Industry Trends: Microsoft is the New Sony, Sony is Now Nintendo
Sony and Nintendo have studied each other over the years and formed patterns to combat against each other.
Nintendo relied strongly on superior first-party offerings, while Sony created strong third-party relationships and offered a wide variety of exclusive titles.
A change of strategy is now being made according to the Examiner, to quote:
This generation, Sony has become much more reliant on the prospect of first-party offerings to bring in the gamers. Uncharted, InFamous, Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet, two Resistance titles, Ratchet and Clank, etc, have become the mainstay titles to the PS3.
Thankfully, the first-party offerings from Sony have been amazing. Introducing several new franchises from established developers, Sony has been able to create a lineup strong enough to rival that of Nintendo. On the flipside, Sony doesn't have the in with the third-party developers.
This biggest, and by far one of the best games this generation, third-party title Sony has exclusive rights to is Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. After MGS4, we have scrapings of major releases.
Several niche titles have seen release like Disgaea 3 and the under loved Valkyria Chronicles. Sony had to make a shift and start crafting AAA first-party titles to counteract the sluggish third-party support.
If Sony became Nintendo, then who became Sony? Simple: Microsoft. Microsoft took advantage of their one year lead and built a strong online community via Xbox Live and hooked every third-party developer they could.
Whether it was by paying for exclusives or just landing them, Microsoft captured every development team they needed for success. Any major multiplatform third-party title released this generation was developed on the Xbox 360 first - minus Final Fantasy XIII. Sony has had to get the hand-me-downs and these titles often felt incomplete or didn't run properly on the hardware.
Microsoft created an easy to use architecture for the Xbox 360 and it allows developers an easier time for development, while many have claimed the PS3 is too difficult to develop for. This sounds a lot like the PlayStation vs Nintendo 64 days. The CD format was much easier to use and offered more space compared to the massive N64 cart.
Nintendo is still the same Nintendo we have always known. They continue making the games they like to make and the third-party developers abandon ship very quickly.
Unlike the last few consoles, third-party developers are staying around a bit longer with Nintendo, mostly thanks to the massive sales numbers the Wii has put up. With so many Wii consoles in homes, third-party teams are putting out more games, though mostly low-grade awful titles, and every so often we find a gem among them.
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I guess the good news is, Sony doesn't need to buy their way around to still be at the top of their "game" get it, made a funny . With where you started until now.
MGS4 = Game of the year 2008 (or) LBP depending on where you look.
KZ2 = Will be game of the year 2009
GOW3 = will be game of the year come 2010 or FFXIII for the PS3.
As we can look ahead and see what's coming. It seems knowing the market yields better results than buying the market. Plus, as well all know. It may seem like Sony is getting the hand me downs. But at least it will come on one disc ( blu-ray ) if need be. So harder yes, more potential yes to that as well.
good write up
I disagree. This Console war is unlike any other because Online has revolutionized gaming. No longer do we have to jump through menu after menu to get online. Now as soon as we turn on our consoles we are connected. What does this have to do with anything? Well look at it this way. Sony for the PS1 built up Third part support and had a Advertising campaign that was like no other. Same with the PS2, The PS2 felt like the future because of the way every commercial ended with the pulse through the PS2 Logo. Nintendo did do what you mentioned and yes they are still doing it today.
But to get back on track, like I said things have changed with Online. Remember Grand Theft Auto San Andreas? You could be glued to the screen for hours only to find out when you went back and looked at your Yahoo messenger to find out your friends have been begging you to go on Call of Duty 2 for Five hours.
Now, When you were playing GTA IV your friends could easily send you a message you will see clear as day stating "Want to Play some Resistance 2?". So the Technology is completely Different and I will get to where this is relevant soon.
With Amazing new Online what else did we get? A market place, Now instead of complete games being exclusives we get Add-ons. So I disagree with the 360 getting all the third party games. They are just getting all the add-on content.
Now in no way am I suggesting that Sony has better third party support because it doesn't. But make no mistake these strategies are completely different then what they did in the past. And I have a feeling when people start seeing that Sony has all the GOOD games, people will drip their 360's and Wii's and go back to their roots PlayStation.
Although the 360 now has better third party support then Sony. I have a feeling that will change when programmers start getting familiar with the system. That is my opinion with this console race.
I have to disagree with the article, true, MS had more third party exclusives but they are slowly coming to PS3 and most games today are multiplatform. The only thing that differentiates the consoles are the First Party games and the few exclusives that either side has been able to lure or flat out buy.
Even the one year lead of MS is not as commanding as everyone believes. In the US it is a big gap but compared to the rest of the world Sony isn't very far behind in sales given that one year lead.
In the end MS is still MS, they will buy whatever they can get their hands on and use their very deep pockets to stop a game from coming to the competition. All the while their first party studios dry out. They want the whole market to themselves so they will try to go casual and hardcore succeeding only in one.
Sony is still Sony, they keep to their guns, aren't afraid to innovate and create new first party franchises and they keep improving it's system, today's PS3 is not the same as the launch PS3 (yeah, I know no PS2 compatibility ¬_¬). They are the hardcore gamer console, the one that will get the quirky japanese games, the independent studios and the brand new franchises.
And Nintendo is still Nintendo, Innovation, great first party games but a little detached from the hardcore gamers.
And just another thing to add to the article, it seems that it was written one year ago, games aren't made on 360 first anymore so no hand me downs a lot are now even made on PS3 first and then ported to 360.
And the old whiney "PS3 is too dificult whahh wahhh" is no longer an issue as "real" programmers have managed to get the architecture down bringing games to the console that are virtually identical to it's 360 cousins.