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Sega falls hard. Nintendo is next... or is it?

By cbatt in Technology
Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 08:16:30 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

By now, everyone has probably heard of the demise of Sega's Dreamcast video game console and their shift to a strictly software publishing business model.

Most people in wealthy countries probably are also at least somewhat aware of Sony's newest bad boy, the PS2. They've also probably heard that Microsoft is going to wade into the fray with their X-Box.

What few people have heard, unless they're into video games, is the future plans of Nintendo. Most have heard so little about the former champ, that it's been marked for a lingering death.

Well... have we got news for you.


According to a recent PC Data report, sales figures place Nintendo at the top of the game publishing heap: $500 million more than their nearest competitor, Electronic Arts. $700 million more than Sony.

Here's are some highlights, along with an additional revenue-per-unit calculation:

1 - Nintendo
26,807,180 units - $955,169,820 gross revenue
$35.63/unit

2 - Electronic Arts
11,946,160 units - $435,493,079
$36.45/unit

5 - Sega
6,332,560 units - $262,494,552
$41.45/unit

6 - Sony
8,927,900 units - $244,438,591
$27.38/unit

So tell me, how are they generating that sort of revenue?

They have Zero respectability with "real" gamers. Old technology, that's significantly cheaper than the competition's. Almost no media coverage of anything n64 anymore, unless it's Zelda. The GameCube is lost in the hype between XBox, PS2 and the demise of Dreamcast. Pokemon is swiftly becoming passe. Their target market, children, have no direct purchasing power. They have nothing going for them at all.

Yet they're kicking ass and taking names. Though somehow, very, very quietly.

Of course, Sony really isn't a significant game publisher. And the PC and PS markets have far more individual competitors than the Nintendo platform market. The dollars are therefore spread quite a bit thinner.

However, consider that Nintendo doesn't have a significant installed base of n64s. GameBoy software is significantly cheaper than PS or PC software. Yet they manage to sell a lot of units and maintain a higher per unit revenue than Sony, and are almost on par with EA while selling over double EA's units.

K5 might not be a gaming industry rag, but I don't see this as gaming industry news. I see it as more of a wake up call for believing the hype.

I'm not a particular fan of video games myself (but I still follow the industry very closely), and I really don't give a damn one way or the other who wins the so called console wars. But to be honest, I found this news to be very shocking as I, like most everyone who's in the know even a smidgen, didn't give Nintendo a snowball's chance in hell against the juggernauts of Sony and Microsoft.

I also find it very refreshing to read something that turns one's perceptions entirely on one's ear.

So what's your take on both my analysis and the potential futures of the video-game market. Whether you're a true game geek or not.

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Poll
How is Nintendo generating revenue?
o Fad software (eg. Pokemon) 26%
o An image of "kid safe" gaming 6%
o A lot of closet n64 lovers 12%
o Gameboy, gameboy, gameboy 28%
o Less pirating due to cartridge format 7%
o Biggest fish in a small pond 5%
o This poll needs more options 15%

Votes: 99
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o PC Data report
o Also by cbatt


Display: Sort:
Sega falls hard. Nintendo is next... or is it? | 43 comments (30 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Easy? (4.80 / 5) (#6)
by interiot on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:22:35 PM EST

The top 10 console games sold in Japan on 1/08/00 are:
    1. Pocket Monsters Crystal Version (GameBoy) [produced by Nintendo]
    2. Gameboy Dragon Quest III (GameBoy)
    3. Yuugi Dual Monsters 4: Yuugi Deck (GameBoy)
    4. Pachislo: Aruza Kingdom 4 (PlayStation)
    5. Pokemon Stadium Gold & Silver (N64) [produced by Nintendo]
    6. Mobile Suit Gundam (PS2)
    7. Yuugi Dual Monsters 4: Joushinai Deck (GameBoy)
    8. Crash Bandicoot Carnival (PlayStation)
    9. Bouncer (PS2)
    10. Muscular Something Volume 3 Yadda Yadda (PlayStation)

(here's the non-Japanese-oriented one, just for kicks)

The latest generation of consoles aren't making much of a dent in old-gen game sales. Maybe it's because next-gen consoles are still being sold and haven't reached the market penetration that the older consoles have. Maybe it's because the PS2 is backwards compatible. Maybe the reason is that it's the moms and grandmas who would have to fork over the $300+ for the PS2, and they see that their kid is happily entranced in his Nintendo, so there's no need to buy another console.

okay (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by cbatt on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 12:22:17 AM EST

But there are only two Nintendo produced/published titles on that list, correct? The others might be GameBoy, but they're from 3rd party developers and I don't believe 3rd party revenues are counted in the PC Data report that I referenced. So what the hell else is The N selling to:

A) Simply acheive that much revenue.

Which was a huge shocker for me as I have always heard that EA is the real big boy on the block - the 800lbs gorilla of electronic games. Heck, they've got Square, and everything that Square produces is heralded as the second coming of Christ. Yet The N simply kicked the living crap out of everyone, and not a mention of that was made, except buried under piles of PS2, XBox, and the next big Square release hype.

B) Acheive parity on the avg. revenue per unit with (and beating) many of their competitors while selling the huge majority (mode average) of their software under the mean.

This is the figure that prompted me to write the article as it dosn't really make sense to me. The installed base of n64s is comparatively insignificant to the PS1, yet what software is produced for it must be both expensive, yet sell in vast quantities just to shift that mean average up past the price point of The N's by far biggest revenue generator.

Furthermore, think of this:

What sort of profitability must The N be enjoying at the moment?

Its hardware is extremely mature (some say "over ripe") and there must be many engines and design principles around. So getting a game produced must be fairly cost effective by now, especially on the game boy which, in theory, really shouldn't be that hard to program or design for as it's so limited. Yet good GB games generate massive gross revenue.

I think that the industry is going to be in for a wake up call when the GameCube and GB Advance combo get out the door. They're both going to be cheaper than the competition and tightly integrated with each other. The 'Cube is supposedly being engineered from the ground up to be easy to program, and I don't see why they wouldn't do the same for the GB Advance. This translates into better Time to Market and therefore better profits for the publishers.

IMHO, Nintendo is in a great position. Underneath the radar of a lot of people, but still powerful enough to strike a knockout blow. I'm deffinately keeping my eye on the situation now.

-----------
Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

[ Parent ]

but... (4.00 / 3) (#7)
by _Quinn on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:42:39 PM EST

   ... how does the total PS/2 market compare to the total Nintendo market? As you said, Sony isn't a big publisher; they make their money off of other companies' games. I'd be interested in a Nintendo/Sony's-Gaming-Unit comparison, if you could find one.

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
I don't think that's right (1.00 / 2) (#11)
by Phage on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:49:44 PM EST

It is common knowledge that the consoles themsleves are loss-leaders for the manufacturing company. (Refer this story)

If the intent of the story is to discuss the performance of each of the companies in financial terms, rather than the quality of the console/games themselves. Then the dollars earned by the publishing of games is a better metric.

I think that is very likely that the number of consoles would favour the PS series, but that in terms of effective business strategies, then the laurels must go to Nintendo.

And as a post-script, I bought a N64 for my kids (young) recently because of the family friendly content. Of course the fact that the N64 is 87% cheaper than the PS2, helps a lot ! )
Plus I have a PC in the living-room, to supply my FPS addiction.
Don't sneer at the games either...I did...until I found myself up late one night racing my wife on Diddy-Kong Racing. That is one of the best racing games I have played in a long time !


I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
Canthros
[ Parent ]

Pokemon passe? (4.50 / 6) (#8)
by Remy on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 08:47:25 PM EST

Some more numbers, this time from an FGN article on announcements NOA made about their sales:

The four best-selling games of the year all starred Pokemon, led by Pokemon Gold/Silver and including the most popular console game, Pokemon Stadium. In total, 14 million Pokemon games were sold through in America, representing 12 percent of all game sales.

And from IGN: October 23, 2000 - United States - The numbers are in - Pokémon Gold and Silver have sold more than 1.4 million copies in a week's time, making it the fastest-selling game ever.

I know that the majority of "hardcore" gamers poo poo the entire series, but no matter how many "blow up Pikachu" sites there are, it sells, and it continues to sell better than anything else out there. Keep in mind, these are just US sales. Pokemon Crystal is, as other people have pointed out, selling extremely well in Japan.


-- "The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms." - Morpheus, Deus Ex

I concede that Pokemon isn't dead (none / 0) (#12)
by cbatt on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 11:25:07 PM EST

heck, with sales like that, it's kicking ass. Thanks for the info.

Though it still makes me wonder about how they achieve that price per unit. Pokemon Gold/Silver seem to retail for about $29.99 (US), and not all those sales are Pokemon even if that's the largest percentage. And the vast majority of GB software probably falls in the $20-$25 range, which drags that average down a bit further.

So to acheive that revenue per unit, they'd still have to be selling a large amount of more expensive software. Most likely n64 titles. But you hardly ever hear mention of "success" and "n64" in the same breath. Though it obviously must be doing something.

This basically lead me to a conclusion that The N is still a major force to be reckoned with. Yet GameCube is treated like the ugly stepchild of the nextgen consoles by most of the media that even bothers to mention it.

It's PS2, PS2, PS2 and XBox all the way to the bank, with GameCube picking up the scraps. However, I find that with sales data like I mentioned above, that would be a gross, if not entirely idiotic, miscalculation even if Pokemon were to somehow die off completely (as many hardcore gamers would prefer) because of the mean revenue per unit that they're acheiving.

Pure and simple, it was a real "wake up and smell the coffee" moment for me.

-----------
Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

[ Parent ]

Pokemon Games (4.00 / 4) (#9)
by Ranger Rick on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 09:01:48 PM EST

Although my only experience with the Pokemon "phenonmenon" is through GameBoy, I have to say that while the themes of the games are based on the stupid Pokemon fad, the Pokemon RPG and Pokemon Pinball have to be two of my favorite games on the GameBoy.

Despite the fact that it pains me that I actually bought something Pokemon-related as I watch kids soak up the advertising I subsidized, I have to admit that Nintendo didn't skimp on the game design. The Pokemon RPG rivals the GB Final Fantasy series, and Pokemon Pinball is one of the most fun games I've played in a long time, period. So I wouldn't say it's just "fad" software. :)


:wq!


Re: Pokemon Games (none / 0) (#33)
by WWWWolf on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 10:46:01 AM EST

Yep, the GB Pokemon games rock - I just won Pokemon Blue, actually (Only about 48 hours of play, and my sister said I could have done that in 40...)

As for other Pokemon stuff, I found out that Viz's comic books (by Toshihiro Ono) are a lot better than the Nintendo's "own" stuff =)

Oh, and there's one thing that cannot be denied: Vulpix is just cute. =)

(End of MLP...)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
In the interests of objectivity :) (4.66 / 3) (#16)
by zaugg on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 08:23:29 AM EST

Here's what the shiny new k5 sucks-rules-o-meter has to say.


--zaugg

.sig free for eight months!

Step 1: Begin by adopting a pet. (4.40 / 5) (#19)
by eLuddite on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 11:40:20 AM EST

Their target market, children, have no direct purchasing power.

On behalf of parents reading this, I must disagree. Strongly.

They have nothing going for them at all.

On behalf of parents reading this, I must laugh.

---
God hates human rights.

how Nintendo has big sales figures (2.00 / 1) (#21)
by danimal on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 12:53:12 PM EST

One Word: Pokemon!

They sell games, cards, shirts, videos, etc. The Gameboy being the excellent platform that it is has allowed them to ship many variations on a theme with the Pokemon games. Kids parents buy them all and blamo, cash in the bank for Nintendo.
--
<tin> we got hosed, tommy
<toy> clapclapclap
<tin> we got hosed

Nintendo's pretty strong... (2.00 / 1) (#22)
by Maniac on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 02:01:20 PM EST

Hmm. Having two young boys, there seems to be a demand to have a new game just about once a month. About equally split between the Nintendo 64 and the Game Boy. Yes, we have most [not all] of the Pokemon variants, but a lot of other items like Zelda, DK 64, Cruisin' World, etc.

I like the looks of the new PS-2 games, but not enough to spend the money on it. It would be nice to get a few arcade games on Nintendo 64 like Crazy Taxi - but then that's a Sega product.

Don't expect the death of Nintendo any time soon.

Real gamers just a dinky slice of the pie. (1.60 / 5) (#23)
by johnzo on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 04:48:51 PM EST

So tell me, how are they generating that sort of revenue? They have Zero respectability with "real" gamers.

I suspect that "real" gamers consitutes a far smaller segment of the gaming population than you suspect. Look at how many software houses fell all over themselves to put out redneck-oriented hunting games following the success of Deer Hunter? IIRC, "real" gamers weren't at all interested in Deer Hunter, to the point that magazines that catered to "real" gamers amended their top ten lists so as not to include games in the hunting genre.

Their target market, children, have no direct purchasing power.

Yeah, but kids do okay with their indirect purchasing power. What demographic do you think it was that drove The Grinch to the top this past holiday season, despite the fact that "real" film buffs wouldn't touch it with a freaking pole? And what's the base demographic for Disney animated releases?

Also, conscientious parents who want an electric babysitter will reach for Pokemon or Mario over Quake III, because they don't want their precious offspring to grow up into cafeteria shooters.

zo.

oops. (none / 0) (#25)
by johnzo on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 04:53:07 PM EST

Aw, shit. One of you trusted folks want to rate my duplicate posting down to a zero so I don't look like quite so much of an idiot? thankee. zo.

[ Parent ]
Real gamers just a dinky slice of the pie. (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by johnzo on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 04:51:11 PM EST

So tell me, how are they generating that sort of revenue? They have Zero respectability with "real" gamers.

I suspect that "real" gamers consitutes a far smaller segment of the gaming population than you suspect. Look at how many software houses fell all over themselves to put out redneck-oriented hunting games following the success of Deer Hunter? IIRC, "real" gamers weren't at all interested in Deer Hunter, to the point that magazines that catered to "real" gamers amended their top ten lists so as not to include games in the hunting genre.

Their target market, children, have no direct purchasing power.

Yeah, but kids do okay with their indirect purchasing power. What demographic do you think it was that drove The Grinch to the top this past holiday season, despite the fact that "real" film buffs wouldn't touch it with a freaking pole? And what's the base demographic for Disney animated releases?

Also, conscientious parents who want an electric babysitter will reach for Pokemon or Mario over Quake III, because they don't want their precious offspring to grow up into cafeteria shooters.

zo.

Pokemon (3.50 / 2) (#26)
by Morn on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 06:49:16 PM EST

Are your 'per unit' figures only taking into account only the revenue from games, or do they take into account all revenue? Backed up by the extensive research I've carried out into the subject (erm, none), I'd say that Nintendo must be making a huge amount from sales of Pokemon rights, videos, merchandise etc, which shouldn't really be counted in a 'per unit' games figure.

Piss on Sega. (3.00 / 1) (#29)
by buzzbomb on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 07:58:44 PM EST

Sega has always had decent hardware, but they have always fell flat on their face when it comes to software support. No software support == no profit. Nintendo had it, now Sony has it. X-Box, I think, is gonna be the next best thing. Known hardware + paged memory (the HDD people) is a big thing. Gone will be the simplistic fighting games and bullshit. Big RPGs will finally be able to be decent on a "console." Not to mention the ease of porting from the PC version to the X-Box version. This could help BOTH markets! Btw, I'm no Microsoft whore. I hate the fuckers. :) But it is a hell of an idea and they have the cash and influence to pull it off. Now the console kiddies will be able to see how REAL games play...at the shitty TV resolution of ~500x~400.

Re: Piss on Sega (none / 0) (#39)
by Ludwig on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 04:28:52 PM EST

That wasn't even the case with the Dreamcast -- Sega learned from their mistakes with the Saturn and had excellent software support. The DC ultimately tanked because the hardware was too expensive and they were (for some reason) competing on price with previous-generation consoles instead of comparable upcoming ones. And everyone knows that there's no way a $149 Dreamcast could possibly be any better than a $129 Playstation... They'd have probably done better if they had kept it at $200 at least until the PS2 came out, and even longer if Sony had then stuck to ther $300 price.

[ Parent ]
Decent Hardware (none / 0) (#41)
by inpHilltr8r on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 06:20:29 PM EST

You obviously never saw the insides of the Saturn. A shopping list console that was shipped with several fundamental design flaws. Like two processors sharing a bus with no form of hardware interlock. The PS2 may have a steep learning curve, but the Saturns was past vertical, actually looping back on itself once you realised that there was virtually no-way-in-hell you were ever going to get that second processor to do anything usefull...

...and it's polygons weren't even proper polys, but carefully stretched sprites, which made texture mapping a bitch. Especially if you were doing any form of cross platform development.

While the Dreamcast was/is much easier to develop for, it was another shopping list of off the shelf components, and as such, was never going to compete. It's only advantage, a years headstart.

Now the N64 had it's quirks, but it also had the most powerfull processor of it's generation, and the most complete rasterisers. A real floating point coprocessor, perspective correct texture mapping, and a lightweight, yet powerful OS core, more than made up for the few oddities (you really wanted to avoid tall thin polys, and if texels get too close, you can see some strange distortions due to a subtle bug in the rasterising microcode). The thing that really hurt it was the extreme difficulty for 3rd parties to make any money off of software due to the enormous expense of manufacturing cartridges.

Playstation by comparison, sat squarely between the Saturn and the N64 on all fronts, well, other than marketing spend. A simple clean design, cheap, and cheerfull, with few quirks. Sure it didn't have a data cache, but that just meant you didn't have to worry about cache optimisations, and it didn't have perspective correct textures, but you could always subdivide, and after a while, people just accepted the artifacts as part of the playstations feel. To it's advantage, it had nice little custom co-processor for fixed point math, that is the logical forerunner of the PS2's oh-so-tricksy vector units.

Oh, and "real" games? Get a life.


[ Parent ]
It's all about Mindshare... (3.00 / 2) (#30)
by lucas on Thu Feb 01, 2001 at 08:16:13 PM EST

Nintendo has been in the business for a long time, beating competitors since the NES.

One might claim that "real" gamers don't respect Nintendo, but they know *of* Nintendo and that is a real key since mindshare is a key issue in the gaming industry. No one really *wants* to see Nintendo go out of business, whereas Sega was pretty much dead having failed since the SMS to take a lead in the console marketplace. I thought the Dreamcast was incredible, but it didn't seem like it was groundbreaking enough to pull Sega to the top.

In order to achieve this amount of revenue, Nintendo has probably diversified its experience into other areas aside from console gaming. Creating and marketing Pokemon sold a lot of video games, but there was more money to be made in licensing and creating a sort of Pokemon subculture.

I suspect that Nintendo is creating some new and fairly innovative strategies, though I can't help but wonder if their zenith may have already come and gone.

Zero respectability? (2.00 / 1) (#31)
by tumeric on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 07:32:42 AM EST

They have Zero respectability with "real" gamers

I've never used an N64 but I know that gaming is more than hardware specs. The people I talk to with Dreamcasts and Playstations still undust their N64s occasionaly and talk about the excellent quality of the games.

In fact, Nintendo's USP with the GameCube is going to be the quality of the games rather than the polygon count. Gameplay counts for a lot with some gamers.

Sony is not making money on the PS2 (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by unstable on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 09:40:35 AM EST

They are making their money off licences for games. Some rumors even have it that the PS2 was sold at a loss to them just to get their product out the door and create a demand for more games. game developers create new games for it. then give Sony a hefty sum when it hits market... repeat for all the titles that are out and comming out for the PS2 and you get the idea....

Im not saying your wrong but there are other factors in this other than straight sales.



Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

Could it be the piracy factor? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by Mitheral on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 11:35:32 AM EST

Because the Dreamcast and the PS-PS/2 are on CD they are both are easily, to one degree or another, copyable; however the N64 carts are actual hardware that requires skill and resources to copy. Of course there are emulators that can play a copy of the ROM but you then lose the advantages of a console.

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the majority of Playstation games are pirated.

The N64 consoles are also cheap (C$134 including two controllers) and readily available. And they have the games the kids (and some adults) like to play.

--
For those who do, no explanation is necessary.
For those who don't, no explanation is possible.

Game Doctor (1.50 / 2) (#35)
by craigm on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 12:39:42 PM EST

You haven't seen the Game Doctor have you? It acts just like a cart and loads the games off of an IDE device (typically a hard drive). Since the cart images are smaller than CDROMS, it makes it quite easy to pirate N64 games. The only inhibitor is the availability of the device itself (finding one nowadays isn't trivial).

So, yes, it is easy to pirate carts. :)

(Not that anyone would want to, mind you).

[ Parent ]
Game Doctor (none / 0) (#36)
by craigm on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 12:52:03 PM EST

You haven't seen the Game Doctor have you? It acts just like a cart and loads the games off of an IDE device (typically a hard drive). Since the cart images are smaller than CDROMS, it makes it quite easy to pirate N64 games. The only inhibitor is the availability of the device itself (finding one nowadays isn't trivial).

So, yes, it is easy to pirate carts. :)

(Not that anyone would want to, mind you).

[ Parent ]
Largest Game Platform (none / 0) (#37)
by wpc105 on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 12:57:27 PM EST

Anyone know what video game platform has the largest user base? I'll give you a hint... Its been around for over 10 years and is still going strong. Yep. Its the gameboy. A couple years ago when the first playstation, N64, and sega saturn were duking it out, it was the gameboy that still held onto the number one sales mark in Japan. Gameboy has very few competitors, and many of the ones it had have dropped out of the race. For ten years it has been the king of the handheld market. Pokemon has certainly given Nintendo a healthy bottom line, but I personally think the gameboy is the workhorse of the company. Its the little game machine that could.

Rumors of Nintendo going under are ludicrous (none / 0) (#38)
by The-Bus on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 02:12:57 PM EST

Just last week, my local university (which is still on semester break) ran a tournament in Mario Kart 64. It was barely promoted but it spread through word of mouth, so it eventually had about 50 people interested in playing. Mind you this game is over three years old, and it still drew people in. Nintendo knows VERY well how to make a fun game. They don't make complicated simulators or realistic shooters, but what they do, they do well. Stuff like Goldeneye (made by "2nd party" developer Rare), Zelda, and Mario for the 64 where excellent games, but part of a short and dwindling library running on a platform that was behind the times within a year of its introduction.

Then step back and realise that with the exception of the Virtua Boy, Nintendo has not had a system completely bomb (not the way the Saturn, 3DO, or Jaguar bombed). They lost ground with the 64, a major failure for them, but if you look at their financials, they're doing very well. (2000 Annual Report)

In fact, Nintendo has a few billion USD in cash sitting around which I'm sure they will use against Sony when they really need to.

For the time being, I recommend to ignore commentary from people (both journalists and fellow gamers) that don't understand the economics of th video game industry. I don't know much, but I know Nintendo won't go broke this year.
---
Small potatoes make the steak look bigger.

"They have Zero respectability with "rea (none / 0) (#40)
by inpHilltr8r on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 05:23:46 PM EST

Yet an amazing amount of respect from "real" game developers, and the "real" games hardcore, who pay "real" money for "real" games.

Sure they don't have much of a presence in the mid-adolescent end of the market who think they're too cool for "kids" game. But eventually they'll grow up.

"I'm not a particular fan of video games myself"

It shows.


It looks to me like Nintendo owns the "real&q (none / 0) (#42)
by Nelson on Mon Feb 05, 2001 at 04:31:59 PM EST

Assuming that "real" gamers are the ones that spend lot's of their money on games.

Seriously, the N64 is a damn good platform, it has great software and it's not that far behind the times when you look at it game for game and take the best n64 titles against the few PSX2 titles. It can't go toe-to-toe, but it can hold its own and that's all that matters. Nintendo has a huge brand name, they've got a great amount of mindspace for their core software titles and they are consistently among the best games around (I'm talking Zelda and Mario) Yeah it can't sustain 6Gflops but who cares? It costs about $100 and that's a great price for a game machine and the games are still fun to play.

If you ask me, and I'm not a gamer at all but I do own a PSX2 because it's time I get back in to games.. I haven't owned a game machine before but spent numerous hours playing NES games in my youth.. ;) I think it's between Sony and Nintendo now that Sega has bowed out. Both have huge followings, both have lot's of great software, both know how to play in that market, both have experience and history, and both are Japanese companies and I suspect that they will do very very well there. The X-box is nothing more than a wild card at this point, it might have nice specs but that has never sold games before. (TurboGrafix16, NeoGeo, 3D0..) maybe I'm wrong but it's coming from a company that has never made games and who's core compentancy is building mice. I just don't see the x-box selling in Japan like a sony or nintendo unless it can completely own the market here and I don't see that happening. They have really deep pockets and can fight a long and hard battle but so do Sony and Nintendo. The X-box will need amazing games, a perfect price-point, and for all the stars to be lined up just so if it is to take over.

All nintendo has to do to sell 1,000,000 game cubes in the US is make a box that costs less than $300 and then make a killer MarioCube and ZeldaCube game.. They will sell that many simply because of the sentimental value. All the while, they will be selling tons and tons of gameboys (same design as 10 years ago) and probably taking home 90% of the sale as profit.

Pokemon is their main strength right now. (none / 0) (#43)
by Mantrid on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:49:18 AM EST

If you look up sales figures based on games for the last year or so you'll find that Pokemon is consistently in the top ten for multiple titles. I don't know how many times I've seen stuff like #2 Pokemon:Gold, #4 Pokemon:Silver. It's just plain crazy! When Pokemon fades, the big N had better find someting new fast!

As for Sega, they've probably made the right decision for them, although I think they should've closed down DC a bit more quietly. The system is easily viable for at least another year, and I can see games being release for it for two more years anyways.

Sega falls hard. Nintendo is next... or is it? | 43 comments (30 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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