Thursday, October 27, 2005

Don't worry about Nintendo...

I have been listening to gaming podcasts lately and the usual doom and gloom stories about Nintendo. Don't worry about Nintendo. They are doing fine. Read the book "Game Over" and you'll understand :

- Everything they sell makes a profit. The more they sell, the more they make.

- They are utterly ruthless. Read the book if you want examples.

- Sony and Microsoft sell the PS2 and XBox at a loss. The more they sell, the more money they lose. Do the math.

- Sony is fundamentally conflicted. They make consumer electronics. They also are a media conglomerate. They make most of their money with their media division, but the consumer electronics gets all the attention. Their consumer electronics group would probably LOVE to make a completely open device like the Game Park. The media people say "lock it down".

- Sony and Microsoft are chasing after the same demographic : the hardcore gamer. Or at least it looks that way. I have a feeling that this market is not growing very fast.

- The Nintendo franchises (Mario, Zelda) are for the most part pretty tame. The games are fun. They are timeless. They are pure fantasy. They tend not to lose much of their sheen over time. Mario is 20 years old this year.

Most people don't care how fast the processor is and don't like controllers with lots of buttons. I know I don't. What I care about is how good the game is. I'm not interested in games where I shoot things that look like people (like Halo). I bet most people don't. This is about as antisocial as games get. They tend to attract controversy (and lawsuits).

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