EEDAR: 3DS failure “not an option”; Apple will never be a “serious contender” in gaming

Research firm EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich talks to Critical Gamer about how the success of Move, Kinect and the 3DS is crucial to the future of their respective companies. We also hear his thoughts on the likelihood of Apple entering the console race, and what next year is likely to hold.

We’ve seen a lot of aggressive hardware price cuts, both online and on the high street. This time of year, of course, is when stores and manufacturers get most competitive; so could we finally be on the brink of seeing one version of the PS3 – consistently the most expensive games console on the market – retailing for £199/$199?

“Don’t hold your breath.” says Divnich. “Unlike the previous generations, the goal this time is to increase the value of the consoles over time. We’ve seen this occur already through the implementation of larger hard-drives, Wi-Fi, and various online services.”

It’s a sharp and perhaps, for consumers, disturbing observation. The Wii came in at a very low price point, but held its value across retail for years; the various SKUs of the PS3 and Xbox 360, while occasionally more affordable, have actually mostly been designed to sustain or even increase the value of the machines. This should perhaps come as no surprise, when you take into consideration the fact that console manufacturers aim to make this generation last longer than the last.

However, “Due to its target market and its technology, Nintendo will always operate on a shorter console cycle. Which isn’t a bad strategy. The problem Sony and Microsoft are having is retro-fitting all these new services/technologies on to their platforms. With Nintendo, they tend to focus more on the “here and now”, which has obviously worked out well for them.”

Could this mean that Nintendo will be first to market with a new console?

Divinch goes on: “Most console cycles last no more than five years, but with us approaching the fifth year of the current and with no end in sight, the success of the Move and Kinect are critical to the success of this elongated cycle.” In other words, if Move and/or Kinect fail, we could see a new console from Sony and/or Microsoft sooner than anticipated.

One thing that he is sure of is that next year will see a focus on expanding online gaming services. “Microsoft’s big focus right now (along with Sony) is trying to create differentiating online services. Look at 2011 to be the year of online services growth.”

On the other hand, Nintendo may be more nervous about the imminent release of their 3DS than they’re letting on…

“For any company, the launch of a new platform is always critical. For a company like Nintendo, where nearly 100% of their revenue is derived from interactive entertainment, failure is simply not an option.”

And finally, when asked about the possibility of Apple bringing a dedicated gaming machine to market, Divinch replied:

“Looking at the current landscape, I do not believe there is any room for another major competitor. Apple will always perform well among casual and hardcore gamers by offering bite sized entertainment snacks, but I just don’t foresee any possibility where Apple becomes a serious contender in the space.”

Jesse Divinch is the Vice President of Analyst Services for EEDAR.

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.


  1. KrazyFace /

    Ohh, famous last words! Anytime someone makes a prediction like that “I just don’t foresee any possibility where Apple becomes a serious contender in the space.” comment, there’s always a small dog called itoldyouso ready to bite their bums!

  2. steven gurevitz /

    Nintendo MUST disrupt more than just the game market. Technically they must assume Apple will either intentionally or through convergence move into their space, and hence its important Nintendo disrupts Apple’s progress. How?

    Well if the 3DS had cheap Wifi (or eventually a kindle built in style 3G) 3D videochat, proper store and social network style type device in a simple to use OS it could become the ‘social Itouch’ device aimed at children. It would also be ideal for adults who will never buy an Apple device as they see it as too complex to operate. They exist as: the appstore can actually be rather overwhelming AND with each new IOS upgrade they add more layers to the device which takes it away from certain demographics….

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