Let’s be real here for a second. As gamers, I have said many times we are due for some serious shifts. Hell before Microsoft turned everything around on the Xbox One, I predicted they would be out of the console race this generation. Now as the 2 newest systems finish up their second months, we are seeing both of them already break 3 million units sold, which is nothing to sneeze at.
But at the moment, that prediction may show itself to not just be wrong, but amazingly so. It’s not time to call anyone out of the race just yet, but we just might be able to see it from here. But for us as gamers, whatever happens should be nothing more then a temporary setback.
In the case of Nintendo, their situation may be predicted by many console gamers who have already decided the WiiU isn’t powerful enough for their needs and has no ability to continue the growth of their e-peen (trophies and achievements), comparing it unfavorably to the previous generation. And while these comparisons have been there for Nintendo hardware since the Wii (and from my experience so far, I'm not sure how true it is this time around), it doesn’t seem like the casual audience who brought the system before are still doing it now. On the Wii launch, there were enough sales to literally make the machine unavailable through June of the next year if you didn’t use the then popular “Wii shopping” pages and then be there when the shipment arrived (or be very very lucky and get there fairly shortly after they did for one that missed the websites). IN comparison, the WiiU has been out for well over a year now and already been eclipsed in sales by the PS4 and tied by the Xbox One within a matter of months. Considering they had told their stock holders that they would sell 9 million of the things by Christmas this year, suffice it to say, the machine is just not making it.
And this is a much bigger problem then we probably saw coming. Market experts have been saying for months Nintendo should abandon the hardware industry and make just software, and just as long, Nintendo has been flat out saying no. Their traditional methods have always been their hardware for their games… period. But with this system, Nintendo seems to have changed their mind and are now looking to expand into mobile development. That is not to say they are out just yet, but for a company that is notoriously stubborn and set in it’s ways to make this kind of change, something has to have gone very very wrong. How wrong? Well, there is a certain game commentator who, aside from being known for his sudden need to support a certain young lady who trolled up millions for a certain video series, is also known for being an all around Nintendo fanboy and despite his own blatant fanboyism towards the company, he was unable to deny just how serious this could be.
And while this is the expected one, the unexpected one to look at here just might be Sony. Yep, despite the lead in sales on their current system, Sony has been having a lot of trouble as of late. Specifically, everywhere else. Unlike Nintendo, Sony is a huge electronics company with many different parts making many different things, and not a lot of those parts OUTSIDE of the Playstation division are doing particularly well. They are just being outdone by cheaper manufacturers like Samsung and Vizio, which makes sense in our current economic situations. But the downside of this is that the lack of success elsewhere can bring down the one part that is working well, and we see potential evidence of that right now in the news yesterday. Sony’s stock has now been rated as “junk” by Moody’s, one of the big investment firms of the stock market today. Hopefully this will be a blip on the radar and nothing more, as I would hate to see what appears to be the best selling hardware of the current console generation lose out because of background stuff. But as that reviewer I talked about above said in his video, “Just because you are the best doesn’t mean you get to win.” And since we can’t even be sure of that yet (2 months is not enough to know, sorry), hold on to your hats.
Still this is hardly a sign of dark times to come, just perhaps a time of turbulence. Right now, gaming in general is bigger then ever. The new consoles have had launches that each broke 3 million, making them the biggest hardware launches to date. Last generation saw the lowest selling systems (as they kinda tied) of Xbox 360 and PS3 both put 80 million systems in players hands. PC gamers have reached an alltime high of 4-7 million people playing on Steam at the exact same time at any given time with over 60 million active users (or gamers who played in the past month). And we now live in a world where we have single games that can reach these numbers as well. As of today League of Legends (a game not on Steam, might I add) has been reported to hit 7.5 million players playing at once with 70 million gamers who played in the last month… 27 million of which play daily. And even the 3DS is currently kicking all kinds of ass in terms of system sales. For all of this growth to be possible at once, clearly the future, however it shapes up, will be bright for us all. And we can be assured, no matter who (if anyone) drops out, we will see the void filled and we will keep on gaming.