Why is it that everyone these day's seems to think the 360 has just run out of steam and will collapse next year. Everyone has the 360 finishing last on their prediction's. Most people seem to forget that after 2 years Microsoft has been able to sustain the 360's price quite remarkably. Honestly I think the 360 will have a much better year in 2008.
1. The new 360's reliability is excellent in comparison to the old motherboards.
2. Microsoft will probably drop it's price next year quite significantly
3. Believe it or not Microsft has some great games coming out next year, Splinter Cell Conviction, Ninja Gaiden2, Fable 2, Killer Instinct 3, Dark Messiah, Too Human etc.
Also don't forget, 360 software sales mean 3rd parties are loving Microsoft right now. I'm not saying here the 360 will have record-breaking sales and outsell the Wii and PS3 together but stop making silly assumptions like the PS3 overtaking the 360 in 2008 or early 2009 because it just isn't going to happen.
1. I know many gamers who were unaware of the RROD, and even fewer who know of the new Falcon chipset (the members of these boards are an atypical sample).
2. We said the same thing in 2006, and a substantial cut never came. Until we know how much they cut, when they cut it, and what Sony does to match it, there's no way to know what the effect of a cut will be. I would say they should drop by at least $75 within 30 days of GTA4 launching, and that Sony has already cut to the bone in 2007, so it is unlikely to match until next November, but that's just guesswork on my part.
3. Every console is expecting great games this year, but until the games actually arrive, no one knows how good they will be, or if they will impact sales. Certainly no one anticipated GTA3 being such a prime mover for the PS2, nor did anyone anticipate such a luke warm reception for Metroid Prime 3 last year. And who would have expected titles such as Nintendogs and Brain Age to sport the sort of legs that they have?
In my predictions post, I expected a good year for all the systems, but a slightly better one for PS3 than 360. Why?
First, the 360 could shave $200 off it's price and still not be able to sell consoles in Japan, while Sony has a prove record in all 3 markets. Even if MS pulls away a bit in US and EU, I suspect it will not be enough to overcome the Asian differential.
Secondly, if my math is right, there were roughly 165 million consoles sold last gen, and only 45 million this. Granted that many of those were replacements of failed consoles, but we can also expect the market to grow this gen as well. So we can safely assume that there's at least another 120million consoles to be sold this generation. So the question is, who will buy them?
Though I have no direct data to back this up, I am assuming that many XBOx and GameCube owners have made the jump. Why?
1. MS dropped support of the XB almost 3 years ago. There's been no reason for them to hang on. When you consider the strong sales of Halo3, it is clear many fans of that franchise have already upgraded, meaning a large portion of 360 owners are former XB owners. This in turn means that relatively few XBox boosters remain among this gen's "undecideds".
2. The GameCube was arguably on life support longer than the original XBox. No matter how big a Nintendo fan one may be, it is hard to deny the system was a colossal disappointment from a marketing perspective. However, Nintendo fans are loyal, and are likely to stick with the Big N this gen (though many may also get a second console). As is, the Wii has nearly equaled GCN sales, and traditional Nintendo titles (ie anything Mario) have done great business. Add in the relatively low price of the Wii, and tendecies for bandwagon jumping, and odds are good a huge portion of the Nintendo crowd has also transitioned (if they could even find a Wii).
3. Even if we assume every single Wii and 360 sold went to former PS2 fans who have abandoned any hope of owning a PS3, that would still leave well over 70 million PS2 owners out there, more than half of whom never owned a GCN or XBox.
So, no matter how you slice it, a large number of those unsold consoles will end up being sold to people who have purchased Sony systems in the past, and only Sony systems last gen. It is not unreasonable to assume these people were happy with the PS2, and given the choice, many of them would choose to support the Sony name. The barrier to this of course remains the high price of the PS3 - most PS2 sales occured after they dropped below $200. However, neither the 360 nor the Wii have gone into that price range either (and the Wii, while closest to that mark, remains a bitch to find), so most of those current PS2 owners have little or no reason to commit to any of the three consoles right now, let alone a "rival" console for a company they have little familiarity with (if not outright hostility, as is often the case with MS; at least Nintendo has a long standing gaming rep behind them, and likely many PS2 owners have owned some form of Nintendo console in the past, even if it was a GameBoy)? Therefore, I suspect MS will likely have to take dramatic measures to lure these gamers away from Sony (which I would suggest being a steep price cut in concert with the release of GTA4.)