Today's Consumer Better Educated
I think the article hits the point for several reasons....note that I am not a console gamer far preferring PC based games. I look at the console wars as this season's Betamax but the consumer has wised up a bit since then. Many game and video afficionados see the VHS / Betamax war as being won by the inferior technology because people didn't know any better when they were buying. They are reluctant to make that same mistake again.
VHS won that war as customers rushed out to buy Granny and Aunt Bee an X-Mas gift. They weren't going to but a Betamax or to buy a VHS Player....they went out to but a movie tape player. And with the VHS one at $179 and the Betamax at $209, Granny and Aunt Bee pulled off the XMas wrapping to find a VHS player. Sony had then become the poster child for how to screw up a platform launch. But also it is oft presented as a prime example of customers choosing entry price over actual value.
Now again while not a console gamer myself, I do have 3 children. Not wishing to deal with the clutter of all 3 systems, Mom and I decided to have them settle on one. We already been thru the Dreamcast / PS 2 clutter. As you might expect, the answer I got 1st time I asked them which, one (oldest) wanted PS3, one wanted X-Box (middle) and one (youngest) wanted Wii.
Now being the neighborhood geek, and watching all the neighbors friends and relatives scramble each X-Mas I cringe a bit a sI know I gonna get called to hook all these things up. So i see a lotta peeps with new systems and hear about why they chose what.
Last year it was Mom's doing the shopping are coming home with the Wii cause it's got three things going for it. 1) the lowest price of the three and 2) the "buzz" on the controller (and mom's desire to see the kids get of their asses) and 3) more games.
But now the buzz is wearing off, the Wii controller fetaures are bing deadpaned in many game reviews, and they all see Wii owners going out and buying a 2nd or even 3rd console. Now a hard core gamer sees this as "wanting to have it all" but the Mom's and Pop's doing the purchasing are picturing the clutter of multiple consoles and thinking, "why don't I just get the "best" one in the 1st place....it will even be cheaper int he long run".
With the 40GB model, I am also seeing Mom's saying, "I'm not gonna be running out and standing on line trying to get one of those things, I'd rather just pay the extra $100 or whatever and let the brown truck deliver it to my door."
In many houses when they sit down to make that decision, the ability to play HD movies is going to also be a factor. Considering the cost of a separate HDTV or BR player, the ability to play 1080p content is going to be a factor. Mom and Pop are also now seeing the news of BluRay kicking ass and figure they can get themselves a "free" BR player when they "buy the kids" an XMas present.
One more nail is that monthly credit card bill which has little Johnie's WoW subscription on it.....Mom doesn't wanna see XBox Live or whatever being added to her credit card statement.
Another factor is that the people who wanted a Wii were not "given pause" by the price tag last season. The PS3 on the other hand debuted high but with recent price cuts, pent up demand is now responsible for the rush of current buyers. But in the long run, having had spent a year listening and reading about the topic, this holiday season's buyers are more educated about the difference between the systems. Whether the benefits are perceived or real, the PS3 is looked upon as the performance king, comes with a HD movie player and won't wind up w/ recurring credit card charges.