I’ve been on vacation but been totally fascinated by the blogosphere news on E3, but it sounds like Nintendo and Microsoft did well at the show, but Sony seemed to have bombed. The Inside Microsoft blog had a post “Reaction to Sony @ E3…Uh…Not Great” with lots of links to stories talking about how Sony bungled E3 during their launch year. Joystiq even had a post asking 8,876 readers who was the keynote master at E3. The results?
While Nintendo is the clear winner here, what’s shocking is that only 8% of people thought Sony had the best keynote. It seems like the Sony complaints fall into (1) Price ($600), (2) Graphics that are the same or marginally better then an Xbox 360, (3) Controller rip-off from Nintendo.
I have to give props to Nintendo, there is a real buzz about the Wii now and they really understand the market. The controller they were showing seems like lots of fun and easy to use and hearing about the lines up to six hours long to play games is definitely going to boost the Wii buzz machine. What’s interesting is that many dismissed Nintendo as an also ran. They redefined themselves by changing their approach (gaming through motion controllers) and target audience (casual, beginner gamers). One key lesson I’ve learned in Express is that you need to take a holistic view of your customer segment. In other words, Nintendo knows that there are a lot of non-uber gamers and its decided to expand its product into that area and redefine what it means to be a gamer. The market opportunity for casual gamers is huge, and while Microsoft and Sony fight for how draws the most pixels, Nintendo jumps on the ignored or underserved audience. It’s a smart move, especially with the statistics that show lots of female gamers for online gaming sites like MSN Zone or Yahoo. Microsoft didn’t do too bad either, the Grand Theft Auto announcement was a coup and having Live expand onto PC gaming is awesome! As a Warcraft player, my imagination starts thinking about having Live chat in World of Warcraft (party/raid based) so you wouldn’t need TeamSpeak or Ventrillo. Or having WOW plug into achievements if you reach different PVP ranks so everyone will know how well you can gank cloth-wearers. I also have to give credit to Peter Moore for getting the sound byte out that you can buy an Xbox 360 and a Nintendo Wii for the price of a Playstation. Nice…
That being said, I wouldn’t count Sony out. If anything, this is a big lesson learned and will make them redouble their efforts for launch and beyond. I’m sure they’ll be more surprises coming out of these three later this year.