Last month I gave my thoughts on the upcoming year for all the consoles. I thought the PS3 and 360 could have a strong year. I also wrote that I thought the Wii was on shaky ground. Now we are hearing news and speculation from some of the other media outlets. Was I on the right track? Will the PS3 make a comeback? Can the Wii maintain it’s momentum? Let’s see what the experts are saying.
First up with the big announcements is EA. We all know EA is fond of making grand statements with regards to its competitors and partners. So them coming out with a statement from left field is nothing new. This is what they had to say about the coming year. EA thinks that the Wii will stay on top in 08, not much of a surprise there with the Wii’s current sales figures. What is surprising is EA’s prediction that the PS3 will outsell the 360 in the upcoming year. But, should that really be surprising at all? According to sarcasticgamer.com, the PS3 has already outsold the 360.
If what they say is true, the PS3 outsold the 360 by 1.53 million in 07. If that comes as a surprise to you, join the club. All we’ve heard this year is how the 360 is trouncing the PS3. Are we being lied to or is this just something that no one has really paid any attention to? If it’s a case of the first, I get that. Microsoft definitely does not want this to get out. But, if it’s a case of the second, now that’s a problem. We all know the ignorance the mainstream media has in regards to videogames, but what about the typical gaming media outlets? Are they way off base, or are they onto a story that has yet to break big? Definitely something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
As far as the Wii goes though, EA’s assessment is not the only one out there. Microsoft has it’s own ideas. Jeff Bell of Microsoft has said that the Wii is kinda like a gateway device to the world of gaming. His thoughts are that the Wii is getting people into gaming that may not have thought about owning a console before. Unfortunately for Nintendo, Microsoft doesn’t think people will stick with it for the long haul, and will be looking for a new system when they grow out of the Wii. This is simplifying Jeff’s statements quite a bit. Does his theory hold water? In a way it does. The theory of the Nintendo bubble bursting has been making its rounds on the internet lately and has been getting a lot of attention and speculation.
What? You haven’t heard of the Nintendo bubble theory? Well here it is: The latest thoughts are that the Wii’s game line-up can’t support the sales the console have achieved as of late. What this means is that the gamers will realize that all there is to play on the Wii are the typical Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games, plus lots of crappy third party games. In the past Nintendo has had the problem of not being able to get consistent third party support. Nintendo doesn’t have that problem this time. The new problem is all the really bad third party games that are on the console now. Aunt Trudy may buy that cool looking game for little Timmy, not realizing it’s a complete disaster and pretty much unplayable. This may lead to a backlash of people not purchasing third party games, even the good ones, and stick to the first party games. That in turn, could lead to the third party developers pulling their support. The result being a drought of good third party games similar to what the N64 and and Gamecube were plagued with. The result will be less game sales, and then less console sales. The bubble, being the currently huge sales numbers, will eventually burst.
Overall, I think my ideas were pretty close to some of those in the industry. I was surprised about the bit of PS3 outselling the 360, but the Nintendo bubble bursting idea didn’t surprise me at all. It just doesn’t seem to have the credentials to hang with it’s competitors. Game-wise, Nintendo doesn’t have the library. Tech-wise, there’s no contest to either platform by its competition. Even if it adds DVD support this year, I don’t think it’ll be able to maintain the top spot past 2008. I may be wrong, after all, I’m just the average gamer.