XBOX will dominate the console market.
04/03/2001 1:27:00 AM MT Albuquerque, Nm
By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO
the XBOX is set to revolutionize game platforms
American made Microsoft is entering a market previously dominated by the Japanese; Game Consoles. In the interest of writing down the truth, I wrote the following article, supporting my debates with my friend Mike. Hi Mike!
Mike and I have been playing video games since we were children. We've both played nearly every video game system to hit the home, even the first Atari 2600. Well, in the late 80's, I, Dustin, began getting seriously into computers. I had owned one when I was very young, maybe 5-9, it was a Commodore 64. It really intrigued me being able to program at such a young age, I really had no idea I was so good at it until later on when I got older.
At the age of 14, I owned a Turbo Grafix 16, a Turbo Express, a Turbo Duo, an original NES, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and a Game Gear. You might say my experience with Video games was quite vast at such an early age, and I owned probably 100 or so games. Anyone who has so much gaming equipment absolutely must be, well experienced. I have yet to meet anyone who's owned all at once as many gaming systems, or alltogether as many gaming systems and games.
Video games for me, were a way to escape, and have some fun. I enjoyed beating every game I owned, without cheating, and having fun doing it and at times being challanged, but I wasn't a kid anymore, I was, well a Teenager. Computers, or home PC's at this time, 1989-92 were not common place, and maybe 1 in 100 families owned one. Now that figure is something like 40 in 100 in the year 2001, at least in the United States. So I had my first, fast PC, a 486/66 DX2 Intel with 8MB Ram and a 340 MB Hard Drive.
It was at this time I got really into programming seriously. I sold all my game systems with the exception of my Turbo Express (which had an attached TV Tuner which is cool). The only game system I owned, where all games start, was my PC. But I wasn't really playing games anymore, they just didn't interest me as much. I'd played them all, from the arcade to the home and back again. I had experienced more Adult games at an early age of 12-13, I remember it vividly, Falcon 3.0. Falcon 3.0 was a flight simulator for the computer using the F-16 Falcon and real Physics.
Computer games to me, were kind of like Falcon 3.0, much more intense, much more complicated, and well, much more adult. I saw what was possible with a computer at such an early age, it most definitely impacted my future thinking of video games in general.
I continued to write/engineer software, and opened my own business at the age of 14, which I later changed the name to AMO, (which you're looking at), later at the age of 15. In between long, long, long hours of coding, I used to play computer games. I liked Zelda as a kid, but RPG's on the computer were much different. Some games I really enjoyed included Legend of Kyrandia, Ultima Underworld, and Ultima Underworld 2. Much like the RPG's on the Turbo Duo were more older audience oriented, so were these RPG's. The experience was so different.
This is where the revolution started, with the PC. It's not that hard to understand, but it's simple to see. I can't go any further without mentioning Doom, a game the Marine Corp. used to train their soldiers. Doom created by ID Software, and John Carmack was the first 3 dimensional game ever released to the public, but that's not how it got it's respect. Doom created a revolution in games in general, much of which only recently surfaced on home game systems less than 4 years ago. This article is about the XBOX right? Yes, but this foundation is important, so listen up.
The demographics for Video Games have undergone a huge change since the revolution of the Personal Computer. Personal Computers at their earliest stages cost upwards of $3,000.00 in 1992-94. Prices dropped in 1995 with Windows 95, but some systems still sold in excess of $4,500.00. Early in 1996, computers fell to an average price of $2,500.00, in 1999 you could get a nice system for $1,500.00. Now in 2001, some systems cost below $1,000, but then again you'll pay much more for top of the line. A good Web Server PC cost's around $5,000 still. What happened in the Video Game industry is simple economics. The law of supply and demand of course.
All the while personal computers dropped in price, technology in them advanced at Moores Law, or the doubleing of computers capactity every 18-24 months. At the same time as the technology advanced, older more experienced video game developers made computer games. Video Game players also started shifting to the personal computer. A more adult audience was at the personal computer obviously in the last decade because most people didn't have their own PC's, as I did as a teenager. It's an obvious conclusion, but solidly wrapped in fact, your average video game player is older than he/she was before.
In fact, Video Games have generally been for boys, but girls started getting their own games on the PC. Games like Barbie, and Make-up this and that have proliferated on the PC, and the PC is also responsible for bringing more females into the industry. This isn't to say that girls didn't play Mario or the like, but the majority was boys.
When Sony introduced their CD Based Game system, the Playstation, it was their first. If you look at a timeline showing the Video Game Industry right next to the Personal Computer Industry, you'll see that Sony did this at the height, or Climax of Microsofts' Windows 95's release. It's not a coincidence that Sony targeted their system to 18-35 yr old males. Let's not forget that Sony is a major Computer Manufacturer.
While I feel justified that things have gone the way I predicted they would, I as others have been wrong in the past. Al Gore won the election like I said he would, but he's not president, Bush is, so hey. But I pride myself in being right, I hope you do to.
Ok, the XBOX. Well with a breif background on Sony and their Playstations, you should understand a bit about demographics, the target age group, and the largest potential supply and demand curve. A lot of marketing, economics, and the such factor in, but it's actually simple to understand.
Video Games aren't like they used to be, they're Computer Games now, and really they've always been. The more advanced ones play on big powerful super-computers. Kirkland Air Force base down here in Albuquerque just built a flight simulator for $10 Million+ dollars, and is building a $10 Billion dollar nationwide network of simulators, the hub based here in town; ladies and gentlemen that is advanced computer gaming at it's height.
Personal Computers will have the advantage until the point at which they don't exist in everyday life, obviously.
It seems I'm not the only one who thinks the XBOX has an advantage. Yes it's a computer made just for gaming, so it's not a PC right? Well, in the most general sense of the word, the XBOX is a PC. It's a computer, with an operating system, and designed to run applications, in this sense games. The XBOX doesn't have the conventional mouse or keyboard input device, but a controller that fits in the palms of your hands.
So why did Sony beat Nintendo in the last few years, and why is Microsoft's XBOX going to beat Sony and Nintendo in this market of home computer game systems, or "consoles"? The answer is easy, in one word, Industry. This Video Game Industry has morphed, from a children targeted market/industry, to a teenage targeted market/industry, to an industry that includes all ages. It's at it's final stage of evolution, age wise, in the exact same way Personal Computers did. Mike my friend do you hear me?
The home computer game industry for consoles is still targeted at males, and adult males. This is where the demand is, so that is where the supply is, it's simple economics. That is what caused companies to drift from Nintendo to Sony, and from Sony/Nintendo to the XBOX. The XBOX isn't on the market yet in the sense that you can buy one tomorrow, but it's coming. Sony did it once before with the Playstation One, and the Playstation 2 is currently the most popular game console ever made. Microsoft will change that, they've already started.
The Computer Game Industry (consoles and PC's alike) has changing demographics, and appeal to the largest and growing market of late-teen and adult videogame players. Though Microsoft is proudly showing off its Xbox hardware, it's the software that really makes all the difference in determining how popular a system is and how much it sells. We all know who's the most successful software creator in the world, it's not Sega, not Nintendo, and certainly not Sony, it's Microsoft, and Computer Games are Computer Software. The technology is on Microsofts Side.
From the April 02, 2001 Issue of Forbes Magazine: "Kids may love Zelda and Mario, but that won't be enough to keep Nintendo out of last place in a three-way battle to dominate the $6.5 billion videogame market. Though Nintendo is sure to remain the videogame maker of choice for the elementary school set, Microsoft and Sony will split the spoils from the growing--and more lucrative--population of adult gamers."
It will be interesting to watch, I have enjoyed the evolution over the past decade + and look forward to the future decade +, in all things, and in all ways.
Microsoft Xbox Web-Site
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