Friday, November 03, 2006

Lecture Topic: The Console Wars

At the end of Jimmy's post, he said "But that gets us back to a console war." For us to be able to go back to a console war, the console war would've needed to have left at some point in the past.

The console wars have always been with us, even though they currently don't resemble the console wars of the past. The days of magazine adds blatantly stating that you're a wuss if you play this console, or you need steel balls to be able to handle that console are over.

What we have now is more of a console cold war, if you will. A developer arms race instead of a nuclear one. Sony and Microsoft (mostly Microsoft) have been quietly swallowing up game development companies for years now, in an attempt to lock up as many A-list franchises as possible for their console.

However, I thinks things are about to change. The near-imminent resurgence of Nintendo as a major factor in the console market has a chance to really shake things up. The potential of the Wii will drive the development of 3rd party content exclusive to a Nintendo system, something that hasn't happened regularly in this century. All of a sudden, it won't be as easy for Microsoft and Sony (mainly Microsoft) to dominate the smaller (i.e. not EA, Sega, etc) publishers. And when that happens, don't be surprised when Sony and Microsoft resort to mud-slinging (especially Sony, since I'm pretty sure Kaz Hirai is crazy).

I can't wait.

Also, I'm happy I got to use the phrase "if you will" in this post. High-five!

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