Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who'd a thunk it?

One of the great things about the web is that articles that have been published on-line, tend to stay around. This allows people like myself to go hunting for all those ironic things that specialists and experts have said and predicted with confidence that have turned out to be codswallop.

As a bit of background to the non-gaming reader, the Nintendo Wii is the fastest selling games console ever released and is still selling rather well world-wide. It came out around the same time as the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3), which was around a year after the Microsoft Xbox360. The PS3 and Xbox360 are basically powerhouses utilising the same controllers as their previous consoles, whereas the Wii uses less cutting-edge technology and a new controller using physical movement as opposed to directional thumb-sticks. The PS3 is selling the least out of the three consoles.

The time is set back to circa 2006, where the predictions of who will win the next gen console war were generally of the following:
Sony expected to lead despite delays published on 21st March 2006. The figures that the experts had come up with were in lots and lots of articles across the web. Including this one:
XBox 360 will be a loss for Microsoft coincidently published on the same day. My personal favourite line from this article is where they expand past Microsoft and Sony to say,
"These kind of market figures would be very good news for Nintendo, however. A relative midget alongside the Sony and Microsoft behemoths, Nintendo was written off for dead in most quarters after the GameCube missed the mainstream."

The above quote is so ironic due to the 'experts' consistently ignoring the hand-held market that Nintendo have dominated since the introduction of the Gameboy. Even though the Gamecube was a lukewarm seller compared to the massive sales of the PS2 (pretty much alongside the original Xbox in numbers), Nintendo were still making an awful lot of money and had a rather large share of the overall video game market. Still, that's experts for you.

Going back a little bit further leads to our video game experts stating that Nintendo had already conceded the next generation console battle on the introduction of the then-called Revolution (later to become the Wii):
Nintendo unveils Revolution published on 17th May 2005. A great, obviously non-inflammatory, quote on this page is,
"... opens the gateway to the company's entire pre-Cube back catalogue on NES, SNES and N64 via a broadband service governed by a proprietary Digital Rights Management system."

Unlike the Open Source, free swapping mechanisms used on the games that Microsoft and Sony will let you download.

Most of the articles a few months later followed the lines of this one:
Blu-ray a player in PlayStation Pricing published on May 9th 2006. It was by this time that our specialist gaming media had written off the Nintendo Wii as underpowered and a fad, which is why most of the articles around this time didn't even mention it.

An interesting blip on the radar was from the Sydney Morning Herald, where a non-gaming specific blog Mashup predicted the following at the end of 2006 for Top Tech Trends To Watch In 2007:
"Wii wins next-gen console war

With its far-reaching mainstream appeal and unique gameplay experience, the Wii should comfortably snatch first place in the console wars. Its sales have already broken records, and holiday sales figures are expected to be just as impressive.

The Playstation 3 will no doubt be stiff competition for Nintendo, but its late launch in March and high price tag should give the Wii a comfortable victory."

As with all media reporting to this day, no-one seems to be able to grasp the idea that Sony will not be dominating the market as they have for pretty much the last 10 years. The same way newspaper journalists have been continually telling us that Second Life is the next big thing. To stretch the elastic band of irony even further, Sony of all people should be aware of what can befall arrogance in the video game market; it was Nintendo's arrogance that gave them the entry into the market in the first place.

Saving the best to last:
Playstation3 Defeats Xbox 360 published on May 27th 2005 is an excellent example of the fine folk that engage in intense debate around the subject of console branding. Given that at this point, neither console had been released, the following comments certainly display their own charm:
"playstation 3 won and im happy because it is the best look at the games."

"i like the xbox 360 more than a ps3 because it small and if u dont like the xbox 360 fuck u"

"u bastars stop thinking that the xbox 360 is gonna win because it is clearly at state that the the PS3 is going to win one reason is that its 2x's more powerful then the xbox 360 because my cousins works at sony and works with the PS3."

"if u think the 360 is going to completly replace the ps3 than ur fucking retarded. u should get kicked in the balls for posting this bullshit on the internet. PS3 is going to rule the world one day i swear its that good."
(Actually posted in 2007, must have taken a long time to get the grammar just right)

More delicacies from our concise and charming video gaming community. Maybe I should trademark the work sic and license it out to people who quote from game forums.

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