Global Game Industry News Blog

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

PS3 to Win by 2010... With no Games

I'm not really quite sure how this works. So Screen Digest finds that the PS3 will win the "console battle" but that most publishers are going to lose their shirts, "if they aren't careful." So either publishers are going to get careful in the next three years, or the PS3 is going to win with no games... Or SD is just wrong.

The thing that either they're not paying attention to or ignoring deliberately is that right now the production costs for the PS3 are the highest of the three consoles. The Wii is the lowest. So, if I'm a publisher the Wii and the 360 look good right now. I don't have to "be careful" because we've already pretty much figured out these consoles, we just need to get better at them. On the other hand we're more likely to lose our shirts on a console that is really expensive?

Seems a bit ... confused if you ask me. I suspect the correct answer to this conundrum would be that either publishers are going to get smarter and handle all three consoles better, or they're going to do the same ole and the PS3 is going to suffer the most because of the added cost for producing for the PS3. We've also seen numerous reports from Sony at the moment that price on the PS3 will not come down for two years or so, which means that apparently in 2009 to 2010 a whole boatload of cheap PS3's are going to get sold. Perhaps.

I think more likely Sony will realize their pricing mistake and lower the price. More will sell, however production costs aren't really going to change, so the real issue is publisher intelligence increasing dramatically within the next year or two.

Oddly enough this years IGDA sponsored GDC Developers Rant is actually stacked with publisher types. It will be interesting to see what they've got to say on this.

Report: Small Portion of Next-Gen Titles to be Profitable
If publishers aren't careful, they could be left with empty pockets on most next-gen game projects. A new report from Screen Digest has found that a tiny proportion of next-gen titles will achieve profitability. Also, Screen Digest believes Sony's PS3 will win the console battle by 2010.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Flow Special Video Games Issue Goes Live

The new issue of the Flow Journal has gone live, and my article, "The Wii-volution will not be Televised: The XNA-cution of a Business Model" is included there. They made a snazzy little summary line for it in some of their promotional material:
"While Nintendo's Wii has been causing a stir among gamers and the general public alike, Microsoft is fundamentally changing the way video games are created."

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


I try to not respond to much outside of the game industry here, but I couldn't help with this one. In many respects the game industry isn't much different than Apple. I don't see many PSP or PS3 owners griping that they can't play their games on an Xbox. Yet, somehow, in some universe this makes sense to many folks. And I don't necessarily disagree. The point is, lay blame where due, not at the feet of someone else, this case being Apple.

Europe Cool to Apple’s Suggestions on Music
“He’s trying to move the responsibility away from Apple and turn this into a trans-Atlantic trade issue,” said Torgeir Waterhouse, senior adviser to the Norwegian Consumer Council."

No shit? He's trying to point blame where it's due! The copyright holders. Seriously, I'm tired of Apple getting a bad rap for FairPlay. It's the music industry stupid. If you can't put that together in your head, then Apple should cut you off from the iTunes music store, and you'll see how much music other than CD's you're getting. Blow.

The RIAA countered with a resounding, "Take option number two Mr. Jobs." Which of course is the option they've been encouraging, because it fufills their RETARDED ASS DREAMS which many in Eur0pe are feeding. Sweet. Nice job.

RIAA counters Jobs

"We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen," Bainwol said in a prepared statement.

Translation: "Apple, if you can't do it, no one can!!! WHhhaaaa!!!" Go cry me a river and come up with your own anti consumer paradigm. Blow.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Iwata Cautious About Early Wii Success

It's amusing that Iwata despite the Wii selling like hotcakes, is aware that software sells hardware more than anything else. It's at the same moment you hear from Sony top people, "We've Got a Better Machine & We're Going to Win" but they sure don't have much software to go with it. Not to mention that Sony isn't doing much to make developers lives easier... And anyway, isn't the PSP's biggest problem not enough games?
"Any system will sell well following launch," Iwata remarked, "but there will definitely come a time where it will stop selling. Even the DS hit a rough spell after selling 1.5 million units a month after launch. The flame was really lit a year after launch, after Nintendogs and Brain Age became big hits. With the Wii, we have to make good software just as we did with the DS."

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Q&A: Impatient Shoppers On 'Why Wii Want A Wii'

Several things about the Wii continue to amaze me.
  1. It continues to be hard to obtain. Given that every single component of the Wii is easier and cheaper to manufacture, and by all accounts yields should also be higher on all of it's components yet it cannot meet demand.
  2. Either stores are actively lying to consumers about their knowledge about stock, or they're keeping the information in the hands of a select few, leaving other workers to deal with frustrated consumers. In this age with real time ordering and inventory systems, it is simply false that stores do not know when a shipment is coming in. Employees may not be made aware, but someone somewhere knows. Why not provide some info? Just because Target has a back door into their system is the only reason consumers have turned to them more than any other retailer. It's good for business for consumers to know that they can get what they want.
  3. Wii Parties!
Frustration Factor... Rising?

One notable factor for those queuing was frustration, since Wii demand has way, way outpaced supply, leaving many shoppers steaming. “For about a month and a half now I've been trying to get one, and it's just impossible to find,” commented one shopper. “You have to come right when the UPS driver delivers it, and Best Buy refuses to tell you whenever they are getting in shipments. They lie and tell you that they have no idea when they are coming in, when they obviously do know when they are coming in.”

Another couple noted similar experiences: “We've been to at least fifty stores checking for at least three weeks, and we haven't found one yet.” The relative ease of finding games for the Wii is additionally frustrating many consumers, while the console itself and further Wii-motes have been more or less unattainable.

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