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Microsoft Shoots for Number Two In Console War

September 5th, 2008 by Derrick Schommer · 1 Comment

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Microsoft recently announced their price cuts on the Xbox 360, effective today, but what is motivating them? Microsoft’s not going to make much additional money by passing off the savings to the customer but they will, more than likely, sell a bunch of great new Xbox 360‘s to a new crowd of gamer.

Motivation? Sony.

“I’m not at a point where I can say we’re going to beat Nintendo,” says Don Mattrick, senior vice-president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. Indeed, Nintendo is likely to run away with the lead in the current generation of console gaming, leaving Microsoft and Sony to battle for second place. (businessweek)

Who would have thought Sony and Microsoft would be battling out this generation for second place while Nintendo breezes through with their Wii console and a handful of games with mediocre game reviews? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question. If you saw this coming and you’re not on the marketing or project planning for one of these console makers you better prep your resume!

The battle isn’t cooling, Microsoft drops their price to compete with their big competitor Sony which also brings it closer to the price tag on the Wii getting two bird with one stone. The reason Wii is winning is clearly due to its broad demographic of grandpa and grandma non-gamers along with hardcore gamers who have to collect all the consoles and younger gamers that want to fit the trend.

Microsoft’s clearly shooting for second place by installing more units into the consumers home as possible. They’ve got a great library of first person shooter titles, a few RPG’s and RTS titles and the typical contraversial titles like GTA and Saints Row with more hot blockbusters (read: Gears of War 2) arriving soon.

I see this as a great opportunity for casual game developers to get into the Xbox Live Arcade market and start making themselves (and Microsoft) some money off the new gamers that will buy their first Xbox 360 for $199 and up. Microsoft’s getting closer to the low-budget gamer crowd with their price cuts so it would be great if they can take advantage of that market with lower cost titles as well.

If you’re a game developer looking for console stick time and you want to grab the attention of a large pool of gamers, the Xbox 360 isn’t a bad start!

While Microsoft isn’t aiming at Nintendo just yet, there is no doubt Nintendo will be in their sights if they can smoke the pants off Sony in the near future (by this holiday).

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Tags: Console Games · Editorial · Holiday · Microsoft · Nintendo · Sony · Wii · Xbox 360

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