The post Thanksgiving holiday battle is about to begin.? At the end of the Christmas season,?electronic behemoths Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo?will be counting the numbers so they can post their stats all over the interwebs and news stations.? I made my own predictions some time ago as to who will come in 3rd.? Some news site or analyst will look at the results and tell you how Christmas sales define the next year or even the consoles lifetime.? Don’t be fooled by that non-sense.?
Christmas sales mean one thing, sales spikes.? There are people who have been?waiting an entire year to purchase electronics as Christmas gifts.? I’d say that game consoles along with televisions and DVD players are among the most popular.? Of the three consoles available, one will come in first, another second and another will come in 3rd.? Christmas sales are driven by heavy advertising, word of mouth and general popularity.? In most cases, Christmas numbers will be no different than the numbers 2 months before.?? Whether it’s 100,000 or 300,000 PS3’s that?get sold in December, I can?bet that the numbers of the other 2 competitors will be similar.?
The question here is what drives your common consumer to purchase consoles for Christmas?? Most Christmas shoppers are parents and budget minded individuals who are shopping for several people.? One main concern for console buyers will be price.? With the Wii staying at a steady $249 they have the edge on price.? Sony gave us the price we’ve been waiting for on the PS3 but Microsoft dumped $50 off of the Premium 360.? You also have the new 360 Arcade system which is only $20 bucks more than a Wii and can still play Gears Of War.? Before I forget, have you seen the $339 40gb PS3 with 8 Blu-Ray movies yet?
Next comes content.? If you were to look at the libraries of all 3 next-gen?consoles, I’d say the 360 has the most games.? When you are staring at those aisles and you see how far the 360 shelves stretch, that says something about content.? Some would say it’s not fair that Sony’s PS3 is in its first year and has to compete against the vast library of the 360’s, but who said Christmas was fair.? PS3 still has a few titles worth paying for.? I think if you look at what the Wii is offering in contrast, you might not see as many titles that compare to the other consoles.? However, Wii has already grabbed the non-gaming demographic by the heart.? Those who didn’t get Wii’s last year will be hunting for one this year.
Do most parents that shop for game consoles look for features?? I would think not.? Most parents don’t know shit about gaming.? They only know what their kids tell them;? “I wanna Wii for Xmas and Mario Galaxy with it!”? Most parents are concerned about price and content.? If you start telling them about?Blu-Ray, Xbox Live?or Virtual Console, they’ll just get confused and ask more questions.? ?
So what happens to the company who wins first place for Christmas?? Nothing.? It’s inevitable that sales will drop dramatically after Christmas and won’t spike again until some killer app sees the light.? What you might see however, is a sale spike of older games out of that $19.99 bin.? Oh and don’t forget the PS2!? That new Singstar bundle is out and is sure to be a hoot for someone that wants to bring a new console home.? In all honesty, I don’t think any Christmas can top the Call Of Duty 4 sales we had last week.