Rants and raves about all the latest in video games and other forms of mindless entertainment.

June 22, 2005

"500 trillion by 2056!" -- Sincerely, Bill

Alright, so we've been over the rampaging machine of crazy known as Microsoft many times already. There's no beating around the bush here: Microsoft is run by baboons. That's the only reasonable conclusion I can come up with. Examining the market at face Value, Microsofts brand name has been stretched to it's limits. Xbox has become a household name, and the vente console that could is still managing to plug holes in the industry that Sony and Nintendo have moulded in the past ten to twelve years. Microsoft recently told the world that they expect to sell 10 million Xbox 360s in the first 12 - 16 months of the consoles life cycle. What I'd like to know is what intel is Microsoft basing these numbers on? It took the Xbox a sluggish 4 years to sell 20 million units, a feat the Ps2 accomplished in only a year. Do they think they're releasing the next Playstation 2? The reason the Playstation 2 sold so well was because it had an installed base of 100 million users with the original Playstation. Not to mention the Ps2 was a cheap and affordable DVD player, which was a technology only in it's infantile (and pricey) stages, yearning for early adopters. The Xbox 360 (no console for that matter) doesn't have the advantage of being a technology requiring early adopters (with possibly the exception of Blu-Ray). The Xbox 360 is still using the minimalist DVD9 format, a format which is already as widespread as DVD5, in a DVD saturated industry. There's nothing alluring or enticing about the Xbox360's features (no next-gen console for that matter). It's all pretty basic stuff we've layed hands on this generation. So it takes Microsoft 4 years to sell 20 million units of a console with the same allure as the Playstation 2, being that it's behind the scenes career is a DVD player, and now Microsoft expects to sell half of that, in units of a console with less desireable "newness" in 1/4 the time.

"Gizmondo sells 20 million in 2 years, gold fish, Albuquerque!"
See, I can do it too.

Where's the logic? Neither Sony nor Nintendo have ever projected sales higher than their installed base. In Nintendo's case, they actually aim low, and inevitably raise their unit sale projections within a few months of launch; at least in their handheld gaming divisions. The most recent example is Nintendo's DS. Raising expectations of selling 3.5 million units worldwide to 4 million. Nintendo's installed handheld base is about 80 million. Microsofts 10 million mark is about the same as Nintendo expecting to sell 40 million DS units in 12 to 16 months. Early adopters are never a bulky bunch, and don't normally number quite as high as the "wait and see" crowd. A general rule of thumb with any new product, is use the previous generation of technology as a guideline to predict sales of the next for the next wave of gamers. The predictions can never be spot on, so never count on complete mimicry, but expect numbers comparable with the previous years. That's a trend that has continued throughout most of gaming history. Nintendo has made this lumpy mistake once before, but has never done it since. Even Sony's nursling the PSP has had it's projected sales of 18 million units shed to about 13 million units. In that case however, no market data is available for comparison or unit projections, so it's an uncommon case, usually tacked onto new tech. Similarly, Microsoft is acting like the Xbox doesn't even exist. Dropping support for the Box to support the 360 was one suprise, but now we're seeing Microsoft pretend the market trend of the Xbox has been erased from memory. All the power to you Microsoft, but you're aiming high for a console whose pedigree has been met with criticism and languid sales.

File Under: Idiocy, ad nauseum.


Blogger NOT said...

nice info here, thanx bro..
Glad to know you're a gamer.
Me too, but only PC... and the PS3.

June 23, 2005 3:26 AM


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