And the winner of the console wars is

The PS2 as announced by Slate.


He forgot to mention that the DS sold over 8 MILLION units in the 4th quarter.


Is the DS, strictly speaking, considered a console?

Probably not.

However, it plays games, is made by one of the big three and sits on the shelf next to the consoles.

It will never be called a console but it competes for the same mindshare, shelf space and money that the consoles do. And it does it to the tune of millions of units more than the consoles.

I’m not sure I’d agree that it’s competing with the consoles in almost any sense.

Dragon Quest IX is a DS exclusive. How about that sense?

What about the sizeable Western market segment which has zero interest in JRPGs?


SONY doesn’t need the PS3 to be a success yet, not until the PS2 fades.
What it must be is a presence, and its done that.

What about the sizeable segment that does? I thought you were not sure you’d agree; it looks like instead you’re pretty sure, to the point of dismissing a company’s biggest franchise going DS exclusive as insignificant.


Because if PS3 sales continue to lag, and Wii and 360 sales continue strong, developers won’t continue to strip Sony of its previous exclusives; developers like EA won’t announce that they’re reshifting development resources toward the Wii and away from the PS3; and gamers who bought the PS2 because of its price ($130) won’t look at the next gen-field when done playing their old-gen PS2s and say, “Heck, even though I was a cost conscious consumer before, I’m going to pay $600 for one console instead of spending about that for two consoles.”


PS3 is far from out. Out of the park game development could still win the war for Sony. But make no mistake: Sony is not “right where it wants to be with the PS2 sales going strong.”

Jake, you’re such a negativist. Can’t you see the greater strategy here?

As long as PS2 sales remain strong, and PS3 sales remain low, Sony won’t hemorrhage money at the same rate as the other console manufacturers. Heck, by the time the next generation comes around, Microsoft and Nintendo will be bankrupt and Sony will come out on top again (thanks in part to having sold a whopping 2.5 million PS3s worldwide).

Sony has Microsoft and Nintendo right where it wants them…

Totally. You’re right. I wasn’t sure what I was thinking. Also, neo-geo is simply laying low, ready to spring its carefully laid plan, involving bankruptcy…

Anyway, this conversation reminds me of a great Southpark episode, the one where the underpants gnomes have a great plan to take over the world by stealing underpants. Except, when asked what the middle step is between stealing underpants and taking over the world… they just kind of draw a blank.

Sony eats babies… and is stealing underpants for reasons they themselves don’t understand.

Except Nintendo makes money on each console sold. And it’s selling more of them than Sony.

I think Aleck was being entirely tongue-in-cheek.

I was indeed. Sorry I didn’t include sufficient emoticons. :)

I’m somewhat baffled by Sony’s strategy. It seems to me that they’re trying to recover from a disappointing (but not disastrous) launch, but they’re couching it as “I’m ok, you’re okay,” which seems rather odd. Combine that with their online strategy which looks extremely ambitious but is apparently still missing what people want (easier online game coordination with friends), and I’m kind of scratching my head.

As folks on this board indicated during the last set of launches, “it’s all about the games.” This generation, Sony hasn’t really put out anything that’s all that appealing. The Wii launched strong, but hasn’t had any good follow up games (they likely will, but apparently don’t have 'em quite ready yet, based on the “where’s the love for the Wii” thread here on Qt3). The 360 had a fairly good launch (and was helped by being first out of the gate by the better part of a year), and has followed up with a number of pretty good titles (I’m a bit biased, having a 360 but not a Wii or PS3, so take my opinions with a grain of salt).

EDIT: Also: buy stock in Neo-Geo! They’re staging a major comeback!!! ;)

I must take exception to the idea that the DS is not in competition with the home consoles.

I know plenty of people who don’t own a current-gen “console,” but who do have DSes. By and large, they play the DS at home in lieu of a console. As far as I can see, it’s in direct competition* with the 360, PS2, etc.

  • At least for a certain segment of the population, which I’m not convinced is entirely irrelevant.

That’s me. I got a DS so I’d have something to play on the plane and stuff. I’ll get a next (current?)-gen console when I’m finished with everything I have on PS2. I’ve barely touched Okami and God of War 2 is due out soon so that might take a while. The DS does compete a bit for gaming time and money, but I wouldn’t say it’s affected my decision not to get a Wii/Xbox/PS3.

People don’t put the DS in the “console” group for the same reason the NYT made a children’s book section after Harry Potter came out. It is embarrassing to have one totally dominant product at the top of the list all the time. The only way to knock the DS out of the top seat is to make the rules so it can’t be counted.

PS2 was totally dominant last gen but that didn’t seem to bother anyone (besides MS and Nintendo fanboys).

This is all well and good for now, but are there any PS2 games coming out after God of War 2? If they’ve managed to switch all development over to the PS3, which they’ve certainly tried to do, it puts the lie to your statement. At that point they need the PS3 to be a success in its own right, which it shows no signs of doing.

Well then surely it’s NOT you because a console doesn’t compete in that marketspace. You got one for gaming on the move, something a console does not provide for in the slightest. You bought a mobile device not instead of a console, but as the only device that met your needs.