I've been thinking about this a lot lately. After seeing the impressive sales of PS3 and Xbox in November -- six or seven years after launch, mind you -- it started to dawn on me that the monumental success (and appeal) of these two HD consoles might seriously handicap the Wii U going forward. They each have a huge library of games, social applications, multimedia options, millions of users, etc.
But as I thought more and more about it, I came to the conclusion that the success and allure of PS3 and Xbox 360 might also seriously handicap PS4 and Xbox 720.
The Xbox 360 and PS3 were, in the words of Jerry Garcia, "built to last." Quite unlike the Wii. Which explains why Nintendo is launching its next-gen property, and probably should have done so sooner.
Many posters here and elsewhere assume that the PS4 and Xbox 720 will swing like a wrecking ball through the video game market when they arrive, but what if people see a $400 PS4 and a $500 Xbox 720 and compare them to a $300 PS3 and $250 Xbox 360, and choose the latter. Or simply choose neither, and continue to enjoy their seventh-generation consoles.
Just as Nintendo is punished for its success -- third-party games failing to sell in the shadow of its coveted first-party titles -- Microsoft and Sony might be punished for their success -- eighth-gen consoles selling poorly because their previous-gen consoles are so popular, so versatile, and so enduring.