Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

Gretzky comments on Nashville

Wayne Gretzky has a few comments on the Nashville-Balsille situation over at the Globe and Mail site. Worth a read on his rather hypocritical (IMHO) take on the situation.

He essentially said it’s simply business and the team will do better in Canada then it would in Nashville and that’s fine and he supports anything that puts teams in the best markets. That in and of iotself is fine, many people share that opinion including myself to some extent.

However given his own position in a relatively weak hockey market in the outhern US I’d have thought he’d be much more supportive of Nashville’s current situation. Phoenix’s own presence in the NHL 12-20yrs from now is hardly assured.
It’s still growing and trying to cultivate a strong NHL fanbase. Not all that dissimilar from what Nashville has attempted to do.

Phoenix and Nashville are in awfully similar situations with respect to their ability to be a profitable franchise in the NHL with a decent fanbase.

Somehow I sincerely doubt Gretzky’s comments would be the same if someone asked him if he felt Phoenix should move to Canada.

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June 21, 2007 Posted by | NHL Business | Leave a comment

Microsoft can’t afford to wait for Sony

WindowsNow by Robert McLaws has posited the opinion that Microsoft should wait for Sony to cut prices before following- to quote

 Everyone knows that Sony is going to have to eat more money on the PS3 and sell it for less before it gains traction.

But at the same time, there is a stigma around cutting prices on any product, let alone consoles. It usually angers the early adopters, and devalues the existing consoles on the market. But the PS3 will have to cut the price to survive; it has no choice but to face these consequences. But the consoles that follow suit to stay competitive don’t usually suffer the same stigma.

So it’s no wonder that the Xbox 360 hasn’t seen a price cut yet. Why cut the price first and be the “bad guy” to early adopters, when they can wait until after the overpriced PS3 corrects course, and then use the reasoning “we had to stay competitive” as justification? If I were in charge, that’s what I would do.”

My point of view-

It looks to me like Microsoft needs a price cut themselves, while not quite in the desperate situation Sony is the XBox360 definitely isn’t looking like a marketleader. The sales are pretty steady the last few months, whereas the PS3’s sales have been slowly dropping on a weekly basis since launch. But holding steady isn’t good enough… it’s not going to get them the installed base they’ve been touting and their still seeing sales that are slightly less that what the Wii’s been getting for awhile now.
Without a price drop I can’t see the situation improving, especially since the Wii is selling like crazy with almost no 3rd party developer support… and less then stellar reviews for most of the software available. What happens when 3rd parties adopt the Wii in mass as they surely will if it continues to sell at it’s current pace… which shows not the faintest signs of slowing.

Beating Sony isn’t good enough if it still eaves them a clear cut second fiddle far behind the leader. If I’m Microsoft I cut prices ahead of Sony, make Sony look like the follower that’s desperately cutting prices to maintain what little semblance of competition they currently offer.
Further push the perception that Sony is a follower and Microsoft a marketleader that defines the path that market follows.
I’m taking the initiative now.
Looking like the “bad guy” to early adopters isn’t exactly what I’d perceive as a huge penalty. The early adopters know price will drop over time, and they knew they were paying a premium to get the latest and greatest at launch. They can do precious little to strike back at Microsoft… stop buying 360 games? That’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The hard core gamers that are the early adopters are well aware a price cut would ultimately become a reality, and they knew they’d pay the price premium to play the XBox360 games ahead of those that waited.

Microsoft needs to take the initiative and take control of the situation now. Sitting back and gollowing Sony yields them nothing. The status quo isn’t good enough if all it gains them is watching the Xbox360 yield to the Will and become games second choice.

They had that with the XBox trailing the PS2. Microsoft has bet tons of money with little in the way of profits in return on the console market. Beating Sony won’t see them getting the profits they want. Becoming the market leader will do that.
Sony isn’t much of a threat right now, the PS3’s quite possibly too far behind already to win this generation. Microsoft isn’t.
Nintendo is the company eating up the profits, and it’s Nintendo they need to beat if they want to make the XBox360 a profitable venture and recoup all the expenses put into it and it’s predecessor.

Casually sitting back and following Sony’s lead only allows Nintendo greater momentum. Nintendo’s spent a long time being irrelevant as far as the major competition is concerned. I don’t think Microsoft is so foolish to ignore the present market realities however and forget Nintendo.

June 21, 2007 Posted by | Console Examination, Tech Industry | Leave a comment