Jul 2, 2007

Why Buying Stocks in the PS3/360 "Wii-Mote" is Financial Suicide

So, the same company which brought that golf game with the toy golf club to the PS2: In2Games, has raised over 15 million in revenue to develop their new "Fusion" controller for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles in an effort for Sony and Microsoft to come up with an answer to Nintendo's wildly popular Wii-mote.

Apparently, the long of the short of it is, it's a baton that you can clip ends onto, like a tennis head, a baseball bat head, a golf club... etc. Not unlike many of the third party bits of plastic for the Wii-mote you can find destined for the bargain bin around places like EB Games and Toys R Us.

And if you listen to the official message from In2Games, this controller is so technologically superior to the Wii-mote, than gamers will be making the switch to the other two consoles in droves.

But here's why buying stock in this venture will put you in the poorhouse.

1. Wrong Demographic:
The majority of gamers who have a 360, or who have shelled out dough for a PS3, didn't do so because they wanted a Wii, but had to settle for something 2 or 3 times more expensive. The Wii-mote never appealed to them in the first place. They are the so-called, "Hardcore Gamer" demographic, and waving your hands around in the air to play a game is for pansies. Give them a traditional controller with a couple analog sticks, Gears of War, or God of War II, a HD TV, and they're set. Let the seniors and kiddies wave a frickin' TV remote in the air like fools all they want. The closest this hardcore bunch will go to using a more active style of controller, is to whip out Guitar Hero for a few licks. But that's different. Chicks dig it.

2. Cost Prohibitive:
Developing games that actually use the Fusion controller will be cost-prohibitive for third party developers. Particularly in the case of the PS3, where its cost prohibitive programming for the cell processor without having to spend extra resources trying to code everything to work on some controller made by another company all together. It's so much cheaper to develop that same game for the Wii, and since there's already nearly as many Wii consoles installed worldwide (more in Japan) ins a quarter of the time as the 360, the guaranteed profit margin is far higher. It's very unlikely that we'll see any more games produced for the Fusion than we did for EyeToy. And how many of you even know what that is?

3. Lame Ripoff Factor:
Sony went through a great deal of ridicule just over it's motion sensing six-axis controller that they so obviously rushed through development as a last minute effort to steal some of the hype of the Wii during launch. Nobody really thinks very much of the SixAxis controller as a credible peripheral. Sony has even backed off showcasing it as a key selling point of the console. Some developers incorporated some token shaking into their early launch games, but it's generally underused already. No matter how "technologically advanced" Fusion is compared to the Wii-mote, it's always going to be seen by gamers as a blatant ripoff meant more to take the unique shine off the Wii, than to actually function as an integral part of next gen games from the 360 or the PS3.

4. Same Failed Marketing Pitch:
It's obvious, that reading any statements from In2Games, about the "technological superiority" of the Fusion controller, that they have learned nothing from the mistakes of of Sony with the PS3. If powerhouse technology meant anything to gamers, the Wii wouldn't be the runaway success of this console generation. The PS3 would already be the winner hands down. But Nintendo's little David just outsold Sony's Goliath by 6-1 in June, in both company's home turf: (Japan.) Sales in that country are usually a pretty good litmus test for how the overall console market will play out per generation. If the best In2Games can come up with is that it's technologically superior to the Wii-mote, they've failed before they've begun.

The Wii has never been about technology. It's a Gamecube in smaller packaging for Christ's sake! It's always been about getting people together, and having fun. And it's not even the Wii-mote that is accomplishing that for the console... it's the ways in which Nintendo's programmers have been able to use it. And unless In2Games has a room full of Nintendo-level software designers kicking around... they might as well rename their new controller, "Virtual Boy."
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