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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wii Would Like To Play

I love the way the latest round of console wars has deepened some of the self made caricatures and divisions between Nintendo and Playstation. (I’m ignoring Xbox for sake of simplicity, although for the most part it reads pretty much exactly like Playstation)

Playstation swings between being about either the tech (HD graphics, BluRay, etc), or all about looking like a too-cool-for-school brand that you have to be on the inside track to understand.

Too-cool (and if you ask me feeling a little last century these days)

Check out my graphics:
(OK a Tekken ad not sony per se, but representative of the kind of stuff online about PS3)

Nintendo by contrast is almost anti-cool (more by naïve accident than design most of the time) and all about invention and people having fun.

Wii for all
(This is pretty good by Nintendo’s ad standards in the US)

I’ve long (vastly) simplified the difference between the two by saying a playstation owner says – “Check out the cool graphics, and wait while I show you this cut-scene.” While the Nintendo owner says “You’ve gotta play this, it’s great!” and hands you a controller.

But I had to laugh when I tried putting PS3 and then Wii into the airtight flickr related tag browser. Can you guess what kind of tagged images came up for each?

Hmmm just a load of screenshots.

What? People? Playing a game??? Weird.

All good fun, but leaves me feeling that although PS3 is almost assured success despite its slightly dated ‘up-own-arse’ brand tone, I really hope that with it’s character and genuine inventiveness the Wii gets itself a decent market too.


Adrian said...

Great post, I love the idea of using flickr for the semiotics of each console, what a brilliant use of the technology. PS3 is all dark and moody, while the wii is light and happy. Very interesting.

I managed to score a wii over the weekend, after having the same debate in my head and haven't regretted it for a moment. I think Sony forgot about fun. It's the same with the PSP - all very cool, and urban nomads advertising but actually not that fun. I use mine for movies only when I'm travelling and most others I know haven't used them for so long they've forgotten where they are.

Lachlan said...

Good going to score a Wii over Thanksgiving. Amazon sold out in 1 minute and aren't saying when they will have stock...

It's funny how gaming seems to be going full circle so that the moody-youth look is now the one feeling dated and the playful (dare I say kiddie?!?) one feels more honest and attractive.

Adam said...

The worse thing for Playstation is they were already in the 'fun space' with Playstation EyeToy.

Not sure why they decided to stop making new games for it.

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

Sony vs. Nintendo: Round One


WHILE NINTENDO CORP. YESTERDAY TRIUMPHANTLY announced that it sold 600,000 units in the first eight days of the Wii's release, generating $190 million in sales, it turns out that figuring out who's winning the game-console wars is going to take some patience.

By the end of the year, Sony's new PlayStation 3, which launched Nov. 17, is expected to have about 1 million PS3 systems in North America, while Nintendo is expected to ship 4 million units.

"But real traction doesn't happen until 10 million units are sold, and that will probably take a year and a bit," said John Davison, editorial director for Ziff Davis, the electronics and gaming publisher. Microsoft's Xbox, introduced a year ago, has reportedly shipped 6 million units of its Xbox 360, launched a year ago.

"Anecdotally, people seem happier with Wii," he said, "but we think PS3 will continue to sell out for the foreseeable future." PS3 may be hard to buy now, but diehard consumers have played long enough to discover plenty of quirks and problems with the $599 game system--including issues with using it on certain high-definition TVs. "That's the kind of stuff consumers just shouldn't have to worry about," he said. "People have been punished for being early adopters."

Both marketers have tried hard to expand the appeal of the consoles beyond the core gaming audience. But the lack of gotta-have-'em games right now underscores just how tricky an endeavor that will be.

The same disconnect is happening with Nintendo, Davison said: "The idea is that people will buy this so Grandma can play the bowling game, but right now, the hot game is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which will only appeal to young gamers."

There's also a fair amount of consumer frustration at the way the new systems don't follow through on their promise to connect with other entertainment products.

That's why the real success of both PS3 and Wii will depend on the games that come out in the months ahead, not just what other electronics it can connect with. "They have to win on games," he said. "Everything else is just gravy."