War of the titans! Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), Nintendo Co., Ltd (PINK:NTDOY), and now Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) are all tipping their hat into the arena. Microsoft makes the Xbox 360 and is going to start selling the Xbox One this fall. Sony makes the PlayStation 3 and is going to start selling the PlayStation 4 soon. Nintendo Co., Ltd (PINK:NTDOY) made the very popular Wii and also makes the Wii U, which isn’t selling very well.
The newest player in the arena is Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), who said they are going to make a Google gaming console to compete with the possibility of an Apple iTV and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s top selling Xbox 360.
Microsoft is the only game console to see an increase in sales every year, but Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s PS3 recently overtook the Xbox 360 in lifetime sales. The Wii U had a lackluster roll out, especially in the US.
The Wii U sold 3.18 million units globally (according to VGChartz), with 1.34 million sold in North America. Compare that to the 44.07 million Xbox 360’s sold in North America (77.61 million globally) or the 26.75 million PS3’s sold in North America (77.82 million globally) and you can clearly see the Wii U is lacking the demand that the Wii had. The Wii sold 44.71 million units in North America and 99.92 million globally.
Xbox 360: Released November 2005, averaged 844,000 sales a month
PS3: Released November 2006, averaged 973,000 sales a month
Wii: Released November 2006, averaged 1.25 million sales a month
Wii U: Released November/December 2012 (depending on location), averaged 454,000 sales a month
As you can see the Wii U isn’t living up to its previous standards and is why Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony have been gobbling up console market share both in the US and globally.
The new player
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) wants to make a console now, and there has been a lot of speculation as to what that will entail. Will it be able to play the popular games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and other PS3 and Xbox 360 games, or will it be based more so around playing apps from the Google Store? Personally I think it will be app focused and come at a low price point ($99).
Google isn’t going to be competing with Microsoft or Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), it will create a different console market for itself. A console for those who aren’t gamers, but are slowing getting into the gaming world through apps on iPads.
First, Sony had a PR mishap when it “forgot” to unveil the hardware at its first press conference, which gave it a small headache. But no one had to deal with a bigger PR disaster than Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the never on fiasco.
Consumers and critics were worried about having to have the Xbox One always hooked up to the internet and to have to use codes to play used games and that the camera (in light of the NSA snooping scandal) would always be on. So, Microsoft went back on the always on feature and on the codes for used games so they wouldn’t lose the console war when the devices come out.
Another annoyance for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) undercut them by $100, offering the PS4 for $399 while the Xbox One is $499. This could help tip the tide in Sony’s favor, and as of right now, Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) is definitely winning. I’m still personally going with the Xbox One because I am a huge Xbox fan, but Sony is still winning.