The long awaited arrival of the Microsoft XBOX game system came and went. Store shelves show 73% of 300,000 Units sold as of last Thursday (Nov. 22, 2001). Nintendo, who launched their Gamecube after the XBOX as I had predicted, didn't do as well with more units on the shelves, but still selling an impressive 47% of 700,000 units (according to Goldman Sachs).|
Most game industry analysts see Sony keeping the lead with an 18 month lead on their Playstation 2 unit, but many analysts also agree Microsoft and Sony will hold the 1 and 2 positions within a year. Simple economics again - where is the biggest market share? It's in Sony and Microsofts target markets.
The biggest market share is in the pre-teen/adults. Nintendo seems wise to the issue with their American Commercials advertising the Gamecube, but in interviews with Peter Main (Nintendo VP of America), Nintendo sings a different story about being for little kids.
I did say Nintendo would do this with their marketing of the Gamecube, but has it helped? Maybe somewhat, but there is no budging Sony or Microsoft as Sony holds the #1 position, and Microsoft just grabbed a huge piece of the pie in America. Games matter, but then again so does the system they're played on. A prime example is the computer.
Essentially all 3 game systems, the Sony PS2, the Nintendo Gamecube, and the Microsoft XBOX are computers - the XBOX more apparent than the others due to its PC based architechture. The Personal Computer however, also has a huge following with game players. Computer games nearly a decade old, still have a keen following like the game Doom. Starcraft, a computer game by Blizzard, and the worlds best selling computer game, still has thousands playing it online each day - and it's nearly half a decade old.
If the Computer game market can tell any story it's this one: Computer games outlive the home game system market. A Home Game system designed around a Personal Computer, but just for games was an intelligent and well researched entry into the home game system market by Microsoft with their XBOX.
You may buy a new computer system, but chances are you'll still play your favorite computer game on it. Just ask Sony, they're Playstation One games are playing right now on the Playstation 2.
Needless to say, Microsoft really launched their XBOX; it's here, it's being played, and it's doing well - now just wait for the Christmas rush!
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