but many other people (Leo-J, CrazzyMan,...) predicted insane sales.
Come on, they're not so many! Nevertheless, lots of other people, despite not being Sony fanboys, wish Sony well and more or less consciously make predictions a little bit on the optimistic side because they fear monopolistic behaviours by MS if it manages to defeat Sony and possibly, using its huge cash to start a price cuts and exclusive third party shopping war Nintendo cannot afford to fight (*), become number one and rule the console market.
(*) the sloppy USPTO patent verification procedure that lets so many silly patents be granted could also give MS, if needed, weapons for a patent war, maybe not deadly or dangerous for Nintendo, but enough to disturb it and subtract, at least temporarily, funds.
Is it a kind of joke?
No. Nintendo must earn money, having only the videogaming business, so it wouldn't throw shovelfuls of money to buy 3rd party exclusives to beat MS' offers, in case Sony retired from the market leaving to MS only to play whatever cards it wants to beat Nintendo. Having strong 1st party, Nintendo wouldn't go bust, but wouldn't be able to beat MS offers without risking an eccessive part of its profits, so MS could gobble the market share left vacant by Sony and get market leadership easily, not beating Nintendo on quality, but simply through the brute force of money (*). Right now, instead, Nintendo is quite safe, as MS must first secure its 2nd place against Sony before even thinking about trying to climb up to 1st place.
(*) I know Nintendo value skyrocketed thanks to Wii and DS, but it cannot even dream of having as much cash as MS, even Sony, that's valued more than MS, can't beat it on cash.
You still in 2005 buddy? Nintendo as a company is worth more than Sony (not just PlayStation, Sony as a whole) nowadays.
Microsoft may have the cash to gobble up all third parties but doing so would cost too much money and can only hurt Microsoft. Nintendo also has enough cash to buy most third parties but won't for the same reason. In fact, Nintendo could probably buy Sony at the moment, which is bizarre...
While Nintendo capitalization is more than deserved and the company isn't overvalued, Sony market cap is currently very low compared to its assets, any attempt to take it over would make its shares skyrocket. But yes, the current situation is quite bizarre.
About MS, its willingness to even hurt itself to hurt competitors depends on how strongly it desires market leadership, no competitor desires to personally test it, they'd be hurt much more. MS is very rich, but it's quite blatant it doesn't consider its two monopolies enough anymore, it wants to expand and diversify.
Anyhow my point here was more that Sony is a useful buffer that currently is absorbing all MS attacks, so that Nintendo doesn't even have to worry about MS' greed. That Sony remains healthy enough to parry MS blows and counterattack too is in our and Nintendo's interest, that's the reason why, IMHO, tendentially neutral people tend to mildly support Sony against MS instead of staying truly neutral... I hope I made my thought clearer, maybe in previous posts it wasn't enough.
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