With Microsoft's press conference behind us and Sony's just around the corner, it's worth looking at what impact Nintendo is having.
The Microsoft press conference was considered by some to be very light on, showing only sequels or franchise-based games for boxed product, and having no new hardware to announce.
Microsoft appears, however, to be playing a longer game. MCV had an opportunity to speak with Yusuf Mehdi (CMO of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business) after the conference wrapped up, who said that for the first time in videogaming history, the seventh year in a console generation outsold the sixth, which outsold the fifth and so on.
Given the continued sales and relatively intact price points, neither Sony nor Microsoft have any need to re-enter the market with another pricey piece of hardware.
Nintendo, on the other hand, does, with the Wii sales bubble finally bursting and the company reacting by quickly moving to get the Wii U on sale.
With the market still being potentially hostile to a high-priced new gaming console (due to the relative proximity to recession), it would be sensible for the major players to not risk releasing a new console.
Now that Nintendo are coming out the gate first with the Wii U, both Microsoft and Sony are in the luxurious position of being able to sit and wait - Microsoft and Sony are still turning a profit and can use the experience of Nintendo's new console launch to observe the market with low risk.
The Wii U can have its moment in the sun, its competitors can continue to spend their time in the space race towards becoming a network media hub.
While the Wii U readies itself for launch, Microsoft can continue to devise software alternatives like SmartGlass to allow tablets and other devices to act as an alternative to the Wii U's new controller, taking a little of the wind out of Nintendo's sails while preparing the positioning of whatever its next console with the benefit of a known entity for a competitor when E3 comes around next year.
Stay tuned for the MCV Pacific interview with Yusuf Medhi.
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