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What Apple Can Teach Nintendo and Sony on iPhone Games

250°
308w ago - Nintendo, Sony: Let's talk for a sec- just you and me. Look, guys, over the past couple of years, you've had a great run.

Nintendo, your DS has tons of games, a wide variety of unique stuff that's a blast to play. Sony, your PSP is a gadget-lover's gaming tool, with everything from Skype to Internet-radio support (oh, yeah, and you have some cool games, as well). But unless you both do something in 2009, the iPhone and iPod Touch will soon become the top dogs in handheld gaming.

Apple, the same folks who have pretty much ignored games since I played Marathon on a Mac, came on strong in 2008- and now Nintendo and Sony must consider the iPhone a legit competitor. The proof: Apple's iPhone/iPod Touch games start at a buck (going up as high as $10), and games have flooded Apple's App Store since it opened its digital doors in July.

Nobody at either company has asked, but here's my free advice.

Nintendo: Get that new DSi to the United States, on the double! The bigger screens and the 256MB of memory are a good start, but we need to see a Wiiware-style channel where people can easily download DS games directly onto their handheld no matter where they are, stat!

Also, while I'm mentioning it, set it up so that we can run said downloaded games directly from SD Card....
 

The State of Sony's PlayStation 3 Console in the New Year

50°
308w ago - For years, Sony's PlayStation 2 dominated the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers everywhere. The competing Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube consoles struggled to stay visible in the shadow of its popularity.

Apart from that success, though, Sony's prominence as an electronics company had been [Register or Login to view links] in recent years. The PlayStation brand became its crown jewel.

But when the PS3 came out to compete with the Xbox 360, its steep price (due to the inclusion of a Blu-ray player, a feature many people didn't yet understand or want) and disasterous PR problems led to a much slower start than was expected. Post-launch, Sony failed to emphasize the console's biggest success – highly original indie and casual games available on the PlayStation Network service.

Such affordable and widely accessible games played a part in the PS2's success, but Sony instead persisted in a strategy to beat Microsoft at attracting hardcore gamers who like to compete online, despite the PS3's inferior social tools.

While the PS3 is [Register or Login to view links], you don't have to write it off completely. There are a handful of games available...
 

Sony's Outlook Good Despite Slower PlayStation 3 Console Sales

50°
308w ago - Recently The Wall Street Journal wrote an [Register or Login to view links] on the PlayStation 3, speaking of a growing disadvantage that the console would have on rivals.

According to them, sales of the PlayStation 3 would have fallen 19% in November with the same period last year, which is usually the most hectic for sales of the sector.

On the other hand, the Wii would have almost doubled sales compared to November last year and the Xbox 360 would have increased their numbers by 8%, ruling out the PlayStation 3 even more competition. The newspaper credited the figures known to the NPD Group.

The numbers would be so, then: 35 million Wiis, 22 million Xbox 360 and 17 million PS3. The situation does not seem best for Sony, to quote:

"A key factor behind the decline in sales may be the high price of the PS3. The $399, the most basic PS3 model costs at least $150 more than the Wii and the Xbox 360 less expensive.

The Sony emphasizes that the PS3 comes with a video player for Blu-ray high-definition and an HD of 80 Gb, but the price of Blu-ray players have dropped so much recently that it is possible to buy a Blu-ray player and an Xbox 360 for less than a PS3."

Since the Xbox...
 

CNET: Why Sony Needs to Drop the Price of the PS3, but Can't

50°
308w ago - Today Don Reisinger of CNET wrote an article detailing how Sony needs to cut the price of the PlayStation 3 console, but just can't do it.

Sony's apparently unwilling to admit it, but with all the financial trouble, Sony is trying to turn a profit and limit losses in order to ensure shareholders happy.

Thus, Sony is keeping is the prices high but its not selling as many units as desired, however Sony is now finding out that it's not a good time to be a value leader instead of a cost leader in this difficult economic climate.

To quote: Sony knows this and although it's unwilling to admit it, the company seems to want to compete on price too. But with financial troubles unlike anything it has ever seen, Sony is trying to turn a profit and limit losses to keep shareholders happy.

In essence, Sony finds itself in a dangerous position: it needs to make money, so it wants to keep its prices high, but by doing so, it's not selling as many units and its goal of becoming profitable byway of the "value" argument simply isn't working. And as the recession deepens and consumers are looking to save money wherever possible, Sony is quickly finding out that it's not a good time to be the "value leader" instead of the "cost leader."

I truly believe Sony's gaming division...
 

Goodbye Sony PlayStation Portable - We Barely Knew You

300°
308w ago - Whatever happened to the PSP? The device that Sony once touted as "the Walkman for the 21st century" is fast disappearing from popular consciousness, and if you believe the rumors circulating just three-and-a-half years after its launch, it's up for a major rethink in 2009.

Over the crucial month of November, the Nintendo DS shifted a jaw-dropping 1.5 million units in the US alone (up 20% from last year) while the PSP languished, managing just 421,000 sales - actually down 27%, in what was in general a tremendously strong month for video games.

Even the software support is eroding. Despite the PSP's healthy install base of around 13 million consumers, only six 2008 PSP releases scored better than 80% on review aggregating site gamerankings.com, compared with 16 on the DS.

There's a good reason for that: nobody's making PSP games, because outside of one or two hits like this year's Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, nobody's buying them. That's only going to worsen when the superheavyweight Grand Theft Auto series (previously exclusive to the PSP on handhelds) releases its first DS title early next year.

In a lot of ways, it's a shame. The PSP is a far more capable hardware platform than the DS. It's a phone, a portable music player, a pocket-sized movie device, a mobile Web browser,...
 
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