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Subject: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo rss

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One pattern that is relatively strong in the industry is that, at the end of a hardware cycle, the current market leader feels more secure and may over-estimate customer loyalty.

So while Nintendo may have known that Sony would have some advantages with the PSX, I think they under-estimated how much they would mean to both developers and consumers. And then look at the PS2, essentially tied with the NDS as the best-selling piece of gaming hardware ever. It's not just that it sold well, it also dramatically outsold its rivals. From that position, it's easier to imagine Sony taking risks with a $600 "loss-leader" and not realizing how much trouble they could be in if there was strong competition. And then look at Microsoft: by the tail end of the PS3/360/Wii cycle, Sony did pull ahead of MS in total hardware sales, but by a negligible amount. Internationally, sales were, for all intents and purposes, a tie. But in Microsoft's home market, they killed it. The 360 had a dominant record in North America (albeit nothing like the PS2, which remains an outlier across all cycles). So it's not surprising that Microsoft similarly under-estimated both pricing advantages ($500 to the PS4's $400) but also misunderstood how badly Sony could paint them as an arrogant corporation that disdained its poorer customers (bye bye used games; rural consumers with slow internet connections don't matter, and so on).

Certainly one force that restrains innovation is that, consumers in this market 'spook' easily.
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Commentary about handhelds?

PSP is easy enough since there was only that, and PSP Vita. I'm surprised it didn't last longer. Also surprised that it got topped by the NDS. I figured that the NDS would still do OK, even if it trailed the PSP. People marveled at the raw power a PSP had, and I recall it being impressive indeed. That some people ended up putting emulators on it was another thing entirely. The single PSP screen was still greater screen real estate than the DS' 2 screens.



As for Nintendo, I was heavily into GB, but did appreciate the iterations from the sidelines. 3DS seemed to be even more power, even if the 3D was gimmicky at best, and a health hazard to young children at worst. The handheld and console line seemed to have converged into the Switch.
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I do find it interesting that Sony and Microsoft keep choosing muscle over innovation, namely because it seems to give Nintendo free reign to go in their own direction. It's still a little early to say, but every indication is that both Sony and Microsoft will double down in the direction they went with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X and try to have the biggest, baddest console on the block. Nintendo, meanwhile, saves money by not aggressively going after next generation CPUs and GPUs and draws gamers with innovation, and neither competitor tries to directly compete.

It's possible one or both companies will opt to have their cake and eat it too, but a powerful, feature full console will be expensive. Either it eats into their costs or into our wallets, both of which are risks.

On handhelds, sometimes I wonder if PSP was its own worst enemy. I have the same feeling about PSP that I do with PS Vita, which is that they were full of console games that I didn't really want to play (again) on a portable system. Even if they were different from their console counterparts, because of the power of the console, they often felt very similar and samish. Nintendo handhelds certainly played up handheld versions of their popular series, but they were always entirely new games and more importantly new experiences, or even throwbacks to previous entries like they did with New Super Mario Bros.. I think using a touchscreen nearly 15 years ago was also a very smart choice that made it stand apart, and the two screen setup made it so that you could look at one screen and touch another. Now that tablets are common we don't think much of that, but it was used to great effect in a lot of games and because the handheld market isn't so multiplatform like console markets are, most developers took advantage of the DS's capabilities.

Ironic that I say that while Switch became a success for allowing console games to be played portably, but it seems presentation is everything. Joycons are an ingenuous controller solution and being able to quickly switch back and forth, not to mention an even larger portable screen, makes all the difference. PSP Go and PS Vita could connect to the television too, but it's just so much more pleasant to switch back and forth with Switch.
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krux wrote:
I do find it interesting that Sony and Microsoft keep choosing muscle over innovation, namely because it seems to give Nintendo free reign to go in their own direction. It's still a little early to say, but every indication is that both Sony and Microsoft will double down in the direction they went with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X and try to have the biggest, baddest console on the block. Nintendo, meanwhile, saves money by not aggressively going after next generation CPUs and GPUs and draws gamers with innovation, and neither competitor tries to directly compete.


Sony had a reason to make the PS4 Pro, they were coupling it with the PSVR system as a way to better support the taxing requirements of VR. PSVR would still work with an old PS4, but at a lower resolution. The Pro would support VR with better specs. I would argue that Sony has been innovating this generation, albeit far less than Nintendo. The PSVR push was very strong, and I feel like it got modern VR sets into people's homes in great numbers. 3 of my 5 closest friends with PS4s all picked up PSVR (I didn't get one myself, although I've played one quite a bit). Sony also did a decent amount of work on their Playlink idea, where people can play party type games using their cell phones and the PS4.

The Xbox One X, however, seems like such a bizarre market decision. Xbox has put such little focus on first party exclusives, that there's little reason to get an Xbox One X. There's no VR, and they've abandoned Kinect, so the X just plays the mostly multi-plats a little better (I consider PC games to be multi-plat). It does 4K better than the PS4 Pro, sure, but I have maybe 35 PS4 games I can't get on the XB1X. I realize a lot of people can't handle games like Forza Horizon 4 on their PC, so I understand the XB1X's appeal on that front.
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How is Nintendo doing attracting third party developers for the Switch? My understanding is that they have been heavily reliant on first party games for quite some time.
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frumpish wrote:
How is Nintendo doing attracting third party developers for the Switch? My understanding is that they have been heavily reliant on first party games for quite some time.


Two years after the Switch's release, there are 1,960 games available for it in North America (including the shovelware). At a rough estimate, ~230 of those are available on game cards; the rest are eShop-only. In contrast, the Wii U had a total of 157 games (counting games distributed by physical disc only) as of mid-2016 (when it was 3 1/2 years old).

So I think it's doing fine.
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I remember the GameCube having a lot of third-party titles that were also available on PS2 and Xbox, and very few first-party titles. And I think the Wii had a lot of exclusive third-party titles and relatively few first-party titles (the first-party Virtual Console games is pretty decently sized). The Wii U I thought discouraged third-party publishers from making games for that console because of the GamePad. The Switch is more traditional (even though it is a hybrid), and I guess it was easier for third-party publishers to make games whether Switch exclusive or also available on Xbox One or PS4.
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frumpish wrote:
How is Nintendo doing attracting third party developers for the Switch? My understanding is that they have been heavily reliant on first party games for quite some time.
Pretty well. Someone in our game group gave a Steam gift card as a gift to someone else. That someone else had a sheepish look. He appreciated the gift, but TBH, he hasn't purchased games on Steam for a long time, ever since he got his Switch. Indeed, every time we tried out a new game, I'd check online, and realize to my delight that the game was also on Steam (I still don't have a Switch). People joked it'd be "game over" if Switch ever supported Steam, but.. it looks like they're close enough.

Also, I took notes and got him a Nintendo gift card next time around

GibbRS wrote:
krux wrote:
I do find it interesting that Sony and Microsoft keep choosing muscle over innovation, namely because it seems to give Nintendo free reign to go in their own direction. It's still a little early to say, but every indication is that both Sony and Microsoft will double down in the direction they went with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X and try to have the biggest, baddest console on the block. Nintendo, meanwhile, saves money by not aggressively going after next generation CPUs and GPUs and draws gamers with innovation, and neither competitor tries to directly compete.


Sony had a reason to make the PS4 Pro, they were coupling it with the PSVR system as a way to better support the taxing requirements of VR. PSVR would still work with an old PS4, but at a lower resolution. The Pro would support VR with better specs. I would argue that Sony has been innovating this generation, albeit far less than Nintendo. The PSVR push was very strong, and I feel like it got modern VR sets into people's homes in great numbers. 3 of my 5 closest friends with PS4s all picked up PSVR (I didn't get one myself, although I've played one quite a bit). Sony also did a decent amount of work on their Playlink idea, where people can play party type games using their cell phones and the PS4.

The Xbox One X, however, seems like such a bizarre market decision. Xbox has put such little focus on first party exclusives, that there's little reason to get an Xbox One X. There's no VR, and they've abandoned Kinect, so the X just plays the mostly multi-plats a little better (I consider PC games to be multi-plat). It does 4K better than the PS4 Pro, sure, but I have maybe 35 PS4 games I can't get on the XB1X. I realize a lot of people can't handle games like Forza Horizon 4 on their PC, so I understand the XB1X's appeal on that front.
From what I've heard, the tables have turned with indies... One dev at a con said (about the 360) "M$ didn't just drop the ball. They threw it!". With current-gen, PS is the one getting flack from indies.


EDIT: detail for the last part being 360.
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krux wrote:
I do find it interesting that Sony and Microsoft keep choosing muscle over innovation, namely because it seems to give Nintendo free reign to go in their own direction. It's still a little early to say, but every indication is that both Sony and Microsoft will double down in the direction they went with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X and try to have the biggest, baddest console on the block. Nintendo, meanwhile, saves money by not aggressively going after next generation CPUs and GPUs and draws gamers with innovation, and neither competitor tries to directly compete.

It's possible one or both companies will opt to have their cake and eat it too, but a powerful, feature full console will be expensive. Either it eats into their costs or into our wallets, both of which are risks.

There seems to be split opinions there. One 1 hand, Nintendo is getting free reign on the "less power" camp. FWIW though, they had to compete with the onslaught of mobile gaming proceeding the Wii. OTOH, some "gamers gamers" STILL considered Nintendo ware (one case was during the time of Wii U) to be a "kiddy system", and not something to be taken seriously, so Sony and M$ didn't mind ceding that territory to Nintendo anyways.



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Ironic that I say that while Switch became a success for allowing console games to be played portably, but it seems presentation is everything. Joycons are an ingenuous controller solution and being able to quickly switch back and forth, not to mention an even larger portable screen, makes all the difference. PSP Go and PS Vita could connect to the television too, but it's just so much more pleasant to switch back and forth with Switch.
I'm sure there are others, but the only other example is a TV ad showed someone playing a Turbo Graphics 16 game on console, then removing it from the console, sticking it into a handheld, and continuing to play it as if no interruption took place. Back then I was wary that battery life would be any decent (and I was already into Nintendo anyways), but yeah, presentation simply can't be ignored.
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ackmondual wrote:
From what I've heard, the tables have turned with indies... One dev at a con said "M$ didn't just drop the ball. They threw it!". With current-gen, PS is the one getting flack from indies.


Yeah Sony is definitely not without fault. They've been getting a lot of flack because of their stance on sexual content, as well as their resistance towards cross-platform play. There have been some developers (I think mostly indie developers) who say Sony still won't allow cross-play for their games even though Sony has said they're ok with it publicly.

Yesterday, an article came out about how Sony is essentially afraid of losing public image (and getting sued), so they've been forcing developers to modify sexually explicit images in some games (mostly anime games). What's ironic is Sony has no problem with the sexual content in games like GTAV, or the violent content in games like Mortal Kombat X. Also interesting is one game in particular, Nekopara, has been heavily modified for the PS4 version, but it was released unmodified on the Switch (and XB1). Nintendo has really changed its tune from the early days.

edit: here is the article/report from Kotaku.
https://kotaku.com/report-sony-has-new-stricter-guidelines-f...
 
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Yeah, especially as I made a Japanese account for my Switch, I'm a bit amazed at the enormous amount of "cute anime girls" games for the Switch. They're thirteen a dozen!

And as if that wasn't enough, they release Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 on the Switch just the other day. With a gadzillion downloads for various non-existant swimware. I've never seen this on a Nintendo console before. Seems they managed to catch every single one of the anime gamers.
 
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Can't talk about it here on the front page, but it looks like Sony is now more on the repressive side of sexuality.

Sony is increasing regulations on sexual content for games on their platform
 
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frumpish wrote:
Can't talk about it here on the front page, but it looks like Sony is now more on the conservative side of sexuality.

Sony is increasing regulations on sexual content for games on their platform


I'm not sure "conservative" is really the right word for it in this context, but I take your meaning.

There have been INCESSANT troll topics about this on GameFAQs for weeks. Like literally every time I glance at the PS4 forums, there is a topic trying to muster outrage at Sony's "censorship."

My eyes can't roll hard enough.
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How about repressive?
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frumpish wrote:
How about repressive?


Maybe, but I think the bullets that Sony is trying to dodge have relatively little to do with explicit sex and instead have to do with age and consent. They know what kind of ****storm they could be courting in the American market, and it isn't from a traditional-conservative-repressive viewpoint. It isn't from a viewpoint that sees sex as taboo. It isn't from the people who were complaining about 'family values' on television 20 years ago. The heat and consumer-risk are coming from a much different direction.

Anyway, I'll leave it at that - probably should have left it for your RSP thread to begin with (sorry!).
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