The console war has come to an end - article

The console war has come to an end - article
Rhetoric and debate around the so-called 'console war' can be fun at times.

Other times, however, these discussions can even become divisive and generate hatred. Memes and jokes are always welcome, but wishing bankruptcy or bankruptcy to a hardware company is something completely different.

From my point of view, it's like being a fan. There is always someone who goes too far but, generally, we limit ourselves to supporting our favorite teams, to being frustrated when the club sells its best player, when it pretends that the last acquisition is better than it is in reality or, again, when he scores an own goal after another.

2020 is the year in which we will witness a new generational change and it is in these periods that the rhetoric of the console war reaches its climax, between the specialized press, the players and in the industry itself, with groups of analysts intent on carefully examining every decision of the companies and the potential repercussions on sales. Yet this time, this 'war' has become almost irrelevant.

"Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are playing the same league but are competing for different trophies."

Let's take Xbox, for example. Obviously, Microsoft's current strategy is not to beat PlayStation 5 in sales: the Redmond company has decided to make available all the exclusive first-parties on PC, on streaming devices supported by xCloud and also on the old Xbox One (at least for a few years).

Xbox boss Phil Spencer confessed to us that he found "forcing someone to buy a specific device on a certain day" incompatible with the philosophy behind gaming.

The idea that there games are totally exclusive to Series X, in fact, removes from the equation one of the major motivating factors for the purchase of a new console. In addition to this, there is also a debate on the fact that the studies on first-party may not be able to get the most from your new machine if they need to develop their games to support the console of last generation. Microsoft, however, seems to be fairly quiet from this point of view: according to Spencer and his team, in fact, is a small price to pay for a given title available on all platforms.

Halo: Infinite will be accessible via the Xbox One, Series X, PC and xCloud. This position assumes a strategic importance, if we consider the particular focus of Xbox service Game Pass that, at the time, has more than 10 million subscribers. If Microsoft decides to turn his back to those 10 million players and requires them to buy an expensive new console to continue to make use of their Xbox games favorites, this could translate into good sales of the console, but certainly would damage the installed base of subscribers to the service. It is a prospect that is unacceptable to the american company.

Let us, now, compare the words of Spencer with those of its counterpart in PlayStation, Jim Ryan, who last year told us: "one of our main objectives is to take the community of the PS4 and take it on the PS5 with a rhythm and a speed never seen before."

"At the moment, the days when console makers were the war on the same field seem to be over."

PlayStation, on its part, wants to expand quickly in the installed base of PS5 and then release major AAA titles developed specifically to take advantage of the potential of the new platform. The best way to support this business model is to sell those games to as many users as possible, individually, and at a cost that is around 60/70$. This is a strategy that is proven to the company in japan that has had many successes in the course of the last seven years. Enter the exclusive in a subscription service, multi-platform on the same day as their launch on the market, simply, is not compatible with the goals of the company.

Sony and Microsoft are in direct competition, as happens in all other forms of entertainment. Halo: Infinite clash with Spider-Man: Miles Morales as happens between the products Netflix, in the cinema, in comics and in so many other areas. Xbox and PlayStation will launch a new console with great games followed by the end of the year: they are certainly direct competitors, on this there is no doubt.

To take advantage of the great exclusive PS5, players will have to necessarily buy a PS5. Ultimately, however, it is the same concept of success differs, depending on the vision of the companies. A priority is to sell a service while the other tip to place the largest possible number of console. The reason why Phil Spencer has mentioned Google as the main competitor of the Xbox (instead of PlayStation) is that the current strategy of Google is more in line with that adopted by Microsoft.

And then there is Nintendo. One of the major questions that have been posed recently is: 'what do you intend to do with Nintendo to counter the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X'. The answer is simple: nothing. To be clear: we're not saying that the company is planning the launch of new, big games (although we'd love to see them, sooner or later), simply Nintendo has avoided direct confrontation with the other console manufacturers since the days of the GameCube. Its audience is mainly composed of families, children, parents and casual gamers. Microsoft and Sony have attempted a raid in that area with a IP like Minecraft and LittleBigPlanet, but since have abandoned projects, such as Kinect, Move and the gaming laptop, they have practically left Nintendo free to dominate that segment of the market.

The objective of Nintendo is to grow its IP the most popular. Most beds now

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Nintendo has different priorities compared to the other two companies. The sales of the console are very important, but even more so is the growth of its IP (hence the expansion in the smartphone market). Beyond the sales of the hardware, some of the best results of Nintendo have been registered on the basis of the growth of his brand's most loved Animal Crossing, Zelda, Super Mario or Pokémon. Given the success of those intellectual property rights, Nintendo has been able to contribute to the development of fantastic LEGO, animated films and theme parks. The next Christmas, however, should focus on the celebration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of Super Mario.

but, of course, companies still compete head-to-head in some important areas of the business. To return to a sports metaphor, it is as if they were playing in the same league, but competessero to get trophies different: each of them aims to obtain separate results. At the end of the year, Sony may have the console sold, Microsoft could claim to be a subscription service with millions of new subscribers, and Nintendo could sell a million copies of the Mario games. In this case, all three companies would have won his bet.

of Course, you can already have a foretaste of the hundreds of hours of bickering online about the sales of the console or the importance of services, but is it really a war if they win at all?

These different strategies do not make other that to support the business in the broadest sense. The Xbox has managed to make sustainable the model of the subscription service, PlayStation has given the world some of the most incredible games ever and Nintendo has created a fascinating place for players of all ages. Everyone, in the end, can benefit.

There will be players who will have to choose between Series X, PS5, and Switches, at Christmas. Super Mario, Spider-Man and Halo are competing for the time and money of the users and, in the future, the strategies may be subject to change.

At the moment, however, the days when console makers were the war on the same field seem to be over. The console war, as we knew, has come to an end.

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