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Monday, June 1, 2009

(E3) Project Natal Looks Cool

With E3 upon us, I thought I'd give my thoughts on what we're seeing so far.

First, if I were Nintendo, I would be a little nervous about Project Natal.  It's a cool new platform for games.  No controller?  Sounds neat.

However, it's important to remember specifically why Nintendo is ahead.  Let's say you get a 360, then you get Natal.  How much money are you spending?  We don't know yet, but let's guess that it's about $350.  Let's say you buy a Wii and get the Wii Play bundle.  You're sitting at $300 AND you can play every game in the Nintendo library with the equipment you have.  Not so with Natal.  Not every game is Natal-ready.  Heck, pick up two MotionPlus addons and you're at about $350 WITH a pile of extra games.  I really wish Microsoft the best, and I'm excited to see what Natal will bring to the table.  Still, I don't see it supplanting the Wii anytime soon.

However, let's chew on these numbers for a moment.  In the last generation, the PS2 was the clear winner with 140 million units sold, with the XBox sitting at 30 mil and the Gamecube pulling up the rear with 20.  (To put that in perspective, the PS3, which is widely considered a misttep by Sony, has ALREADY sold more units than the Gamecube did.)  In other words, the PS2 sold over 4.5 times the units of its nearest competitor, and 2.8 times the units of both other consoles combined.

The Wii has so far sold 50 million units, but the 360 is sitting at about 30 mil and the PS3 at 20 million.  The Wii has a strong lead, but it's not insurmountable.  I think Nintendo knows it, so we'll see what they bring to the table tomorrow.  I'll be watching.

It better not be Wii Music 2, or me and Nintendo are done professionally.