Wii are the champions…

For anyone not paying any attention to the world of gaming lately, two of the latest next gen consoles have released in the last week or so: the playstation 3 (ps3) and the nintendo wii (yes, it’s “weee”).
If you look at what’s out there now, I think the Wii is going to blow away the competition in sales over the next year, even though the Xbox 360 has a year-long head start. Why? Simple:
1) The Wii doesn’t use the bleeding edge technology the other guys have, which is a plus because they can crank them out production-wise. Sony barely managed to get out 400k units of the PS3 at launch, and they’re still struggling. Rumor has it that Nintendo plans to have 4 million Wii’s out there by end of year.
2) The Wii has a lower price point than the others. At $250, it’s a bargain compared to the other two (360 is at $399 and PS3 at $599 – don’t let the marketing guys fool you – sure they have a “lower end” model – but you’re better off getting the higher priced one by the time you buy the components separately).
3) Nintendo is making sure their major brands are out there with new games at launch, especially Zelda, which is by far one of their most popular titles. The worlds of Zelda  and Mario have sold them millions of machines over the years, and their popularity transcends the usual gamer market. That means, someone would buy a Wii purely on the basis that there’s a new Zelda or Mario game. Microsoft and Sony don’t have anything on their consoles that can even compare to that type of consumer loyalty.
4) Nintendo is trying something different with the way we play video games. They’re trying to make the experience more interactive with their unusual controllers. It’s hard to say how well this will work (and they can easily come out with standard controllers if it doesn’t), but the initial reviews have been positive.
In a way, Nintendo appears to be borrowing a page from Apple, whose ability to design products that “just work” is uncanny. Instead of making something bleeding edge, Nintendo went the other way. Let’s make a video game system that’s “FUN” to play.
Wow. Imagine that.
Things could get interesting if Microsoft chose to drop the price of the Xbox 360 to $199/299, but there’s no indication at this point that they are willing to do that. Even so, after looking at all three consoles this week with my family, there’s not a single title on the Xbox or the PS3 that entices me to buy the game.
But, that new Zelda game, on the other hand, might be worth picking up…
Now, if I can just get my hands on one of those Wii’s…

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