We’re still a few months from holiday shopping season, but I’m making this prediction now: The Xbox 360 is this year’s PS3. Last year, of course, was when Sony’s over-priced, under-delivered next generation console cost the company its preeminence in the console market to the Nintendo Wii. Similarly, the game industry will remember 2007 as the year Microsoft gave away its lead in the console wars, and lost its bid to become the living room PC.
Why am I so confident? Well, take the case of this dude named Brian. He’s having trouble getting his 360 to work. Then again, he’s not alone: he’s actually like an estimated 1 in 3 of all 360 owners, costing Microsoft a hit of nearly 2 billion dollars after it extended the 360’s warranty. He’s having so much trouble, nine 360s have collapsed on Brian.
But that’s not even the worst part.
This is: Brian Crecente is the editor of Kotaku, currently the world’s most popular gaming blog. This is like a major auto company giving the publisher of Car and Driver magazine a test drive in its latest vehicle, and having the wheels promptly spin off. Nine times. Add to this the industry shift toward casual games and the Wii, not to mention the sudden, unexpected departure of Xbox captain Peter Moore to Electronic Arts, and you have a portrait of a console in crisis.
Meantime, according to VG Chartz, the Wii is already neck and neck with the 360, with a worldwide installed base now of 9.36 million to 10.15 million, respectively. It took the 360 nearly two years to get that audience; the Wii, less than one. And when it comes time to buy a console for the holidays, which one do you think gamers will buy?
Call me crazy, but I’m guessing it won’t be the one that failed their friend Brian nine separate times.