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Steve Kent On The Console Price Wars (1 Viewer)

Masood Ali

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Read It Here
A lot of interesting information in this article.
"The U.S. market seemed to be settling with Sony commanding approximately 56 percent of sales while Microsoft held a 24 percent share and Nintendo held on to approximately 20 percent."
" “Ever since Resident Evil shipped for GameCube, GameCube has been the number one seller [among game consoles],” he said. This is a particularly impressive turn as Electronics Boutique stores have typically sold higher percentages of Xbox and PlayStation 2 than other retailers."
" Nintendo allowed MSNBC to play through the first level of Metroid Prime, and the game far surpassed all expectations. A first-person perspective adventure, this game stands poised to do for GameCube what the multimillion seller GoldenEye 007 did for Nintendo 64."
I don't know if Kent's trying to prove something, but for an MSNBC writer, I couldn't find any really good news mentioned about the Xbox.
 

Dan B

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Steven Kent is a longtime Nintendo fan. (I'm not at all implying that he's biased in any way as I don't think he is)

However, I don't turn to him for game reviews, either. I'm sure Metroid will turn out well, though. Err, I mean I sure hope it does.

-Dan
 

Peter Manojlovich

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There are so many errors in the article it's hard to know just where to begin.

"Sony caught Nintendo and Sega completely flat-footed when it dropped the price of PlayStation in 1995. Sega had resisted dropping the price of Saturn*from $399 to $299 to catch up to Sony. Nintendo, for its part, had thought that pricing Nintendo 64 at $249 would give it a $50 price advantage. Both Sega and Nintendo said they would not follow Sony’s example in 1995, then announced price cuts of their own within the next 36 hours."

The psx launched in 1995, how could sony "drop" the price. The Saturn did a suprise launch in May of 1995 at $399 with one controller and Virtua Fighter as a pack-in. Sony launched in September at $299. The N64 did not launch until a year later in september of 96. To say that this is an abysmally researched article is being charitable.

"The shrewd maneuver cast Sony as the industry leader, calling shots to veteran companies Sega and Nintendo. Once again, Sony’s timing could not be better. By announcing its price drop first, Sony has forced Microsoft’s hand. Immediately after Sony’s announcement Monday, one Microsoft executive questioned why Sony had not waited for E3 and said Microsoft would wait for its scheduled press conference."

The rumor mills were pretty heavy that Microsoft would officially announce a price drop on May 20th. There is no mention by Steven Kent, that PR director of Communication Molly Smith of Sony vehemently denied last week that any offing of a price drop for the ps2 was in the works. She stated emphatically, that they would not drop the price of the ps2. A week later, Molly was singing a very different tune. I don't see anything particularly shrewd about a pr director lying though their teeth to the press.

Steven Kent is brutal. He states that Resident Evil released in April and since that point the gamecube has outsold the xbox and ps2 at EB. It sounds like that nintendo has been kicking butt for several weeks. The game released April 30th, and most stores received copies May 1st. So, the impact of sales has only been for a couple of weeks. This article appears to be deliberately misleading.

If I was a journalist and this bad, I'd hand in my press card.
 

Camp

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Wow...that's a pretty fine toothed comb you used on a rather harmless article.
 

Masood Ali

Supporting Actor
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I understand Peter's need to dissect the article, though.

Even though it's a harmless article, Kent holds a rather prominent position considering his place of employment. If his articles misinform, the negative effects can go beyond influencing just a handful of individuals.

EDIT: BTW, thanks for the kind words John.
 

BrianB

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He wrote 1995 instead of 1996. Okay? What he /said/ about the pricedrop then is absolutely correct.
 

Peter Manojlovich

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No, it's not correct Brian, if you substitute 1995 for 1996. Sega lowered the price of the saturn in the fall of 1995 in response to sony's price point and their own lacklustre sales. I don't remember sony lowering the price point of the playstation to pre-empt the launch of the n64. If he wants to write and be taken seriously then he needs to be accurate.

In a previous column of his, he was talking to a sony exec about the technical capability of the xbox, and mentioned max payne for the xbox. The sony exec replied, one game does not a system make. Hmmmm, when was the last time anyone brought up max payne as the premier title for the xbox. Guess ol' Steve hasn't heard of a little title for the xbox called Halo. Which is the top-selling game for the xbox in the north american and european markets. When it comes to gaming, I consider Steven Kent to be highly uninformed and way out of his element.
 

Peter Manojlovich

Second Unit
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I'm going to repost the following paragraph.

"Sony caught Nintendo and Sega completely flat-footed when it dropped the price of PlayStation in 1995. Sega had resisted dropping the price of Saturn*from $399 to $299 to catch up to Sony. Nintendo, for its part, had thought that pricing Nintendo 64 at $249 would give it a $50 price advantage. Both Sega and Nintendo said they would not follow Sony’s example in 1995, then announced price cuts of their own within the next 36 hours."

Saturn launched in North America in may of 1995 at $399. Sony launched in september of 1995 at $299. What's true, is that sega was reluctant to lower their price to $299. But, they did so, regardless. Nintendo was not in the picture at this point. Again, if you sub 1995 to 1996, it again makes no sense. The playstation debuted at $299. If there was a price cut, it'd have to be lower than $299, wouldn't it. Anyway, you want to cut it, this is just one lousy piece of journalism.
 

Justin1

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Jan 4, 1999
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The point of this article is the fact that things are getting interesting in the world of videogames. The PS2 is doing good, to no one's suprise. But, the fact that the XBOX has been, to be nice, abysmal since christmas cannot be overlooked. In addition, Microsoft has absolutely BOMBED internationally. The Gamecube is chugging along, not setting records but not doing horrible either.

The fact of the matter is that the post-launch hoopla is over and now the gloves have come off. The price is dropping, leaving very little in the way of those on the videogame console fence. The big question is which do they pick? This could very well decide the fate of this round of the console war. Chances are, by year's end, one of the big three will be in big trouble. Yes, they will be able to carry on for some time afterwards, but the writing will be on the wall. Right now, the XBOX is having difficulty and Sony price-matching them doesn't help a whole lot.

The really sad thing about this round is that all three systems are fairly good. All three systems are reasonably priced, all have a few future gaming classics, and all have comparable hardware configurations (except for the hard drive, of course). It will be tough to see one struggle.
 

Steven_V

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I believe Steven Kent meant to type 1997 instead of 1995. Also for those of us who have been reading Steven Kent for a while now, know that he is one of the few remaining unbiased gaming journalist out there.
 

Camp

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I think he meant Sony just launched at a price lower than Sega was selling at.
 

BrianB

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Nope, like Steven_V says, it was '97 where Sony dropped the price suddenly, the others denied they'd follow & then promptly did the same.
 

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