"While Nintendo and the Wii have been credited with expanding the gamer audience over the last year and bringing in more casual players, it's actually Microsoft's Xbox 360 that may prevail during this crucial holiday season, according to Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey.
As part of an investor note for Electronic Arts (which is expected to announce its Q2 earnings on November 1), Hickey commented that this holiday may see more of a hardcore focus. "We believe the recent release of killer content (Halo 3 - BioShock), lower hardware price points, and limited Wii (hardware/software) supply could shift market focus from Wii casual to 360 hardcore this holiday," he said."
It's interesting how fickle a couple good selling hardcore games can make people think (analysts). While I understand that the Xbox 360 just released Halo 3 last month and it has already gone on to sell over 3 million copies, you can't call the 360 a winner over the Wii for the holiday season already. Preliminary reports suggest that the Xbox 360 will finally outsell the Wii for the month of September '07 for the first time in almost a year since Gears of War was released. Don't be fooled though, figures suggest that the 360 will only outsell the Wii by a very small 20-30k for the month. I'd say that its more a success story for the Wii (again) since Halo 3 is supposed to be the mother of all killer apps for any system ever right?.......right?
Well, to see that system sales were not quite double for the month suggests that again only hardcore gamers are buying the Xbox 360 since most of them were likely justifying their purchase after waiting for 3 years just to play Halo. Bioshock is a good game, but in my opinion people kinda got carried away with that one (in case you are wondering, I have Bioshock on PC). I'd give the game about a 7 or an 8. The gameplay becomes predictable, the enemies while interesting looking, don't really add much to the game. Interaction with levels and objects is been there/done that kind of stuff. What makes Bioshock a good game is the art design and story. The actual gameplay is nothing new beyond "oh it's a first person shooter, but I can also do certain techniques with my hand" and even that has been done before. Hardcore gamers and Halo fans bought these games in September, the mass market didn't. The Wii is continuing to sell 400k each month in the United States and September was no different, I also don't recall any major releases in September for the Wii either.
What they should be wondering is not if the market will shift from Wii to Xbox 360; but how much the Wii will outsell everyone once Mario Galaxy is shipped (that game appeals to the hardcore and the Wii Sports crowd), not to mention at least 10 other games this holiday that will be checking out on Wii. Lets take a look at early next year, what games are coming for 360 and PS3 at that time? Nothing of real consequence. Super Smash Bros. Brawl will be released on February 10th and when that happens you will probably see sales skyrocket even further for the Wii, possibly outselling Xbox 360 by a ratio 5 to 1 for that month alone. People are just so non-big picture minded that they jump to these conclusions that somehow make them believe that a couple hardcore games are going to outsell new mass market games (Mario included) that are not "first person shooter" # 26. The Wii will be the highest selling console this holiday season and how much it outsells the rest of the competition is up to Nintendo and how much they can produce, it's as simple as that.