Every one of these will be debuting within the next 3 months. It is an exciting time for videogames indeed. Even with the empire of Atari, there has never been a barrage of videogame content available to the public. But so much content, can the public handle it. Is there anything to learn from the dotcoms? History shows us that only two consoles have ever been able to survive simultaneously. Proven only too well by the recent dropout of used-to-be-hardware-giant Sega. Now, we have veteran Nintendo with Gamecube, usurper Sony with Playstation 2, and upstart Bill Gates with XBOX. (One thing I miss about SEGA is their originality in naming systems: Master system->Genesis->Saturn->Dreamcast)
But they all have gobs of money. LOTS. Many considered that Nintendo took a pounding from Sony by losing market share. Get this, they had NET sales of 5 BILLION in fiscal 2000. Sony has the home court advantage. And well XBOX...its got the muscle.
It doesn't matter who has the best machine. In this day and age, it comes down to who has the best games. Not just games, but EXCLUSIVE games restricted to just one system. In a masterfully conducted coup de tat, Nintendo just got the rights to be the sole console for all Resident Evil games in the next five years. XBOX has Dead or Alive 3 and Munch's Oddysee. The other big games on XBOX are already either out or will come out additionally on PS2 or GC. It will be an interesting Novemeber indeed. How will sony fight back? Three words and one number: METAL GEAR SOLID 2. This title is easily the most anticipated title in the history of videogames. Nothing has received more press, and rightfully so. Now it's true that Metal Gear Solid will come out on XBOX later, but everyone already has a playstation2. MGS2 on PS2 is due for release in mid-November, same time as XBOX and GC. Sony also plans to launch its online infrastructure in Late 2001, but I don't think it will be significant until 2002.
Nintendo seems to be sticking to their President's, Hiroshi Yamauchi, mantra: Quality, not Quantity. They stuck to this with N64, and frankly, I thought their quality games were very low quantity. It almost seemed like PS1 had as many AAA titles as the total N64 library.
Don't get me wrong, Nintendo is the master of making the Killer App to sell systems. People bought a N64 to play either Mario64, Zelda64, or Goldeneye. But Luigi's Mansion on GC looks like a saturday morning cartoon. That's ok. There's whole world of youngsters that need those kind of games...but they just don't have the money to buy them.
It's hard to predict this one. Playstation 2 looks to be the leading contender, with their MGS2/Final Fantasy X one-two punch. But, that doesn't change the fact that the PS2 IS limited. 4 Megs of RAM!!??--I'd LOVE to know what Ken Kutaragi was thinking. In addition, no console manufacturer has successfully launced two systems in a row. Everyone's raving about XBOX. Ok, so its a powerful machine, but so is my computer, and guess what...I have a lot more PS2 games that PC games. Its software that matters, and Microsoft needs to gather up some more third-party developers to make exclusive content. Nintendo...Sad as it is to say it, They may benefit from dropping out of the hardware business and concentrating on software, becuase, let's face it, Shigeru Miyamoto is a genius.