Launching your console first isn’t always the quickest path to victory, but launching last isn’t preferable either. Regardless, Scott Rohde, Sony’s senior vice president of product development, says that Nintendo’s Wii U won’t win the next console war just because it’s launching first.
In an interview with Joystiq, Rohde says that Sony will simply make a better console than the Wii U. After that, the system will speak for itself:
As we learned in the last hardware generation and the generation before that, being the first out of the gate in terms of launching hardware can mean the difference between first and third place. SCEA Senior VP of Product Development and worldwide studios Scott Rohde, however, isn’t worried about the potential for Wii U to lead the next hardware generation due to its launch lead.
“Not at all. That’s the simple answer,” he told Joystiq in an interview this week. “In very similar fashion to the way I’m talking about game development,” he said, referencing Sony’s hands-off approach to internal game development. “We have a very strong vision in what we believe we’re gonna do for the next generation. And we’re not talking about it at all yet,” he added with a smile.
He may have a point—if anything, Sony’s biggest problem is the Xbox 720, not the Wii U.
Early launch periods, extensive third party-support, and huge libraries of games eventually helped both the PlayStation and PS2 dramatically outsell the Nintendo 64, Xbox, and GameCube. But, the Xbox 360 changed the status quo, launching a whole year ahead of the PS3 and stealing away a huge chunk of Sony’s install base.
It’s interesting to note, however, that this is the first time Nintendo’s releasing a console ahead of their competitors since the first Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom. But will it pay off for them?