Taus wrote:Pretty impressed with Rob's articles these days
The advent of new consoles and a new generation has given scope to more detailed analysis and opinions over and above the 'business as usual' reviews
Pretty good, you should write more pieces in this vein however would add that MS are under a degree of financial pressure
The analogy that MS turns a greater profit hence has more money is true on a facile level but does not allow for the cost of financing or shareholder value. Essentially, as a listed company, MS' management are using shareholder's capital to invest in MS products and services. Shareholder capital comes at a cost, not in terms of interest, but an 'opportunity cost', i.e. what return a shareholder could make if he / she decided to divest from MS and invest in another asset / company
Typically if MS do not return value in excess of its cost of capital then there will be downward pressure on their share price. We are already seeing this at the moment in terms of MS. They are presiding over declining revenues from mature produces (Windows, SQL Server, Office, Windows Server) and their new products (Surface, Zune etc) are not generating the returns which shareholders' demand
The exception being XBox, that has been a successful product, however MS are under their own pressure, the days of $75M on a single title maybe over for them as well unless they can leverage their platform to a wider audience which the rumours are pointing to a 'yes' to that strategy
If Sony are gambling on indies, MS are gambling on multimedia - taking a gaming device and turning it into a media hub. If they are not able to grow XBox revenues next gen they will come under pressure, like Sony, to divest, streamline their product lines, concentrate on higher return products
WHERESMYMONKEY wrote:So how does Nintendo figure into the equation or do they just not count as a hardware manufacturer anymore because the wiiU isn't a graphic whore's wet dream.
Stan_Goodspeed wrote:Microsoft can spend much more on timed exclusives, but like its name implies this is a short-term strategy. They have no footing in Japan and come second - if not third - in key markets like the Middle East & Europe. Sony dominates in these regions and no third-party publisher would give up on such markets for its most popular brands. Once the PS4 reaches 20-30 million units sold, what kind of CEO could possibly convince its board that a €50 million payola was a wise choice?
The Xbox guys clearly know their lack of first-party offering (and overall lack of exclusive franchises compared to Sony or Big N) is their only weak point, but paying upfront to get timed DLC can only get them so far. They'll never get total exclusivity on franchises like GTA or MGS, their biggest asset is their multimedia approach. Until Apple strikes, that is.
My guess is a status quo for next-gen, with Sony perhaps gaining back some lost marketshare in the US.
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