan2792d ago (Edited 2792d ago )

The casual market is nothing if not predictable. To be fair, while it's not good for us, the hardcore crowd, Nintendo are the smart ones here. The casual market is where the money us made.

You need only look at the year on year sales of games such as call of duty, fifa, madden and the like to confirm that.

Microsoft tried to dip into that market and failed drastically and now they have lost the faith of their hardcore fans- the ones who they were getting their money from. So now they're kinda stuck in a financial limbo where if they don't do something to impress one or the other groups of people with their next console, those hardcore fans are gonna be leaving them next gen.

So in fairness, I can kinda see the OP's point here. If microsoft doesn't do anything great, then sony will have won over most of the hardcore crowd. Nintendo have of course cornered the casual market, but that's to be expected, of course. I still think the Wii U will be dominant in terms of sales, though.

DragonKnight2792d ago

"The casual market is nothing if not predictable. To be fair, while it's not good for us, the hardcore crowd, Nintendo are the smart ones here. The casual market is where the money us made."

The casual market isn't predictable, they are fickle. They are perfectly content with keeping an old console that still works under the attitude of "there's nothing wrong with this one, why should I get another one." UNLESS there is some huge fad attached with it. The Wii was successful because of celebrity endorsement and low cost but the Wii U won't see the same success. It's not enough of a difference for the casual market. They'll look at it and think it's the same as the Wii and wonder why they should buy it when they have a perfectly good Wii console to play on.

"You need only look at the year on year sales of games such as call of duty, fifa, madden and the like to confirm that."

Those games don't sell because of casuals, they sell because of morons and sports fanatics. Call of Duty is a typical "frat" game that every 12 year old loves to pwn his friends with and every 20 year old loves to do the same. Fifa and Madden cater to the sports crowd who never really care much about change unless you get a jersey number wrong.

"Nintendo have of course cornered the casual market, but that's to be expected, of course. I still think the Wii U will be dominant in terms of sales, though."

Nintendo USED to have the casual market on lock. Judging by how the Wii U is doing now, they have no one. They constantly ask everyone to just wait, just wait, just wait. Core gamers are sick of waiting, and casuals are moving on to something else. The only audience Nintendo has left are their diehard fans waiting for the next LoZ or Metroid game. The Wii U is doing terribly. It likely won't be a failure, but there's no way in hell it will dominate and it certainly won't get the same numbers as the Wii.

ZodTheRipper2792d ago

Thanks for your comment :)
Of course, "winning" a generation is purely subjective. Everyone has their own winner this gen based on his own preferences, I tried to view this matter as the core gamer that I am and because of this and the way this console generation turned out, I could only choose Sony now.

mamotte2793d ago

Whoa... calm down dude.

jimbobwahey2792d ago

People were saying Microsoft won before the current gen started and look at how that turned out.

Trying to call winners before the next console generation has even started is really stupid.

Ducky2792d ago

You better count your chickens before they hatch.
It's so easy to do.
Dare to be stupid.

ZodTheRipper2792d ago

It's just my opinion - based on how things were going in the last couple of years. If you call that stupid, you could call a lot of articles on this site stupid ...and I wouldn't even necessarily disagree with you ;)
I just looked for a good topic to write about.

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