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The console war has just begun

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Will the consoles of the two arch rivals Microsoft and Sony cost 214 Euros like the Nintendo Game Cube in our country?

Sony lowered the cost to the public yesterday of its PS2, now tested (it has two years of life) and amortized (30 million pieces have been sold) to respond to the drop in price of Microsoft, looking for new users.

The sequence of events recalls the price war in the home computer sector of a few years ago: in search of new customers, Commodore, Atari and Texas Instruments challenged each other with downward strokes and only the heir of CBM with his C64 survived for some time.

But the video game market is now very important and the 3 majors in the field try to contend with the discounts on the consoles, trusting in large profits on the software.

The lion's part is obviously played by Sony, thanks to a huge park installed, annoyed by the aggressive policy of a Microsoft that you have to make your way with fewer titles and with the need to recover the huge investments in development and advertising. for the black box with the green X.

Nintendo has come to somehow disturb this fight: the blue console with a low purchase price and targeting a loyal audience has forced Sony to lower the price of the PS2 and does not plan to respond to the blows of rivals by depriving itself of valuable profits on the hardware when the titles are still significantly lower.

In this battle that sees hardware sold widely below cost, what is the advantage for users? The price of the games remains more or less unchanged, and that is the source of the greatest expense on which producers count: an advantage not secondary is that these home entertainment centers are also equipped with discrete DVD Video players and may also have other functions: for example with $ 199 it will be possible to transform a PS2 from the end of May into a Linux-based computer complete with keyboard, mouse, hard disk, ethernet and monitor adapter.

The X-Box itself is nothing more than a recharged computer with a motherboard that owes a lot (ahilei) to its corresponding Desktop PCs.

The most penalized in this sense seems to be Nintendo's GameBox which uses a proprietary DVD format and does not "want to play" to be a computer (even if it is equipped with a PPC 7400 and an ATI chip video card): but perhaps the average user does not look for all these complications: he wants the console to be "only" an excellent source of playful fun and in this Nintendo teacher.