The rhetoric and debate around the so-called “console war” can be fun at times.
At other times, however, these discussions can even become divisive and generate hatred. Memes and jokes are always welcome, but wishing a hardware business bankrupt or bankrupt is something completely different.
From my perspective, it’s like being a fan. There is always someone who goes too far but, generally, we limit ourselves to supporting our favorite teams, to being frustrated when the club sells their best player, when they claim that the last acquisition is better than it is. is. in reality or, again, when he scores one own goal after another.
2020 is the year in which we will witness a new generational shift and it is in these periods that the rhetoric of console warfare reaches its climax, between the trade press, the actors and within the industry itself, with groups of analysts committed to scrutinizing every business decision and its potential impact on sales. Yet this time this “war” has become almost irrelevant.
“Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo play the same league but compete for different trophies. ”
Take the Xbox, for example. Obviously, Microsoft’s current strategy is not to beat PlayStation 5 in terms of sales: the Redmond company has decided to make all exclusive premieres available on PC, streaming devices supported by xCloud and also on the ‘old Xbox One (at least for a few years).
Xbox boss Phil Spencer told us that he found “forcing someone to buy a specific device on a certain day” incompatible with the philosophy of the game.
The idea that there aren’t any totally exclusive games for the X Series, in fact, removes a major motivator for buying a new console from the equation. On top of that, there is also a heated debate over whether proprietary studios will not be able to get the most out of the new machine if they have to develop their games to support the consoles as well. last generation. Microsoft seems pretty calm from that point of view though: according to Spencer and his team, in fact, it’s a small price to pay to have a certain title available on all platforms.
This position is of strategic value when you consider Xbox’s particular focus on the Game Pass service which currently has over 10 million members. If Microsoft decides to turn its back on those 10 million gamers and force them to buy an expensive new console to continue enjoying their favorite Xbox games, it could translate into good console sales but will surely damage the installed base of the game. ‘subscribers to a service. This is an unacceptable prospect for American society.
Now let’s stop and compare Spencer’s words with those of his PlayStation counterpart, Jim Ryan, who told us last year, “One of our main goals is to take the PS4 community and bring it to PS5. with pace and speed never seen before. ”
“For now, the days of console makers waging war on the same ground seem to be over. ”
PlayStation, for its part, is keen to quickly expand the installed base of PS5, and then release major AAA titles developed specifically to harness the potential of the new platform. The best way to support this business model is to sell these games to as many users as possible, individually and at a cost of around $ 60 / $ 70. It is a proven strategy for the Japanese company which has seen many successes over the past seven years. Bringing exclusives into a multiplatform subscription service the day they hit the market just isn’t compatible with business goals.
Sony and Microsoft are in direct competition, like all other forms of entertainment. Halo: Infinite will collide with Spider-Man: Miles Morales as it happens among Netflix merchandise, in movies, in the comics, and many other areas. Xbox and PlayStation will launch a new console with great games in tow later this year – they’re certainly direct rivals, there’s no doubt about it.
Ultimately, however, it is the very notion of success that differs depending on how companies view it. One has the priority of selling a service while the other aims to place as many consoles as possible. The reason Phil Spencer cited Google as the main competitor to Xbox (instead of PlayStation) is that Google’s current strategy is more in line with that adopted by Microsoft.
And then there is Nintendo. One of the main questions we have been asked recently is, “What is Nintendo going to do to stop the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X”. The answer is simple: nothing. Let’s be clear: we’re not saying the company isn’t planning to launch new and awesome games (although we’d love to see them sooner or later), simply Nintendo has avoided direct confrontation with other console makers since the time. of the GameCube. Its audience is mainly made up of families, children, parents and occasional gamers. Microsoft and Sony have attempted a foray into this area with IPs like Minecraft and LittleBigPlanet but, since scrapping projects like Kinect, Move and handheld games, they have left Nintendo virtually free to dominate this market segment.
Nintendo has different priorities than the other two companies. The sales of its consoles are very important but the growth of its IPs is even more important (hence the expansion in the smartphone market). Beyond hardware sales, some of Nintendo’s best results have come from the growth of its most popular brands such as Animal Crossing, Zelda, Super Mario or Pokémon. Given the success of these intellectual properties, Nintendo was able to contribute to the development of fantastic LEGO sets, animated films and theme parks. The coming Christmas season, however, should focus on celebrations for Super Mario’s 35th birthday.
Obviously, however, companies continue to compete directly in some important areas of business. Going back to the sporting metaphor, it’s as if they are competing in the same championship but competing for different trophies: each of them aims to achieve different results. By the end of the year, Sony could have the best-selling console, Microsoft could boast a subscription service with millions of new members, and Nintendo could sell millions of copies of Mario games. In this case, all three companies would have won their bet.
Of course, it’s already possible to anticipate the hundreds of hours of wrangling online over console sales or the importance of services, but is it really a war if everyone wins?
These different strategies only support businesses at large. Xbox has succeeded in making the subscription service model sustainable, PlayStation has donated some of the most amazing games of all time to the world, and Nintendo has created a fascinating place for gamers of all ages. In the end, everyone can benefit from it.
There will be players who will have to choose between Series X, PS5, and Switch this Christmas. Super Mario, Spider-Man, and Halo will be vying for users’ time and money, and in the future, strategies may suffer a turnaround.
For now, however, the days of console makers waging war in the same field seem to be over. The console war as we knew it has come to an end.
Source : Reddit