Sixth Generation Game Console
2006 – current
The seventh generation is marked with the fewest number of game consoles of any generation. This is attributed to the large cost to develop, market and subsidize. Most of these consoles, except the Wii, loos money for the first several years until technology consolidation reduces costs and component parts drop in price.
Above: Nintendo Wii game console
Seventh Generation Characteristics
The focus on seventh generation gaming is on home entertainment. The Xbox emphasized HD gaming, mature social gaming with xBox live and streaming movies and TV content. Sony Playstation 3 introduced the Bluray player with their console and also emphasized HD gaming and home entertainment aspects of their console.
Above: SONY Playstation game console
In fact, one cold argue that the Playstation 3 was better positioned for hoem entertainment. However, when Blueray failed to catch on with consumers in favour of streaming media, SONY began to focus more on streaming content.
Both the Sony Playstation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 were aimed at the serious gamer and had serious starting prices. The Xbox 360 launched at US$479.99 while the Sony Playstation 3 launched at 599.99, though the Sony came with a Bluray, consumers and some critiques focused on the price difference. Also, Microsoft beat the Playstation to market by on year, which helped Microsoft Xbox 360 take the lead in the seventh generation game consoles. In fact, worldwide, The Microsoft Xbox 360 outsold the Playstation 3 by 5 million units with 55 million units.
Seruos Failure Rate
While the Microsoft Xbox 360 beat out the Playstation 3 for sales, it had a significant failure rate of 54.6%. Many glamers claimed to have gone through five or more consoles. The failure was popularly known as the Red Ring of Death (RRD). However, Microsoft is able to make money off the consoles due in part to the annual subscription rate charged for Microsoft Xbox Live.
Above: Microsoft Xbox 360 game console
Nintendo had failed to achieve success with either of the previous two game console generations, However, the Wii turned this around for Nintendo for several reasons.
Forst, Nintendo made money off of each console sold. Unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo did not focus on dealivering the best best technology or home entertainment through movies.
Nintendo focused on the user experience. They used tried and true technology. The Wii did not even output in HD. Nintendo focused on movement based peripherals designed to get family and friends to play together in one room.
Furthermore, the games were family friendly unlike many of the top games for the Xbox and Playstation that usually had mature ratings on them.
Eventually, both Microsoft and Sony added motion sensors devices to their console, which have been reported as a success.