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26 April 2011 @ 10:42 pm
This is a silly post  
I'm sure that everyone who really cares has already heard that Nintendo has officially announced a Wii 2 for 2012. They're unclear about exactly when in 2012, but they have said it will be playable by the public at this year's E3.

Except it probably won't be called the Wii 2, or the Wii HD. Supposedly the code name is "Project Cafe" and the rumored real name is "Steam", both of which has caused some rather wild speculation. Also a lot of bad jokes about "Wii" and "Stream."

There are four relatively well substantiated rumors about it so far, and by "relatively well substantiated" i mean "repeated often enough that the major game media decided to pick them up and run with them."

1: It will cost $350-$400.
2: It will have better graphics than the PS3 and 360.
3: It will have a new Wiimote that's even more accurate that the Playstation Move.
4: It will have a new "regular" controller with two analog sticks and a d-pad, eight buttons, and a built in 6 inch touchscreen display.

(1) Is a reasonable price for a new console, though the big question is if that will include any games or controllers. (2) Is also entirely reasonable given that the PS3 and 360 came out about five years ago. (3) would be relatively easy to do, although it's also the rumor that's been repeated least, possibly just because it's the least interesting.

(4) is of course the one that has caused the most stir. It would be kind of like crossing a GameCube controller with half of a DS. Oh yeah, and it's (obviously) supposed to be able to stream content from the console to the screen and (not as obviously) it will also supposedly have a forward facing camera. Some people think this sounds awesome, some people think it sounds horrible. I'm very neutral about it at this point.

At the same time people are making a fairly educated guess that the next Playstation and the next XBox will be coming out in 2014, which means that Nintendo will have somewhere between a two or three year head start on them. This has led to a lot of debate on whether Nintendo will kick ass because it has such a head start, or will get its ass handed to it because it will be so far behind the competition in terms of graphics when they come out.

So i put together a chart of what happened the last two generations of consoles. (Which i'm guessing will come out horribly formated.)

Generation 6:
Console ............ Release Date ... Power . Sales
.......................... JP : NA
Dreamcast: .. 1998 Q4 : 1999 Q4 - 3rd (tied) - 11 million
Playstation 2: 2000 Q1 : 2000 Q4 - 3rd (tied) - 150 million
GameCube: .. 2001 Q4 : 2001 Q4 - 2nd - 22 million
XBox: .......... 2002 Q1 : 2001 Q4 - 1st - 24 million

Generation 7:
Console ... Release Date . Power . Sales
XBox 360: .... 2005 Q4 - 2nd - 50 million (January 2011)
Playstation 3: 2006 Q4 - 1st - 50 million (March 2011)
Wii: ............ 2006 Q4 - 3rd - 86 million

So if one were to ignore all other factors _and_ exclude the Dreamcast from consideration, you could conclude that being weaker than the competition is a big advantage and coming out before the competition is a small advantage, though really the Wii probably exceeded for other reasons.

The big question is why did the Dreamcast die? Was it because it came out a year or two before the PS2 and Sony managed to spin that as meaning the PS2 was more advanced? Or was it because Sega had already done such a rotten job of selling itself the previous generation and their ineptitude was just carrying over?

Of course what would be really amusing would be if Nintendo launched in mid 2012, does fairly well for itself, and then in late 2014 Sony and Microsoft launch their consoles and do in fact overshadow Project Cafe. And then in mid 2017, 2.5 years later, Nintendo says "well it's been 5 years since our last console, time to do a new one" and blew Sony and Microsoft out of the water :) Not especially likely, but it _would_ be amusing :)
Current Mood: geekygeeky
Kirin: Goomba-transparentkirinn on April 27th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
Almost seems to me like offsetting Nintendo consoles from the others for a couple years would reinforce the notion of them *simply not competing* with each other directly. It seems like right now people who are seriously interested in Nintendo's stuff and the latest shiniest HD stuff simply have both a Wii and one of PS3/360. And there are others who will only buy a Nintendo console regardless of specs, and others who *won't* buy one regardless.

Then again, I like Nintendo's games but still don't have a Wii because I'm still not buying >1 console at a time. But still.

Also, I'm pretty sure Dreamcast failed because Sega forgot how to market consoles ages ago, and PS1 won Gen6 due to pulling off a *massive* early coup in broad 3rd-party support. Which didn't really happen to anyone in G7.