Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is Sony Becoming the Next Sega?

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As many tech journalists and bloggers lament the difficulties that Sony is having with the Playstation 3, echos from another console game maker that stuggled and floundered can easily be heard. Just before the original Playstation hit the market, Sega brought out the Saturn in hope that they would be able to move their base of Genesis playing users into the 32 bit world in the mid 1990's

At 399 dollars, about the same as current selling price of the Playstation 3, many gamers all those years ago opted for cheaper systems such as the original playstation and the Nintendo 64. Because of an earlier than expected launch date the selection of games was very limited and grew very slowly, while Playstation 3 launched exactly when Sony said it would the game selection was limited and grew slowly just like it did for the Sega Saturn. The market share for the Sega Saturn lagged behind Sony and Nintendo and as the competing systems became more and more popular some retailers dropped Sega products from store shelves. While Sony hasn't lost any retailers yet, they are making it appear that PS3 products are gaining shelf space by taking it away from Playstation 2 products.

Since the days of the original Sega Master System vs Nintendo Entertainment System battle at the close of the 1980's exclusives were used to sell game systems. When Sony entered the game market they brought their money to game developers and Sega and Nintendo lost most of their exclusive titles. Most games became cross platform and a few became Sony Playstation exclusives. After Microsoft comes into the console gaming market, the Microsofties bring their money to game developers and now it's Sony that lost many of their exclusive titles.

Just three and half years after launching the Saturn the Dreamcast became Sega's next and last game system. Sony has a lot to do to make sure that the Playstation 4 doesn't become another Dreamcast.

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