Is there much weight behind being "an established player" in the console market

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carlo Medina, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    10,611
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    This is just food for thought, not meant to be inciteful, but hopefully "insightful" - or maybe I'm just rambling.

    Anyway, I remember when PS first launched and the pundits said that it would fail. Nintendo and Sega were the Established Players in the console market, and who did Sony think it was to try and use their corporate muscle to gain access to this industry? After all, proven corporate giants like NEC and an attempted comeback from former giant Atari (Jaguar) all proved to be failures.

    Now, not only has PS1 set industry records and standards, but the feat was repeated again, five years later by XBox. Furthermore, Sega has been ousted as a hardware player.

    So does being an Established Player in the market mean anything anymore? Or do you just need a lot of capital and third party game developers onboard to make a splash? What will this mean as far as gaming for consumers? The old "platform specific" games like Mario, Sonic, etc. are either going by the wayside or going multiplatform. Sure Nintendo keeps pushing a new Mario game every so often, but nothing has made the splash that the original Super Mario Brothers made on the SNES. Will we start getting similar games along all 3 platforms thus making it difficult to choose one over the other? (ala EA Sports and A Madden For All Consoles)

    Furthermore, what does it mean to now have a market controlled by 2 corporate giants (MS & Sony) and with only one lone "console company" holdout (Nintendo) left? Will this leave Mario as the lone "spokesfigure" for a console? Does Sony or XBox have something similar? Do they want one?

    The answers are coming. What do you all think?
     
  2. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 1999
    Messages:
    3,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Allot of good thoughts there Carlo!
    I think name recognition is still important in todays console climate. Nintendo will have its loyal base that has been with them since the start. Sony has there legion of players. I think most buyers feel safer buying a console from an established company like Sony and Nintendo. Allot less fear of there money being wasted on what the industry considers "dying" platforms.
    Sony came out of the gate with the PS1 at the right time. Sega really fumbled the Saturn launch and pissed off allot of retailers with their exclusivity deals. Nintendo's new system was a good bit off and people were ready to move to the next generation of gaming. Sony also offered the allure of a much easier console to develop for as opposed to the Saturn. This allowed for allot more third party support for the PS1. Nintendo making the N64 a cart system didn't help there position any either. It only served to strengthen Sony's dominance.
    You now take a look at todays generation of systems and things are allot harder to look at. Dreamcast is dead (WHY OH WHY!!???). The PS2 has a year on the competition with a healthy 15-20 million install base worldwide. Sony was intelligent with their marketing of the PS2. They hyped it up so much that people felt they just had to have one no matter what. The monkey wrench in the plan though gets thrown in the form of the 2 new kids on the block. The Gamecube and the X-box both debuted extremely well and probably beyond the expectations of Sony. Did name recognition help? For Nintendo most definitely! Third party support is much better for the GCN and the price point helped even more. Microsoft is in a tougher position, as the newbie they have to contend with the PC image, a more expensive (yet more full featured) system. Also they are trying to break into the market with two very solid competitors. Sony and Nintendo are no Sega in '95. On the other hand this is the BIG M! we are dealing with. Microsoft has an endless supply of money to throw at this thing. Besides that they have an excellent array of third party support and also had an excellent launch to boot. Also the GCN and the X-box are reportedly easy to develop for which bodes well for both systems. That is one hurdle the PS2 is finally starting to overcome as developers become more familiar with the system.
    After looking at the information yes I think name recognition does matter but a system cant survive without third party support (unless you have pokemon on your side[​IMG]). We also haven't seen the japanese launch of the X-box yet. Interesting times indeed.......
     
  3. JasonK

    JasonK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2000
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Excellent question Carlo. The gaming nerd in me wants to believe that yes, being an "established player" will pull some weight in the minds of consumers, partly because I grew up during the Nintendo vs. Sega era, and some of the best games I've ever played came out of the 16-bit era.

    In answer to your question, I'd say "yes, with a but..."

    The big thing is how the established players are different than 10 years ago. Sega's out of hardware. The only company that made hardware in the 8-bit era and is still making hardware is Nintendo. Yet they don't have the same amount of clout as they did with "older" gamers. They are still seen as the choice for "kids." (Which is too bad, because the Cube has some fantastic games.) Hopefully, with Resident Evil and Metroid, that image will grow to the system with something for everyone.

    Sony holds a lot of clout, but not because THEY make great games, but because their system has fantastic 3rd party games. The success of the PSX, which I bought on day one, caused a ton of people to skip the Dreamcast and wait for a PS2. (The fact that some people were still pissed at Sega over the Sega CD/32X/Saturn failures didn't help the DC either..too bad, because I love my DC.) The PS2 is now living up to the hype, and shows no signs of slowing down.

    Which leaves Microsoft. They obviously have a lot of $$$ invested into their XBox, and are willing to spend a lot of $$$ to market it. But do they carry the same clout as Sony or Nintendo? I don't know that they do. They are still the newbies to the market, and have yet to win over the Japanese market. But put out a few more games of the same quality as Halo, and they will win over a lot of people. Regardless, Microsoft has done a hell of a lot better than the other "big" systems of the 90's, the 3DO,(remember that $700 beast?) and the Jaguar. (Atari's name recogintion meant NOTHING. The games didn't help, and the CD player made the system look like a toilet.)

    My own feeling is that this holiday season will see Sony at #1, Nintendo at #2, and MS at #3. It will be interesting to see what the numbers look like this time next year, and who the powerhouse is.

    I'll stop blabbering now.

    Jason
     
  4. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Mike
    All this history and nobody mentions...
    ATARI
    Talk about losing an established console...
    Mike
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    10,611
    Likes Received:
    764
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Mike, it's in there (my original post). I mentioned how Jaguar was a failure, but called it their comeback attempt (hinting at the glory that was the 2600).
     
  6. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    133
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Being an Established Player means something if you approach it correctly. Nintendo has tried to use their reputation to take over handheld and console gaming, being successful with handheld. They aren't making dumb mistakes (like Sega's early launch of the Saturn) and are trying to make themselves very appealing to everyone. If they make the right decisions, then they will be able to make their name worth something for a while.

    Sony was able to offer something the others didn't: Squaresoft. That is pretty much THE reason why they were so successful in the beginning. After that, people saw them as a big player and went with them.

    Sega made some bad moves and didn't look too far into the future. They didn't fail, they just didn't succeed like they wanted to.

    MS can come in and make a difference in gaming if they do it right. They have many big developers, but they will need to actually put that quantity to work and turn it into quality, and if they do it right, they will become a player.

    Atari just died out. I can't explain that one.
     
  7. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    At the end of the day, it all boils down to three key ingredients:
    • Great Games (#1 feature)
    • - Great marketing support and awareness
    • Great Retail Support
    The N64 didn't have anywhere near the library the PSX had (or even the SNES) but it was very successful and maintained healthy sales because it had great titles. Sure, every system has it's dogs, but having 2-3 "must have" titles is what it will always take.
    For the next generation of systems, it looks like Gamecube has Star Wars, X-Box has Halo, and PSX2 has Gran Turismo as the games ultimately driving sales of the platforms. But the latest round of systems are going to see a lot more cross-platform pollenation and fewer 'unique' titles to each system.
     
  8. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2000
    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well this is a nice change of pace [​IMG]
    To tell the truth I think a big "name" really means the most to the people that really don't know much about gaming. If you went up to any middle aged woman and asked her what the first name that came to her mind when you mention video games and she'll probably say Nintendo but couldn't specify a system to save her life. On the other hand if you went to a teenaged boy say 15 years old he would either say PS2, Game Cube or Xbox depending on which system he likes the most. He wouldn't even think of the name of the company behind the system because it’s too generic now.
    If there were only one element that was required to make a console successful this place would be pretty boring. The truth is that it takes a number of things to become the next big thing in games. Things like cool factor, hype, great exclusive games, money, experience, a cool mascot, 3rd party support, luck, etc. There really isn't a magical formula to guarantee a stellar success. That’s why its so interesting to debate which system is going to be the next big thing.
    Dean
     
  9. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 1999
    Messages:
    479
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  10. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    2,376
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    110
     
  11. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 1999
    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, Nintendo really owns the handheld market, but not's not a great thing, or is it? Sony supposedly wants in on it, and that will make it interesting, since Sony has been all about 3D hardware since its beginning. Sadly a new Sony Handheld could shorten the lifespan of the GBA or maybe just make things more interesting and competitive. Or maybe they'll aim at the "mature" (yes "mature" [​IMG] ) market while Nintendo sticks with the younger market (this hasn't been the case so far with GBA and I hope it won't be in the future).
    Anyway, I like the idea of having something more to choose from the handheld area and hopefully Sony can really liven things up.
     
  12. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    9,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  13. Calvin Watts III

    Calvin Watts III Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jason,awesome post!!!
    Everyone, there are some fine books out now on the history of videogaming.You can read for yourself how Atari had it all,and then lost it all. Or how Nintendo almost lost it all here in the US.
    How Sega was founded by an American.
    All sorts of stuff!
    Any gaming fan would do well to read these:
    • The Ultimate History of Video Games (aka The First Quarter) by Steven L. Kent
    • Phoenix:The Fall & Rise of Videogames by Leonard Herman
    • Game Over (which is a history of Nintendo) By: um I can't remember the name.
    Anyways,its a good way to learn about the history of the hobby that we know and love.
    For instance,if things were just a bit different,that our own US government would have the patents for videogames? (because a gov. scientist was the first to actually make a videogame...if you could call it that..)
    Trust me..
    Calvin
     
  14. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  15. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One final note on Atari. What helped Commodore and the Tramiels to be successful is what ended up being a double edged sword that killed them at Atari: They were cheap and unreasonable.

    Retailers had to suck up to Commodore because they were so successful. When they moved to Atari, and Atari wasn't the success they used to be, with all the hatred of the Tramiels in the retail community, they got back at them buy not giving Atari their full support.
     
  16. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    133
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Actually, nowadays, marketability is the big thing.

    I told a bunch of people that I just got a new videogame console. They all (yes, ALL) said "oh, the X-Box?" and I had to say "no, the other console" and they responded with "what other console?"

    This just shows how MS's advertising made people so aware of their console, but Nintendo's little advertising didn't really push it out there. Because of Nintendo's name and fans (and word of mouth), it was able to do as well as it did at launch.

    Had MS not advertised the X-Box at all, then I don't think it would have done as well. It would probably have done very well, but it wouldn't have ended up on so many people's Christmas lists.
     
  17. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    9,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2000
    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  19. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    9,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actually, the screen shots from "Aliens Vs. Predator" still look pretty decent, as did "Rayman". But I think that AvP was just about the last big Jag game out, and will still run you $80 new at B&C.
    That's before getting into "BattleSphere", too. [​IMG]
     
  20. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2000
    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I knew AvP would come up. It looked good, but I guess just didn't do much for me.

    Did Fight For Life ever come out? That game looked beyond terrible.
     

Share This Page