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Here we are, the final post of my look at the Big Three console manufacturers-Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. First I took a look at Nintendo's personality, and then yesterday, Microsoft's business practices. Today, for Sony, I'm tackling their diversity.
What I mean by diversity, in a general sense, is how spread out their titles are-including first and third party software-in their genres, as well as appeal. While I do think Nintendo is pretty broad in their genres as well, there are a couple of reasons that Sony has bee able to trump them throughout the years.
Why Sony Wins Diversity
They Cover Every Genre
Though this is a debatable argument, I lean more towards Sony winning genre diversity. This is because they've had at least one notable exclusive in each area(I think-the only one I can't think of is a puzzle game). While Nintendo has as well, they don't really have any notable FPS or mature video games, which goes in hand with my next point.
The Age of the Average Gamer is 35
Sony's catered to older gamers for awhile, which is understandable; the company is associated with Kratos, Nathan Drake, and Resident Evil. Mario and Zelda, while appealing to everyone, have more strength with younger audiences than 35. I know that there are plenty of people that love Zelda and are over the age of 30, but the fact that most gamers are that age would lead me to think that mature games are favored more overall by our industry. This can be seen by them selling more today, and by them being favored more in publications-I believe half of GI's top 50 were rated Mature, if not more.
Microsoft Has Two Extremes
Like I discussed in my previous blog, I think Microsoft mainly focuses on two extremes; mature focused games, and Kinect titles. They don't nearly cover every extreme, having a definite lack of notable, exclusive RPGs, and some other genres.
Why is this an Advantage for Sony?
They Appeal to More Gamers
While their price tags may not be in everyone's interest, one cannot deny how diverse Sony's portfolio is. They put out action games, stealth, platformers, shooters, and others, as well as having exclusives like Persona 4 Golden and Ni No Kuni(well, in America at least, it's an exclusive). PlayStation 3 games are among the bestsellers in Japan, alongside 3DS games. Because they have such a large amount of exclusives, coupled with their free online service, Sony has been able to have increased sales in recent years(well, that might be more due to price drops), and maintain a good enough fan base.
But Why is this Bad?
PlayStation brands do not Cooperate
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale has demonstrated this well-Sony's brands do not fit well together; while Snake was able to fit in with Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it's a little awkward to see Sackboy and Toro fight Kratos and Raiden, I think.
There is no Universal Look for Sony
Nintendo's IPs are easily identifiable, with a good amount instantly causing people to say "oh that's Nintendo". However, with Sony, outside of the gaming world, that's a little different. The problem with Sony's diversity is that they have too many faces-Microsoft basically has Master Chief and Kinect, while Nintendo has Pokemon, Zelda, and Mario. However, while may have more exclusives, they aren't as easily identifiable to the non-gaming world, because there's no one cohesive image.