You guys are brilliant. People get up and go down to every major retailer in the city on a daily basis and line up in the cold here over 1 year later just to get a console $30 cheaper than the Xbox 360 Core and $100 cheaper than the Xbox 360 premium. Right. And that's also why you had to pay as much as $700 throughout the holiday season for a Wii on Ebay, but you could easily snag a PS3 for the amount in the $350 to $400 range. Yep. You guys are bright.
Oh, and by the way, the GCN was $199 next to the $299 Xbox and PS2, and it lost out to both in overall hardware sales. And the Xbox was technically at a level a full leap above the PS2, and had much of the same games, but the much weaker and graphically incapable PS2 outsold the Xbox 6 to 1. Also, the PS1 could only run 75K polygons on screen, only had two controller ports, and had constant LONG loading times throughout all games, as well as horrendous framerates, but it still blew the much more powerful N64 out of the water in overall sales, despite having the major hardware advantages, a better, groundbreaking controller, more advanced 3D games, no loading times and breathrough exclusive 4-player AAA multiplayer games. And the NES trounced the Sega Master system, despite not being nearly as powerful. The Gameboy killed the Sega GameGear almost overnight, but wasn't even close graphically. And the DS is blowing the PSP and everything else out of the water, but again, it has the weakest graphics.
The reason is that only a very, very small percentage of gamers, the self proclaimed "hardcore" gamers, really only care about all of the overkilled detail in the in-game graphics. The other 95% of people out there look at a game like Wii Sports or Galaxy or Metroid Prime 3, like they looked at all those other systems. The graphics are still good. They are good enough. It comes down to games. And Nintendo has the games with some of the mega hitters of the generation so far like The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess, Wii Sports(which were both GOTY nominees last year), as well as the most acclaimed game from this past holiday season-- Super Mario Galaxy. Not only that, but the channels are fun and accessible, people like making the Mii characters of themselves and celebrities and using them in games, the virtual console is a big hit, and it's just fun and fresh being immersed in these interactive motion sensor based games.
After over a decade of the same old Playstation controller, with the same old hardware design, and same old style of games, but with small upgrades in graphics, how the hell can you suddenly expect the masses to now pay about twice as much as they always paid in the past, just for like I said, the same system and games from last generation, but with some better lighting and shinier plastic looking surfaces? It's not like they made huge leaps in graphics. They're still obviously fake and blocky looking graphics. They're just sharper and more cleaned up from last generation, and now they run in HD if you are in the minority of people that own one.
The first two Playstations would never have been as big as they were if there had been a true "console for the masses" like the Wii. They sold well because they were the best options available because Sony got out of the gate first both times and built a huge installed base and development advantage before the competition got a foothold.
But expect both MS and Sony to "casualize" their next systems, just reboxing slightly upgraded current physical hardware to keep development costs and retail costs down. They'll both rip off the Wiimote, and we'll most certainly be seeing "Xbox sports" or some stupid copycat at launch. Anyone who thinks Sony or MS are going to spend billions after this generation to build a whole new level of chipset and try to get developers to bail on this generation and move onto a whole new more expensive platform, where games could go as high as 50 million to develop, when it's clear that consumers go with accessible, intuitive systems directed as everybody, not just teenage and college boys, then you're just flat out clueless.