Microsoft Focuses On PS3, Nintendo Focuses On Profit
Black Friday ended in record-breaking sales for Microsoft, and of course, with another victory over its direct rival, Sony PlayStation 3. Just by taking a quick glance at Microsoft's announcement, you can't help but sense there's something missing from the equation: Nintendo Wii.
"We entered into the Black Friday sales period with cautious optimism, knowing that dollar for dollar, Xbox 360 offers more social entertainment value than any other console on the market," Don Mattrick, senior vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said.
The report also mentions outselling the PlayStation 3 by a three-to-one ratio on Black Friday, but says absolutely nothing about Nintendo.
The three consoles are always together when it comes to sales reports, yet Microsoft seems to see only one big competitor: PS3. Despite that, Nintendo seems to be the one doing better than the rest, although it may not exactly address the same segment of users as the other two.
Leaving that aside, Nintendo seems to rely in an equally manner on both software sales (which usually account for most part of the profit) and hardware sales. Apparently Nintendo is the one who knows better how to make profit from each console sold, actually making a $6 operating profit on each Wii sold.
Even though Microsoft doesn't consider Nintendo Wii a direct competitor, it definitely have something to learn from them, since their strategy appears to be the one working best. So while Xbox and PS3 continue to fight each other for a top 3 spot, Nintendo Wii follows the winning strategy and keeps the number one spot.
PlayStation 3 deals for Christmas
The PlayStation 3 is in a unique position amongst the three games consoles. While the Wii has the widest appeal and the Xbox 360 is the cheapest option, the PS3 offers the best technology bundle. Not only is it a next-gen games console, it's one of the best Blu-ray players that money can buy.
Of course, this ambitious design meant that the PlayStation 3 was the most expensive console when it launched in 2006 (March 2007 in the UK). The cost of the key components (Cell processor, Blu-ray, hard disk drive) landed it with a hefty £425 price tag - £136 pricier than the Xbox 360; over twice as expensive as the Nintendo Wii.
Which PlayStation 3?
Three years on, and with Christmas on a collision course with wallets everywhere, the PlayStation 3 is certainly more affordable. The 80GB version of the PS3 has an RRP of £299.99, while the limited edition 160GB model will set you back £329.99. And just to confuse matters there are still a few 40GB versions kicking about, most of them selling for around £269.99. You might also run across the odd 60GB model, now discontinued.
Like the Xbox 360, the main sales tactic for retailers is to throw in a free game (or two) to make the £299.99 price tag seem more appealing. With plentiful stock around it's a buyer's market, so it's worth shopping around to find a deal that gives you the games you want with as many freebies thrown in as possible.
Claiming your rightful freebies
For example, over on Play.com, you can choose a PS3 bundle that includes a gratis copy of Bioshock, Little Big Planet or Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. The best deal here is a £299.99 bundle that includes an 80GB PS3, Blu-ray remote control, Need For Speed: Undercover, Little Big Planet and I Am Legend on Blu-ray.
Amazon UK, meanwhile, is selling the 80-gig PlayStation 3 for £289.97 in one of three 'Movie Packs'. The deal includes a PS3 with either Batman Begins, I Am Legend or 300 on Blu-ray, a free game (either Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, Little Big Planet or Resistance 2), a free HDMI cable and a free Blu-ray remote.
The Blu-ray angle
Game has an 80GB PS3 bundled with Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and PES 2009 for £299.99. And, in an attempt to shift old stock, you can get a 40GB model for £299.99 plus three free games.
It's an online deal that's replicated over at GameStation, which is also pushing the popular 'PS3 + two free games + free Blu-ray movie + free Blu-ray remote' deal.
HMV, Dixons and Comet can't match these giveaways. Dixons will throw in one free game as part of a £299.99 PS3 bundle, but to get two games the price inflates to £339.99. Asda Direct is selling a 40GB PS3 at the 80GB £299.99 RRP. Should you buy it online (rather than in-store) you'll also incur a standard delivery charge of £4.50.
Who's got the best deals?
Ultimately, like the Xbox 360, specialist videogame retailers are currently offering the best deals on PlayStation 3 bundles. For £299.99, you should be able to get hold of an 80GB PS3 with two games, a Blu-ray movie and a free remote control. Price cuts won't be an issue in the short term. While news has leaked about cheaper PS3s in March 2009, Sony has been quick to deny it.