September 28, 2015


Who will be the next console champion

About 9 years ago I wrote a blog post predicting why the Nintendo Wii would win the war of the 7th generation of video game consoles. And it kinda did, at least in terms of hardware by selling a tremendous amount of units, over 100 million (by comparison the Xbox360 and PlayStation 3 each sold around 84 million, which was not too shabby).

This was great but in itself is not really winning, because the real money comes from licensing the software that runs on the platform. Where the Wii excelled was in it's innovative controls, specifically thanks to the Wii remote and nun-chuck. The wii remote opened all sorts of exciting new interactive opportunities. Problem was, the only games you really needed to make the most of the Wii experience were the ones that came bundled with the product. Development from third party game creators never really materialized for the Wii due to the systems limitations. The Wii hardware was a success, but revenues for games licenses would never match that of Microsoft or Sony.

Now that we're a couple years into the 8th generation of consoles, the Wii's successor, the Wii U has only sold a tenth of the original Wii's numbers, which is sad because the Wii U is a fantastic machine. The Wii U's controller contains a second screen making the experience of using it more like the two screen experience of using Nintendo's very popular DS portable gaming device. However, Microsoft has already caught up to Nintendo, and Sony has more than doubled Nintendo in units sold.

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