May 13, 2005
Gadget Time

Making the rounds: the new Xbox has finally been revealed. Vid-game guru Damion sniffing about how superior Sony's Playstation is to all others in 3... 2... 1...

Slashdot's got the best link roundup I've found so far. The wireless controllers are what make it very interesting for me. It's hard enough for Olivia to resist the urge to help daddy punch all the shiny buttons when he's playing Halo2; when you add a cable stretching across the floor the urge to tug is simply irresistable. This thing may bring me back to consoles.

Far more interesting to me are the implications for the gaming market itself. Microsoft's secret weapon has always been its attitude toward developers. It coddles them, and provides them with the best development tools ever made. It took most of a decade, but together these two forces quietly and inexorably allowed Microsoft to corner the commercial software market.

They're going after game companies with the same gusto, and it looks like they're making heavy inroads. Playstation's only remaining strength is its stable of developers, and if Microsoft woos them away fast enough the PS-3 is very likely to share the same also-ran-shoulda-won fate as the Sega Dreamcast.

From the info available, if Microsoft prices it between $400-$500, then Sony has a chance, and a strong one at that. If they price it just under $300, Sony is in big trouble. If they price it less than $200, it's basically over except for the singing. Nintendo's already been marginalized, and if Sony doesn't jump on this thing with both feet and stomp hard Gates will have another trophy to hang on his wall, and the name on that plaque will be Playstation.

Posted by scott at May 13, 2005 12:06 PM

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