So we’ve documented pretty well here at HCW how Nintendo is kicking Sony’s behind. And the results are showing through in the markets. Nintendo has just passed Panasonic-maker Matsushita, and is fast closing in on Sony, with Nintendo having a market cap of 6.30 trillion yen, while Sony’s is 6.64 trillion yen.
We all know what sells consoles. The name of the game hasn’t changed in years. Games sell consoles. The more games that run on your console, the more attractive your console is. And with the Wii, Nintendo was determined to win on this front. While Nintendo in the past had an elitist attitude and prided themselves on in-house game development for franchises such as the Mario, Zelda, and others, Nintendo took the Wii to 3rd-party developers to ask for their partnership in developing games. Consequently, the Wii has more games than the PS3 right now, though perhaps not in individual genres. But add the greater number of games to the novelty of swinging a stick in the air, and Nintendo’s in a really strong position.
Meanwhile, Sony’s been in a string of recent disasters, from the resignation of the father of the Playstation to bad PR with the Church of England to horrific sales. About the only thing they have going for them is Blu-ray.
Engadget has some quick info on Sony’s annual shareholders meeting. Apparently, there are 380 games on track to be released by March 2008 for the PS3. The longevity of the PS2 was ridiculous, and allowed for many games to be developed on a single platform over time. But many say that Microsoft has clearly shortened the cycle time of a console with how they design and release their Xbox line. The big question is whether Sony will have enough quality games on shelves fast enough to make the PS3 a worthwhile purchase before the cycle is up. It’ll be a couple of years from now, no doubt.
Secondly, will their volume of games be able to outpace the volume of games that will come out for the Wii? Developers seem to agree that it’s easier to program games for the Wii than the PS3. And I’ve always wanted to swing my lightsabre, rather than press a button on my controller; there is still a lot of potential for how gamers can have fun with the Wii. With both developers and consumers acting as driving forces for the creation of more Wii games, who knows? We know that Nintendo itself is currently developing 45 games for the Wii, but I haven’t been able to find a number yet on how many games are also being developed by 3rd-party developers. The total may or may not be greater than 380. And don’t forget Nintendo’s virtual console for releasing vintage titles.
Honestly, I hope that Sony pulls a rabbit out of their hat. Competition is always the best for any industry.