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I'd like to remind everybody that the way I'm speaking of all this isn't just in the objective facts about each companies products, but also in the subjective way that they sell their offerings, their brand, their vision for their products and services and their brands as a whole. Yes, that means a certain amount of actual investment in powerful technology or lots of new IPs or new services, but the path they get there by is based on a philosophy that centers around one of the three categories being the focus by which they sell the rest.

Sony makes software and services, but they sell them by selling the console, and their software and services crush the competition only when their hardware's momentum is at its peak, because the entire strategy is centered on getting that hardware investment and just building the software development ecosystem around it. You all take this for granted, because it's so straightforward, but I'd argue that while this affects all three to some degree, Sony organizes their whole strategy around it, does it better than anyone, and you see it in their results.

Microsoft makes software and hardware, but they're just trying to get you to buy their service. Like I said before, why else would any hardware company even consider selling their service on another console? It's mad, mad I tell you! Unless the service is the entire point. They have some of the best hardware, but they also have lower end hardware, and are developing no-hardware options. The hardware isn't the point for them, it's getting you to buy their services that is the point. Software is a necessary evil so that you have something to do on the service. Hardware...might not even be necessary, actually, so they make hardware for people that want it, but if they could get by without it, they would.

Nintendo makes hardware and has services too, but as Reggie, kicker of ass and taker of names says, they're about making games. It's completely fair to say that people buy Nintendo consoles to play Nintendo games, because let's face it, they do. Nintendo would love for everything to be on their console, so they too make an effort to get indies there, but the important part for them is the quality of the software. It's been this way for them since the beginning, reviving an industry when people lost faith in the hardware due to bad software with fucking Super Mario Bros. Then again with the Nintendo seal of quality, immersing their brand as best they could in the idea that if software is on Nintendo, it's good software. Hardware changes are at the whim of the software, advancements don't come unless Nintendo sees how it affects the software. And services? What does that have to do with software? Until Nintendo sees how it enhances gameplay possibilities, their services will never get much focus, and they're just starting to see now.